Scholarly Communication

NIH Public Access Policy

Complying with the new requirement

Publish with a journal that participates in PubMed Central
  • Some publishers will deposit your manuscript for you. Nothing else is required of you. The list of journals that participate in PubMed Central.
Publish with a journal that will deposit manuscripts for you.
  • Some publishers, while not participating in PubMed Central themselves, will upon request send copies of manuscripts to PMC. Elsevier has had a policy since 2006 to submit articles to PMC on the author's behalf; other examples of such programs are Blackwell Publishing's Online Open, Oxford Journals' Oxford Open, and Springer's Open Choice. University of Arizona Library staff can help you determine if a particular journal will deposit articles on your behalf.
  • If the publisher deposits only your manuscript, rather than the final published version of the article, you will still have to sign onto the NIH Manuscript Submission System to review and approve release of the article to PubMed Central.
Submit the manuscript yourself.
  • If the journal in which you are publishing does not deposit either the published or manuscript version of your article, you will need to do it yourself using the NIH Manuscript Submission System. Depositing a manuscript takes only a few minutes and can be done by the primary investigator or a third-party. Here are some things to keep in mind.
  • What to submit: An electronic version of the final, peer-reviewed manuscript, including all graphics and supplemental material associated with the article. Note that you will need the permission of the publisher to submit a PDF provided by them.
  • When to submit: Upon acceptance for publication.
  • How to submit: Go to NIH Manuscript Submission System, label the manuscript with the correct author names, grant number, etc., and then submit.

As of May, 25, 2008, when citing an article in NIH applications, proposals and progress reports that falls under the Policy, you must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID).

As of January 26, 2010 NIH has developed a feature in My Bibliography to help PIs manage publication compliance with the policy. See the announcement here.

Librarians at University of Arizona Libraries and Arizona Health Sciences Library are available to help determine if a selected journal supports compliance with the policy.

Last modified: October 17, 2012