NIH Public Access Policy Compliance: Authors' Rights

Retain your rights

As an author, it is your responsibility to make sure that you retain sufficient rights to deposit your materials in PubMed Central.

Failure to retain these rights, leading to the inability to legally deposit your paper in PMC will result in being out of compliance.

Retaining the rights to submit your paper to PMC may require negotiating with the publisher, either at the time you submit the paper or before the paper is published.  Publishers are increasingly accepting of these grant mandates, but it is the responsibility of you as the researcher or your designee to ensure that your article is compliant.  Articles need to be deposited within 90 days of the official publication date.

To ensure that you are retaining your rights, work with the publisher before you transfer the rights to your work:

  • Read your publication agreement carefully and make sure it gives you the right to deposit the final, peer-reviewed version of your manuscript to PMC. You can find this information on many journal sites under Permissions.
  • Look for Journals that offer open access options.
  • If that right is in question, submit an addendum before signing the publication agreement.

Publication Addendums

The NIH provides sample language (linked below) that may be used in your copyright agreement:

  • “[Journal Name] acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.”

Alternatively, you may use the SPARC Open Access addendum (linked below) and submit it to your publisher with the publication agreement to secure a wider range of copyrights.

Questions about Author Rights

For questions on retaining the rights to your work or for help determining the publication policies of a particular journal, email Danelle Orange, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship and Programs.