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NIH Public Access Policy: Copyright

Learn More About Copyright

Sample Letter to Publishers

Work with the Publisher

  • Before signing a publication agreement or copyright transfer agreement from the publisher, authors should make sure the agreement allows them to retain sufficient copyright to ensure that all conditions of the NIH Public Access Policy can be met and allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central.
  • When you submit your article for publication, inform the publisher that it is subject to the NIH mandate and must be submitted to PubMed Central. Consider using the Sample letter on the left that can be edited and sent along with your manuscript submission. It notifies the editor and publisher that your research was supported by the NIH, and thus subject to its requirements.
  • Prior to signing the author or publication agreement make sure you and the publisher, have agreed on the following:
    • Method of submission
    • Which version will be submitted? (PDF of published paper or final manuscript)
    • Who will submit & approve the submission? (Publisher or author)
    • When will the paper be made public on PMC? (Must be publicly accessibly within 12 months)
  • If you have any doubt, insert the following text into the copyright transfer document before signing:

Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.

Source: NIH Website:​