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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.

PubMed Central Submission Methods

Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) within 12 months of publication and without author involvement.  By far the easiest submission avenue available; see a list of journals that will do this for you.  Make sure the publisher has your NIH grant number!

Method BMake arrangements to have the publisher deposit a specific final published article in PubMed Central.

  • Some publishers will deposit an individual final published article in PubMed Central upon author request for a fee. This is optional if authors are willing to pay the fee. Otherwise, use Method C below.

Method CDeposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PubMed Central yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

This step requires more legwork on your behalf. You will submit your paper to the NIHMS and eventually PMC; it takes three steps:

  •  Deposit Manuscript Files and Link to NIH Funding (may be done by an author, assistant, etc.)
  •  Authorize NIH to Process the Manuscript (must be completed by author)
  •  Approve the PMC-formatted Manuscript for Public Display (must be completed by author)

Method DComplete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). 

  • Some publishers deposit the manuscript files in the NIHMS, provide contact information for a corresponding author, and designate the number of months after publication when the paper may be made publicly available in PMC.  Check out the list of these journals.

Using NIHMS to submit papers to PMC (PubMed Central)

Log into the NIH Manuscript Submission System using your eRA Commons login.  (If you are a researcher and don't have a login, learn how to register for one).  If you are submitting a manuscript on behalf of someone else, you may login to the system and submit using your My NCBI account.  See image below for a snapshot of what you will see before you login to the system.

Use caution when selecting a grant to associate with an article - contact the Principal Investigator (PI) if you are unsure.