NIH Public Access Policy Reminders

As NIH moves toward enhanced enforcement of their Public Access Policy, please bear in mind these important reminders.

Applicability The policy applies to all peer-reviewed articles that arise, in whole or in part, from direct costs funded by NIH that are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008. Publications that are accepted for publication prior to that date are not subject to the policy. Remember:

  • The policy applies to all papers arising directly from an investigator’s award whether or not they are an author or co-author on the paper.
  • The policy is not applicable to dissertations, book chapters, conference proceedings or letters to the editor.

When to Cite

  • Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PubMed Central (PMC) reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable:
  • Papers that they author or co-author and that arose from NIH support ; or
  • Papers that arise from their NIH-funded research.

Where to Cite Citations in the above-referenced submissions are generally found:

  • Bibliography & References Cited (New and Renewal Applications)
  • Biosketches – Section C: Selected Peer-reviewed Publications (New, Renewal, Supplement and sometimes Progress Reports)
  • Progress Report Publication List (Renewal Applications)
  • Grant Progress Reports  (RPPR and PHS 2590; now in required format)

How to Cite

  • Investigators must include the PMCID at the end of citations.
  • For papers published more than 3 months before the submission of the application or report, the PMCID must be listed. The PMCID is the only way to demonstrate compliance with the policy.
  • For papers in press, or published within 3 months of the application/report submission, papers must use one of the 2 citation methods:
  • Include “PMC Journal – In Process” at the end of the citation if the journal will deposit the final published article in PMC; or
  • Provide a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) at the end of the citation.

Please note: a PMID is not the same as a PMCID. PMID’s are for PubMed, an index of abstracts. PMC contains full articles. PubMed and PMID’s have nothing to do with the NIH Public Access Policy. Therefore, inclusion of a PMID does not satisfy any policy requirements.

Holly Sommers, Director OSP –  Grants

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