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Grants and Funding: NIH Public Access Compliance

Search for grants and funding opportunities or research previously funded projects. Coverage includes governmental agencies and private funders.

What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

The NIH Public Access policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research.   It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication.  The help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. 

To learn more about the Policy, visit the NIH Public Access Homepage for further information such as policy details, training materials, FAQs and more.

Step One: Determine Applicability

Determine Applicability

Unsure about how to get your paper submitted to PubMed Central?  Contact your librarians and we can help you determine your next steps.  Does the NIH Public Access Policy apply to your paper?

  • Is your paper peer-reviewed;
  • And, was accepted for publication April 7, 2008 or later;
  • And, arises from and NIH funding active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond?
  • If so - the answer is yes, the NIH Policy applies to you.

Step Two: Address Copyright

Address Copyright
Ensure your publishing agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Publisher policies are constantly being updated.  Let the library review your publications to determine your PMC deposit rights.  Give us a call at x4314 or send your citation information to  We'll investigate the publisher's policies and help you determine the next steps to complying with the Policy.

Additionally, we've drafted a publishing addendum with Fred Hutch's General Counsel to ensure your rights are being met.

Step Three: Submit Paper

PubMed Central submissions occur in one of four ways, all of which should occur at the acceptance of the paper as dictated by the NIH Public Access Policy.

  • Method A
    Journal deposits final published articles in PubMed Central without author involvement.  These journals have an agreement with NIH to make these submissions.  To see the full ist of participating journals, see the Method A Journal list
  • Method B
    Author asks publisher to deposit specific final published article in PMC.  The publishers have an arrangement with NIH to deposit individual final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) on a case-by-case basis.  These journals do not automatically deposit every NIH-funded paper in PMC.  Rather, the author can choose to arrange with the journal for the deposit of a specific article; this usually involves choosing the journal's fee-based open access option for publishing that article.  To see the list of participating publishers, see the Method B Publisher list.
  • Method C 
    Author deposits final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via NIHMS (NIH Manuscript Submission System.) The library is ready to help with this.  Provided your copyright allows it, we can submit your accepted, author manuscript to PubMed Central to be made publicly available within 12 months following publication.  To submit a manuscript for PMC deposit, visit our webform.
  • Method D
    Author completes submission of final peer-reviewed manuscript deposited by publisher in the NIHMS.  These publishers have volunteered to deposit a final peer-reviewed manuscript to NIHMS when they determine that it falls under the NIH Public Acess Policy.  NIH has no formal relationship with these publishers.  Authors and awardees are responsible for ensuring that the manuscript is deposited into NIHMS upon acceptance for publication, in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.  NIH has compiled a list of Method D publishers but please note, it is still advisable to confirm individual journal policies as there are exceptions within publishing companies.

Please note: Papers submitted under Methods C & D do require additional author follow-up before a PMCID can be assigned.  Immediately upon submission, the approving (or corresponding author) will receive a notice from NIHMS asking them to complete the initial PDF approval.  Once this is done, the paper will enter a submission review stage followed by the generation of the web version of the manuscript.  At the completion of this stage, the author will receive a an additional request asking that they complete the final web review of their PMC-ready manuscript.  Only after this is done can a PMCID be assigned.

Step Four: Include PMCID in Citations

Include PMCID in Citations
Include the PMCID at the end of the full citation in your application or report.

  • For papers that have been published for more than 3 months, include the 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 once a paper is 3 months past official publication.
    • An example of a properly cited PMCID:
      • Sala-Torra O, Gundacker HM, Stirewalt DL, Ladne PA, Pogosova-Agadjanyan EL, Slovak ML, Willman CL, Heimfeld S, Boldt DH, Radich JP. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression and outcome in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood. 2007 April 1; 109(7): 3080–3083. PMCID: PMC185222
  • For papers in press (often listed as "epub ahead of print"), or within the first 3 months following publication, you can cite the paper in one of three ways:
    • If available, include the PMCID at the end of the full citation (See above example)
    • When the paper is submitted via Method A or B, indicate "PMC Journal - In Process" at the end of the full citation
      • An example of a properly cited Method A or B, ahead of press article:
        • Sala-Torra O, Gundacker HM, Stirewalt DL, Ladne PA, Pogosova-Agadjanyan EL, Slovak ML, Willman CL, Heimfeld S, Boldt DH, Radich JP. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression and outcome in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.Blood. [a publication date within 3 months of when the application, proposal or report was submitted to NIH]. PMCID: PMC Journal - In Process
    • When the paper is submitted via Method C or D, provide a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System ID (NIHMSID) at the end of the full citation.  NIHMSIDs are only valid for the first three months following the official publication date of an article.  For example, if you paper was published on September 1, 2013 the NIHMSID is only valid until December 1, 2013.  If the necessary approval and review steps are not completed, the paper will be considered non-compliant, despite the presence of a NIHMSID.
      • An example of a properly cited NIHMSID: 
        • Cerrato A, Parisi M, Santa Anna S, Missirlis F, Guru S, Agarwal S, Sturgill D, Talbot T, Spiegel A, Collins F, Chandrasekharappa S, Marx S, Oliver B. Genetic interactions betweenDrosophila melanogaster menin and Jun/Fos.Dev Biol. In press. NIHMSID: NIHMS44135

We can help you obtain the necessary identification numbers regardless of the PMC submission method.  

  • If your publisher has agreed to submit but has not yet done so, we can contact your publisher and/or NIHMS to get the identification number

  The librarians want to help you comply with the NIH Public Access Policy!

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Have questions about the NIH Public Access Policy?  Visit the Library's NIHPA FAQ for the some of the questions we encounter most frequently.

Managing NIH Public Access Policy Compliance with My NCBI

Use My NCBI's My Bibliography feature to monitor Public Access compliance for all applicable papers the you author or arise from you NIH award.  You can associate your papers with specific funding and create clean PDF reports for submission with grant applications, proprosals and progress reports.

To learn more about using My NCBI, visit the Library's LibGuide on Managing NIH Public Access Compliance.

How to Format an NIH Grant in your Publications

When citing your NIH grants in publication, you should include the activity code (eg.,R01), and the two-letter institute code (eg., GM) followed by the serial code, with any leading zeros included.  Separating dashes or spaces should be left out. 

A proper grant number citation in you publication would follow this format: R01GM987654

The use of consistent formatting in grant acknolwedgment helps to improve various NIH information resources such as PubMed, PubMed Central and NIH RePORTER.

Source: NIH Staff, November 30, 2013

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