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NIH Public Access Policy

Guide to the NIH Public Access Policy, submitting peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central, and compliance with the policy.


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 investigators 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 that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

There are four major components of complying with the NIH Public Access Policy:

  1. Determine Applicability
  2. Address Copyright
  3. Submit Manuscript to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) for Deposit into PubMed Central (PMC)
  4. Show Evidence of Compliance

Compliance with the NIH policy is complex and involves multiple systems.  The Principal Investigator (PI) is ultimately responsible for ensuring and verifying compliance, but may assign some tasks to other individuals on the research team or associated staff. 

NIH Resources

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