NIH Public Access Policy

What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

In 2008 Congress passed the NIH Public Access Policy. It states that any research funded by NIH grants, which is published in peer-reviewed journals, needs to be made available to the public. To this end, all NIH-funded peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals must be deposited into PubMed Central.


Who is affected by the NIH Public Access Policy?

Any researcher who publishes NIH-funded work in a peer-review journal.


Why should I comply with the policy?

It's the law. It allows the public to access research and publications that it funds via tax dollars. Grant funds will not be awarded until you are in compliance and in future grant applications you will be asked to supply PubMed Central ID numbers.


How do I comply with the policy?

Am I affected by the Policy?

  1. Have you had a manuscript accepted in a peer-reviewed journal and has the research supporting your manuscript been funded by NIH? If yes, then you must comply.
  2. Will your license agreement with your publisher allow you to comply? Most licensing agreements should allow you to comply. But be sure to check with your publisher to make sure it's okay. For future licensing agreements, make sure the agreement language allows for deposit of your peer-reviewed manuscript into PubMed Central. A good option would be to use the following addendum to your license agreement:
"Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final 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." -

How do I submit my manuscript to PubMed Central?

Some journals will submit your manuscript for you. In this case, you don't need to do anything to submit the article, you will only need to review and approve it once it's been input into the system. See the list of journals that submit manuscripts on your behalf. If you don't see your publisher or journal on this list, always check your publisher's web site to see if they offer a service to submit for you.

If your publisher does not submit on your behalf you will need to self-submit your manuscripts in the NIH Manuscript Submission System. You will need a pdf version of your final peer-reviewed manuscript as it was sent to the publisher, your grant and project number information, and any ancillary files that are part of your article (images, charts, etc.). This handy flow chart might help you.


How can I ensure my compliance?

Use the new My Bibliography tool from MyNCBI. This tool replaces the bibliography function from eRA Commons. The new tool will enable you to track your publications' submissions and compliance. You also get to designate a delegate who may log in to the system and follow your submissions for you. Read more about this on Scholarly Communication @ OHSU.

How can the OHSU Library help me with the NIH Public Access Policy?

Librarians at OHSU are keeping up with the policy, and with manuscript submission tools. For a consultation on the NIH Public Access Policy please contact Robin Champieux, Biomedical Sciences Information Specialist, at or 503-494-2770.


Where can I find more information?

Public Access Frequently Asked Questions

NIH Public Access and NIH Manuscript Submission -- Useful Resources

Page last updated:
02/18/2015   05:26:38 PM