Scott Memorial Library

Information For

NIH Public Access Policy Compliance

For NIH-funded Jefferson Researchers/Authors

The NIH Public Access policy requires that final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts resulting from NIH-funded activities MUST be submitted to the PubMed Central (PMC) repository upon acceptance for publication. PMC will make them to the public within 12 months after the journal articles are published - timing is often determined by publisher agreements. You (the author) are responsible for compliance, but Library staff are ready to help you. Learn more about what the law covers, or see an NIH Fact Sheet about the program.

What is required for compliance?

  1. Before you publish:  Copyright

    Ensure that any agreement with your publisher permits the submission of your manuscript to NIH PubMed Central.

    • Look up your journal or publisher to see whether it will deposit your article on your behalf.
      Note: NIH direct deposit is FREE - do not pay for this service.
    • Review journal or publisher policies before you submit:
      See NIH-specific publisher policies at the Open Access Directory wiki if you know who publishes your journal;
      Use the more general Publisher policy database at Sherpa/Romeo, and check the "mandated OA" section of the record.
    • Use a contract addendum, if the publisher's contract doesn't automatically give you the rights you need to give your publisher notice that your article is subject to the NIH requirement.
    • Contact for assistance identifying journal policies.

  2. After your article is accepted: Submit your manuscript

    The final version of the manuscript, plus any accompanying files, must be submitted to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

    • Use the NIH's instructions for the various submission methods.
    • Submit the manuscript yourself or designate a third party in your lab or department to submit it. (NIHMS Help)
    • Review your manuscript after PubMed Central prepares it for Web posting.
      You will be notified by PMC to review your manuscript and approve it before it can be released for public view.

  3. When you prepare NIH applications, proposals, or progress reports:  Cite PubMed Central ID numbers

    When your manuscript is submitted to NIH it will receive an NIHMS ID number, and once it is available in PubMed Central, it will be assigned a PMC ID number. 

Further information

FAQ about PubMed Central

NIH Public Access Policy
Includes the NIH Public Access Policy, an FAQ, and detailed deposit instructions and demonstrations.

"Complying with the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy: Copyright Considerations and Options," a white paper by Michael W. Carroll commissioned by SPARC, Creative Commons, and ARL.
Carroll reviews the NIH policy, provides an in-depth analysis of the legal context, and presents 6 alternative copyright management strategies.

SPARC Resources for Authors
Includes a copyright addendum generator.

For questions regarding NIH compliance and CTL services, please contact Roderick MacNeil, Deputy University Librarian, at 215-503-2827 or