NIH Public Access

NIH has started enforcement actions of its Public Access Policy. ‘NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards (NCCGA) if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy.’

See the full NIH statement.

Watch an eight minute video tutorial on the NIH Public Access Policy.

The NIH Public Access Policy was originally established in 2005, and compliance with the policy became mandatory in April of 2008.

UAMS Contacts for NIH Public Access Policy Questions

If you would like assistance communicating with the publisher, and/or submitting your manuscript and files, please call or email Susan Steelman [ / 686-6737]. Susan will be happy to assist in the submission process.

Policy Requirements

The following steps must be followed to be in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy:

  • Determine if articles are covered
  • Retain the right to deposit final peer-reviewed manuscripts in PMC when negotiating copyright with publishers
  • Deposit articles upon acceptance for publication, as articles must be available in PMC within 12 months of publication
  • Include the PMCID# when citing articles in NIH proposals, progress reports, biosketches, etc.

How to Identify Articles Covered

  • All final peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008 are covered by the policy. Authors cannot submit the final published version of their articles unless their publishers have given permission. The manuscripts must be submitted electronically, and all peer-reviewed articles must be submitted regardless of whether they are indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed.
  • Works not covered by the policy include non peer reviewed articles, articles in trade magazines, editorials or correspondence, abstracts or proceedings, books or book chapters, multimedia and other types of publications.

How to Retain the Right to Deposit Articles

If the publisher does not deposit articles in PubMed Central automatically or by request (as outlined below), the author must retain the right to deposit his/her articles in PubMed Central. A UAMS form letter which can be sent with article submissions to publishers outlining this requirement is available by selecting this link. UAMS authors should insure that the copyright agreement they sign with the publisher includes the right for them to submit articles to PMC within 12 months of publication.

How to Submit Manuscripts

Watch a video on Submitting an Article to PubMed Central (WMV Video – 12:01).

For a video demonstrating author tasks, see Approving Submission of an Article to PubMed Central (WMV Video – 6:26).

NIH Manuscript Submission System Click on the NIH Manuscript Submission System icon to begin the submission process or go to

The following are the four methods of submitting manuscripts to PubMed Central:

  • Method A: Open Access – The author publishes an article in a journal that automatically deposits all NIH-funded final published articles in PMC. This requires no submission by the author. A list of the journals which currently automatically deposit articles in PubMed Central is at (scroll to 2nd screen for list).
  • Method B: Pay for Public Access – The author requests that the publisher deposit his/her specific article in PMC, and usually pays a publication fee to the publisher to deposit and make the article freely available. These publishers are listed at
  • Method C: Author Uses Final Peer Reviewed Manuscript – The author or his/her designee deposits articles via NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMSS) at The Final Peer Reviewed version is the copy that has corrections/edits from the peer review process but has not been formatted by the journal.
  • Method D: Publisher Deposits, Author Makes Approvals – The publisher deposits the article in the NIHMSS upon author request, and then the author approves and completes the process.

How to Cite Articles

Principal investigators and their institutions are held responsible for making sure that all progress reports, and proposals for new or continuing funding, have PMCID numbers included for each article listed in the reports. Even if the PI is not one of the authors of an article related to the project for which s/he is the PI, s/he is still responsible for making sure that all articles are submitted to PMC and that the PMCID numbers are included in the reports. Citing may be done in one of three ways:

  • Include the PMCID number at the end of the citations for the articles
  • If the article has been submitted through the NIH manuscript submission system but not yet included in PMC, provide the NIHMS number (it may take several weeks for the article to make it from the NIHMS system to PMC)
  • If the article is being deposited by the publisher but is not yet in PMC, put “PMC Journal- In Process” after the citation.


Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy is a term and condition of NIH grants and contracts. NIH holds the principal investigator and his or her institution responsible for ensuring compliance, including compliance for sub-recipients. NIH program staff will check all reports and proposals for new or continuing funding to see if PMCID numbers are included. If some numbers are missing, an NIH Program Officer will send the Program Director or Principal Investigator a list of article citations with missing numbers and ask for the numbers to be provided, or for an explanation for why the numbers are not yet available. If the PI or institution does not provide the information and continues to fail to comply with the policy, NIH may take enforcement actions, which may include the following:

  • Place special conditions on awards, such as closer monitoring
  • Switch from advance payment to cost reimbursement
  • Suspend, terminate or withhold support
  • Seek recovery of funds
  • Prevent grantee from receiving future NIH funding.


More Information