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NIH Public Access Policy

Step by step instructions regarding the NIH policy for Einstein staff, faculty and researchers.


The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that result 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.

NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from it are not in compliance with the policy.

How to Comply

All of your papers that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy, whether in press or in print, must include evidence of compliance in all of your NIH applications and reports.

  1. Determine Applicability
    Does the NIH Public Access Policy apply to your paper?

  2. Address Copyright
    Ensure that your publishing agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

  3. Submit Paper
    Submit papers to PubMed Central and approve public release.

  4. Include PMCID in Citations 
    Include the PMCID at the end of the full citation in your application or report. You do not need to find PMCIDs for all articles in an NIH grant application, proposal or progress report. You only need to include the PMCID when citing applicable papers that you author or that arise from your NIH-funded research.

 When to Get Started

Take steps to ensure that your manuscript is compliant as soon as it is accepted for publication. Read the publisher's publication agreement. If you are unsure about what steps must be taken, ask the publisher or a librarian.

This presentation clarifies the NIH Public Access Policy, offering guidance on ensuring that your manuscripts are available to the public within the guidelines of the policy, and that your grant funding continues without interruption.