Skip to Main Content

NIH Public Access Policy

What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

About the Policy

The NIH public access policy (NIH PAP) requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication.

Does the policy apply to my paper?

The policy applies to any paper that:

  • Is peer-reviewed, accepted for publication after April 2008, and arises from any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement.
  • If you are an MD Anderson scientist your manuscript is likely supported by Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) or Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) funding, and it is subject to the NIH PAP. 
    • Compliance is required for all articles involving patients, research animals, biostatistics, bioinformatics, or any other core or shared resource

How do I Comply?

Process of Compliance

  1. Submit your paper to PubMed Central via the appropriate method
  2. Associate the paper with the award via My Bibliography
  3. Locate the PMCID in PubMed Central or PubMed and use it for reporting purposes

Who is Responsible for Compliance?

Ensuring Compliance

Principal investigators (PIs) and their institutions are responsible for ensuring compliance of papers that arise directly from their awards, even if they are not an author of the paper. 

When a Manuscript is Accepted for Publication

It is a best practice to determine up front who will be responsible for ensuring submission to PubMed Central for processing and acquisition of a PMCID. A PMCID is the only evidence of compliance accepted by the NIH. 

Keep in Mind

Scientists who author papers supported by others' funding should work with the primary awardee to determine the responsibility of submission to PubMed Central, as non-compliant papers are reported in the primary awardee's name.