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NIH Public Access Policy

How to Comply?

  • Address Copyright: Make sure that any copyright transfer or other publication agreements allow the article to be submitted to NIH in accordance with the Policy.

  • Submit Article: Authors may submit an article to the journal of their choice for publication.
    1. If you choose to publish your article in certain journals, you need do nothing further to comply with the submission requirement of the Policy. See http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm for a list of these journals.
    2. For any journal other than one of those in this list, the author must:
      • Inform the journal that the article is subject to the Public Access Policy when submitting it for publication.
      • Make sure that any copyright transfer or other publication agreement allows the article to be submitted to NIH in accordance with the Policy. For more information, see the FAQ Whose approval do I need to submit my article to PubMed Central? http://publicaccess.nih.gov/FAQ.htm#c2 and consult with your Institution.
      • Submit the article to NIH, upon acceptance for publication. See the Submission Process http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process.htm for more information.

  • Cite Article: When citing their NIH-funded articles in NIH applications, proposals or progress reports, authors must include the PubMed Central reference number for each article.

  • Important Dates
    1. As of April 7, 2008, all articles arising from NIH funds must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.
    2. As of May 25, 2008, NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports must include the PubMed Central reference number when citing an article that falls under the policy and is authored or co-authored by the investigator, or arose from the investigator’s NIH award. This policy includes applications submitted to the NIH for the May 25, 2008 due date and subsequent due dates.


  • The Law
    The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) which states: //SEC. 218. The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law. //



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