Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy

On April 7, 2008 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented the Public Access Policy requiring all researchers funded by an NIH grant to deposit copies of final peer-reviewed manuscripts, including all modifications from the publishing and peer-review process, into PubMed Central, the National Library of Medicine’s archive, within 12 months of publication. This policy applies to any journal articles resulting from research supported in whole or in part by direct funds from NIH.  The policy “ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research.” It is the responsibility of the researcher and the researcher’s institution to comply with the policy.

Compliance with the policy is a three-step process:

  1. Address Copyright. Researchers should ensure that agreements with publishers allow for NIH funded manuscripts be deposited into PubMed Central in accord with the policy. The University of Michigan Medical School has supplied this letter to accompany the publisher copyright agreement.
  1. Submit the manuscript to NIH.
  1. Cite PubMed Central reference number, also referred to as the PMCID, assigned to the deposited manuscript, in all communications with NIH (competing and non-competing grant proposals, grant progress reports and NIH biosketches included in them).

The full policy is available at

What's New?

NIH issues notice cautioning against using a NIH Manuscript Submission reference number (NIHMSID) for more than a few months before transitioning to a PubMed Central reference number (PMCID):
NIH Notice NOT-OD-09-136 - "NIH Pulbic Access Policy Clarification"

Additional resources on this topic are available by clicking on the following links: