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NIH Public Access Policy: Policy Basics

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Policy Overview


There are updated guidelines for applications made on or after January 25th 2023.

The NIH Public Access Policy is a statutory requirement term and a condition of all grant awards and cooperative agreements. The policy ensures that published results of NIH-funded research are made available to the public.

Scientists are required to submit a copy of their manuscript upon acceptance for publication to the NIH Manuscript Submission system. The final peer reviewed manuscript must be uploaded to PMC  (PubMed Central) within three months of publication. The policy requires that the paper be made available to the public within 12 months after publication.

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Consequences of Non-Compliance

For non-competing awards with a start date of July 1, 2013 or later:

  1. The NIH will delay funding or renewal of non-competing continuation awards if the applicants’ publications arising from grant awards are not in compliance with the Public Access Policy. Read about the policy changes or view the archived webinar, “Changes to the NIH Public Access Policy and the Implications.”
  2. Investigators need to use My NCBI to enter papers or edit progress reports. Papers can be associated electronically using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR), or included in the Non-Competing Continuation Progress Report (PHS 2590).

Additional Requirements--Show Evidence of Compliance

  • When citing applicable papers published by you in any applications, proposals, or reports submitted to the NIH, you must include the PubMed Central ID number (PMCID)--not the PubMed ID number (PMID)--at the end of the full citation.
  • When citing an article over 3 months after its publication, list the PubMed Central number (PMCID)
  • When citing an article less than 3 months after publication or in-press
    • Add PMCID at the end of the full citation, if available
    • Add "PMC Journal - In Process" at the end of the full citation (Submission Method A or B)
    • Add a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) at the end of the full citation (Submission Method B or C)

Note: This applies to articles for which you are either the PI of an NIH award or an author of the article based upon NIH-funded research. It does not apply to articles you cite but with which you have no affiliation.