On November 16, 2012, the National Institutes of Health announced that beginning spring 2013 at the earliest, NIH will begin delaying the processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy. Awards will not be processed until publications are in compliance. (NOT-OD-12-160)
What is the NIH Public Access Policy?
The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008). The law states:
“The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.”
The Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central. The Policy requires that these final peer-reviewed manuscripts be accessible to the public on PubMed Central to help advance science and improve human health.
Does the NIH Public Access Policy apply to my paper?
The NIH Public Access Policy applies to any peer-reviewed manuscript that is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008 and arises from:
- Any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or later OR
- Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008 OR
- Any direct fuding from the NIH Intramural Program OR
- An NIH employee
Principle Investigators and their institutions are responsible for ensuring all terms and conditions of awards are met, including the submission of final peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise directly from their awards, even if they are not an author or co-author of the paper.
How are papers submitted to PubMed Central?
NIH has agreements with over 1500 journals to automatically deposit final articles into PubMed Central without author involvement. Detailed information about the submission process is available at the National Institutes of Health Public Access site.
How do I avoid delays in funding?
- Use My NCBI’s “My Bibliography” feature to ensure all papers linked with your NIH award are in compliance.
- When planning an NIH-funded paper, ensure that arrangements are made for the paper to be submitted to PubMed Central. If there are multiple authors, only one need submit it, though it is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure compliance.
- You may wish to let publishers know a manuscript is subject to the NIH Public Access Policy before the publisher decides to review it to avoid miscommunication.