NIH Public Access Policy Compliance: What is Compliance?

NIH Requirements

The NIH Public Access Policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PMC (formerly PubMed Central) upon acceptance for publication. The Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PMC no later than 12 months after publication.

All NIH applications and reports must include evidence of compliance for all papers that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy, whether in press or in print.

Full compliance requires:

1. Authors must cite the appropriate grant numbers on all NIH grant-supported publications.

2. Final peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise from NIH support must be submitted to PMC upon acceptance for publication.

3. Investigators must include a PMCID (PMC Identification) number for each applicable paper cited in an NIH proposal or report.

4. Investigators must use My NCBI to enter papers into progress reports.

Steps for Compliance

BEFORE publication:

1. When submitting a paper to a journal, follow its guidelines for funding disclosures. Be sure to reference ALL applicable grant numbers. If the journal does not specify how to disclose funding information, include the grants on the title page.

2. Before signing, verify that your copyright agreement allows you to comply with the Public Access Policy.

3. Determine how the paper will be submitted to PMC (Methods A, B, C, and D)

Use the information on the Determine Method Submission page and NIHMS Portal help page for guidance with these processes. 

AFTER publication:

Verify that your paper has a PMCID number.

The PMCID is posted in PubMed as soon as an article has been processed, which usually occurs around the time of publication. Use the PubMed link below to check if your article has a PMCID.

You can also use the PMID converter to find the PMCID number when you have the PMID (PubMed Identification) number (see link below).

Links for NIH Compliance