NIH Public Access Policy Compliance Revisited

Did you know that your peer-reviewed publications from NIH-funded grants must be deposited into PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance of publication and made available to the public in PMC within 12 months of publication?  This is the requirement of the NIH Public Access Policy, which mandates that the public has access to published results of your NIH-funded research.

Here are some tips for ensuring that you are in compliance!

  1. As soon as your manuscript is published, ensure that it is submitted to PubMed Central. There are many options to do this, and it usually depends on the journal where your work is published. Sometimes the journal will do it for you. Other times you will need to submit the final peer-reviewed version of the manuscript directly to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System, and they will deposit your article in PubMed Central. This can seem rather complicated but NIH has a handy submission wizard to guide you through this process. We provide more information on the different submission options on our NIH Public Access Policy Compliance: Submission Methods page.
  2. A manuscript can be submitted to NIHMS by the author, the PI, the publisher, or other third party  (i.e., a delegate). However, an author or the PI will still need to provide final approval of the manuscript to NIHMS.
  3. Ultimately, the PI is responsible for ensuring compliance.
  4. To show compliance, you need to include the PubMed Central ID (PMCID) number in your citation. This pertains to citations you include in your grant applications or reports to NIH.

For more details as you revisit the NIH Public Access Policy, see the August issue of our newsletter.

Need Help? Our librarians can assist PIs, authors and other staff with becoming compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy. Email us at, chat with us online, or set up a Zoom consult or training session. There are also lots of useful tips and documentation on our NIH Public Access Policy Compliance Libguide.