NIH Public Access Policy and Submission System

If you’ve published a peer-reviewed journal article based on National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research, you need to ensure the final version of the article is submitted to PubMed Central within 12 months of publication in order to qualify for further funding.

NIH Requirements

The NIH Public Access Policy (Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-61, NOT-OD-05-022) requires NIH-funded researchers to do two things:

1.  All accepted, peer-reviewed manuscripts (not the published article) arising, in whole or in part, from direct costs funded by NIH, must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. These manuscripts will be made publicly available on PubMed Central within 12 months of the publication date.

2.  NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) when citing an article that falls under the policy and is authored or co-authored by the investigator or arose from the investigator's NIH award. The NIH Manuscript Submission ID (NIHMSID) may be used until the PMCID is issued.

What You Need To Do To Submit Your Article

In order to comply with the submission requirement, you need to do three things:

1.  When you submit your manuscript to a journal, inform the editor that the final manuscript must be submitted to PubMed Central. 

2.  If your article is accepted for publication, the journal will ask you to sign a copyright or publication agreement. Make sure this agreement allows the final manuscript to be deposited in PubMed Central. If not, you can insert language into the publisher's agreement, or ask the publisher to sign an addendum to the agreement that will give you the right to submit your manuscript to PubMed Central. NIH has provided the following sample copyright agreement language:

"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."

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has provided an addendum that could be used to augment the publisher's agreement.

3. Go to the NIH Manuscript Submission site to submit your article. Certain journals have agreed to submit on behalf of authors; if you publish in one of those journals, you can eliminate this step. 

An author or assistant can submit the article, but the final submission must be approved by the principal investigator. This also applies to cases where the journal submits directly to PubMed Central.

NIH Resources 

Fortunately, the NIH has extensive information available on the Public Access Policy and NIH Manuscript Submission.  

Public Access Homepage

Provides an overview of how to comply with NIH Public Access Policy. Includes links to detailed information on how to submit your papers.

Journals That Submit Final Published Articles to PubMed Central

These journals have committed to deposit NIH funded articles directly to PubMed Central. NIH will contact authors by e-mail to provide award information and to approve the final manuscript.

Submission Process

An overview of the NIH Manuscript Submission system with links to detailed information.

NIHMS System Slide Show Help

Provides login assistance as well as detailed, step-by-step guidance in submitting for PI and non-PI submitters.

NIH Manuscript Submission System

This is where you login to begin a submission.

How the Libraries Can Help

K-State Libraries work with the K-State Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and can help faculty comply with NIH requirements in the following ways:

  • Answer questions about NIH requirements
  • Give a presentation to your research group or department
  • Assist in interpreting or amending a publisher’s copyright agreement
  • Help find citation information and PubMed Central reference number (PMCIDs)
  • Submit a manuscript to PubMed Central on behalf of the author(s)
Last updated: 08/10/2015