NIH Public Access Policy and Compliance

To demonstrate compliance, all papers that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy must be cited using the PMCID or NIHMSID in all applications, proposals and reports submitted to the NIH.

  • If the article was published more than three months ago, you must cite the PMCID MyNCBI.
  • If the article was published less than three months ago and hasn’t been assigned a PMCID yet, you must cite the NIHMSID in MyNCBI (if using submission Methods C or D) or indicate “PMC Journal – In Process” (for Methods A or B).

The Four Submission Methods

Method A | Publish your article in a journal that automatically submits to PMC. If you use this method, tasks related to the submission step of compliance will be completed for you by the publisher. It is important to let these publishers know that the article was NIH funded at the time of acceptance. For a listing of journals that submit for you, click here.

Method B | Make arrangements to have a publisher deposit a specific final published article in PMC. Submission to PMC is free, but some publishers will charge a fee to do this for you. Paying the publisher is not necessary if you or a third party submit the manuscript yourself (via Method C). For a listing of publishers that will support authors using method B, click here.

Method C | Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). This system is easy to use and submission can be done by the author or a third party in your lab or department. Check selected publishers’ policies or Sherpa-Romeo.

Method D | This is a variation of method C. In this case, the publisher submits the manuscript to NIHMS, usually assigning the corresponding author as reviewer. NIHMS will contact the reviewer when the submission has been received by them. The reviewer is responsible for all approval tasks related to NIHMS processing following the initial deposit by the publisher. Click here for a list of publishers that submit via this method.

Note: Regardless of the submission method used, you are still required to cite PMCIDs in NIH documents. For more information on this step of compliance see the section on citing PMCIDs.

Skip to content