NIH Public Access Policy Requirements

New legislation requires that peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008 and arising from NIH funding must be deposited to PubMed Central. The new NIH Open Access Policy states that NIH funded research must be open access available within 12 months of publication.

ARL Releases PunMed Central Deposit and Author Rights (PDF) (Aug 2008)
Nature Publishing Group to archive on behalf of authors (2008)
NIH Public Access Policy (PDF)
Springer Announces NIH Compliant Publication Agreement

Submission Process
NIH Public Access Homepage
Submission Process
NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System
NIH Public Access Policy Training PowerPoint (PPT)
Tutorials (HTML Slide Show, QuickTime or PDF formats)
Journals That Submit Articles To PubMed Central on Your Behalf (there may be fees for the author)
Flow Chart for Submission Process (PDF) - From Washington University School of Medicine
Process For Obtaining PMCID Numbers For Citations (DOC)


Authors legally own the copyright to their original work.   However, over the years publishers have developed publication agreements which automatically ask the author to sign over all of their rights to the publisher.  NIH funded authors must now retain some of their rights in order to deposit the article to PubMed Central.  This means that some standard publisher agreements must be amended to allow open access.  This may be as simple as attaching a brief pre-written amendment to the publisher’s agreement. Some publishers will automatically deposit your article after publication.  Other publishers may require more negotiation.

PubMed Central Journals - Tabbed List (these journals have Open Access compliant publishing agreements in place)
USC recommended Publisher Letter (PDF)
Sample addendums (provided by the SPARC Author’s Rights Initiative)

Citation Format changes beginning May 25th, 2008
When citing their NIH-funded articles in NIH applications, proposals or progress reports, authors must include the PubMed Central (PMC) reference number, the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) number, or indicate PMC Journal In Process until the PMCID is available (do this only if the journal publishing the article will submit it directly to PubMed Central on behalf of the author(s)).

List the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) at the end of the already-required full journal citation for the article. If a PubMed Central reference number is not yet available, include the NIH Manuscript Submission system reference number (NIHMS ID) instead.

How to locate and cite PMCID numbers (PDF) - From Washington University School of Medicine

For more information:

Main Campus Contact: Andrea Wright, Science Librarian, Thomas Cooper Library, (803) 777-1968 or

School of Medicine Contact:
Christine Whitaker, Collection Development Librarian, School of Medicine Library, (803) 216-3201 or