What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

The NIH Public Access Policy requires that papers resulting from NIH-funded research must be available in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. It applies to peer-reviewed manuscripts (including their graphics and supplemental materials) accepted for publication on or after April 7th, 2008, for work arising in whole or in part from direct costs paid by the NIH or NIH staff.

Another important date: Starting May 25, 2008, when you cite a paper in NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports that fall under the Policy, and the paper was authored or co-authored by you or arose from your NIH award, you must include the PubMed Central reference number as assigned during the submission process.

Does the Policy apply to me?

Per NIH's FAQ the Policy applies to peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008 and arising from any direct funding from:

  • an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008, or;
  • an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, or;
  • the NIH Intramural Program.

If any of the above are true, or if you are an NIH employee, then yes, the Policy applies to you and your work.

How can I get help with compliance?

Your manuscripts should be deposited upon acceptance for publication by the journal, after completion of the peer review process. The University Library can assist you in ensuring you retain your right to comply.

Where can I go to learn more?

In addition to the links above, you may also want to visit the NIH's Public Access homepage and look at the extensive help NIH provides for their submission system at their NIH Submission Process site.

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