NIH Public Access Requirements


Q: What are the NIH Public Access Policy requirements?

A: There are two absolute requirements for peer-reviewed journal articles resulting from CFAR funding:

  1. Papers must be made publicly available through PubMed Central and receive a PubMed Central ID number (PMCID). It is not sufficient to publish in a public-access journal.
  2. Papers must be associated with the CFAR grant number (P30 AI036214) in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMSS). Please take care to enter the grant number correctly.

Q: What publications are affected?

A: Peer-reviewed papers resulting from Developmental, International Pilot, and Visiting Researchers grants are affected, as well as papers resulting from administrative supplements. Eventually the policy may affect other Core sections of progress reports and competing renewals, for publications going back to April 2008.

Q: What are the consequences of noncompliance?

A: Administrative delays will result in delayed funding of progress reports and competing renewals.

Q: What do I need to do?

A: If you review or co-author manuscripts written by CFAR grant recipients . . .

  • Please remind authors to comply with NIH policies by submitting their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central and link their papers to the CFAR grant via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMSS).
  • Please assist authors in reviewing publication agreements. Authors must not sign publication agreements that prohibit uploading a final, peer-reviewed manuscript into PubMed Central.
  • Please review copyright language carefully!

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: For full details and links to instructions and policy information, please visit the NIH Public Access Policy FAQ webpage. Please also see the NIH website on When and How to Comply.

Q: What is a PubMed Central ID number (PMCID) and how do I get one for my paper?

A: The PMCID differs from the PubMed ID (PMID) number: the records are used in separate, but linked databases. There are four ways to obtain a PMCID number. Authors must confirm which of the four methods their publishers use. If necessary, authors must be prepared to pay publishers’ filing fees (sometimes included with page charges) or be willing to upload the final, peer-reviewed manuscript into PubMed Central by themselves (Method C).           

Q: What publications must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy?

A: Adherence to the NIH Public Access Policy is currently required . . .

  • Only for peer-reviewed papers accepted on or after April 2008;
  • Whether or not a peer-reviewed paper is indexed by PubMed;
  • If a peer-reviewed paper is published in English or in a foreign language journal that uses a Latin alphabet. Papers published in journals that use Cyrillic, Asian, or other non-Latin alphabets are currently exempt.

Q: What publications are exempt from the NIH Public Access Policy?

A: Adherence to the NIH Public Access Policy is currently waived for . . .

  • Non-peer-reviewed papers, e.g., book chapters, dissertations, editorials, or articles in the popular press
  • Papers reporting on research that used CFAR Core services without receiving CFAR funding
  • Papers published in journals that do not use the Latin alphabet

At a Glance