NIH Public Access Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research.

Policy Overview

The NIH Public Access Policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the policy requires accessibility to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

Compliance - 3 Step Process

  • Address Copyright - prior to signing a publication agreement
  • Submit - choose one of the submission paths listed below 
  • Cite

As of May 25, 2008, when citing a paper in NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports that falls under the policy, and was authored or co-authored by you, or arose from your NIH award, you must include the PubMed Central reference number.

Ways to Submit

  • Publish in a journal that automatically submits to NIH - a list of these journals can be found on the NIH Public Access Homepage.
  • Make arrangements for a specific journal to submit on your behalf. 
  • Submit in PubMed Central via NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) available through eRA Commons.

Helpful Links