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NIH Public Access: Overview

NIH Policy Overview

The NIH Public Access Policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication.

The NIH Public Access Policy applies to any manuscript that:

  • is peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in a journal
  • arises from any direct funding from an NIH grant, cooperative agreement, or contract

If both of these conditions are true, then you are required to comply with the NIH policy and ensure that your article is made publicly accessible within no later than 12 months after publication.

NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS)

Final, peer-reviewed manuscripts must be submitted to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) upon acceptance for publication, and be made publicly available on PubMed Central (PMC) no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

Points to remember:

  • Before you sign a publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement, make sure that the agreement allows the paper to be posted to PMC in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • Some journals will submit your paper to PMC on your behalf. Review this list to see if your journal is one of them.

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