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NIH Data Sharing & Public Access Policies

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

Compliance: NCBI & PMCIDs

My NCBI and My Bibliography

You must have a free My NCBI account that is linked to your eRA Commons account.  My NCBI is a tool that retains user information and database preferences to provide customized services for many NCBI databases. It allows you to save searches, select display formats, filtering options, and set up automatic searches.

My Bibliography (via eRA Commons login) is where authors collect citations for their publications and track and manage compliance with the Public Access Policy, as well as generate Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and link publications to awards. You may share your My Bibliiography with a delegate to assist with managing this aspect of compliance.

My NCBI includes other features that help you create an online professional profile (a BioSketch, via SciENcv), highlight search terms, etc. 


Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research.

  • Note: The PMCID should not be confused with the PMID, which is the abstract number in the PubMed index database.  The PMID has nothing to do with the NIH Public Access Policy or compliance.  Both the PMCID (when assigned) and the PMID can be found in PubMed.

Articles that do not yet have a PMCID are provisionally compliant for up to 3 months after publication, and will have a status of "in process at NIHMS" or "PMC Journal in Process" (methods A and B) prior to receiving a PMCID, after which they will be coded as "Complete."  

NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that all steps of the NIHMS submission process are complete, including having the PMCID assigned, within 3 months of the publication of the article. Articles are non-compliant if they do not have a PMCID 3 months after the publication date.

Video Overview

This NCBI video provides a brief overview of using My Bibliography to track the compliance status of your papers.

NIH Quick Links

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