Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

NIH Public Access Policy

A guide to assist faculty and research administrators with the policy details and resources available for complying with the NIH Public Access Policy.

How to Cite NIH-funded papers

Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable manuscripts that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research.  Here's how to do it:

For papers published more than 3 months before an application, proposal and report is submitted:

  • List the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) at the end of the full journal citation for the paper in NIH applications, proposals and reports.  A PMCID is the only way to demonstrate compliance for these papers.  

For papers in press, or published within 3 months of when an application, proposal or report is submitted:

  • When using Submission Method A or B, indicate “PMC Journal - In Process” or the PMCID at the end of the full citation.

  • When using Submission Method C or D, provide a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) or PMCID at the end of the full citation. Note, NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that all steps of the NIHMS submission process are complete within three months of publication.


Difference between PMID and PMCID

PMCID (PubMed Central reference number): The PMCID links to full-text articles in PubMed Central.  Your article will eventually get a PMCID when the process is complete.

 PMID (PubMed reference number): The PMID links to abstracts in PubMed.    PMIDs have nothing to do with the NIH Public Access Policy.