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NIH Public Access Policy & Compliance: Home

Research Services Librarian

Daniela Solomon's picture
Daniela Solomon
Kelvin Smith Library Room 201-L
Phone 216-368-8790

Research Services Librarian for Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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NIH Public Access Policy

What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research by mandating that final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to be available in the digital archive PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance for publication.

When does this policy apply?

The Policy applies if

The Policy does not apply if

  • you have published peer-reviewed articles
  • articles were accepted for publication after April 7, 2008
  • articles have resulted from research funded by NIH
  • your article was accepted before April 7, 2008
  • you have published books, books chapters, editorials, and other materials that are not peer-reviewed
  • articles have resulted from research funded by other sources

Why should you care about this policy?

Non-compliance may delay or prevent awarding of NIH grant funds.


What does it mean to be compliant?

Practically, this translates into obtaining a PMCID Number for your peer-reviewed article.

What to do if you have peer-reviewed articles without PMCID Number?

Step 1. Check the date your article was accepted for publication

Search your records, check the pdf file on the publisher's site, or ask the publisher

  • if the date is before 4/7/2008, your article is exempt
  • if the date is after 4/7/2008, move to Step 2.

Step 2. Was the article a direct result of NIH funding?

  • if no NIH funds were used then the article is exempt
  • if NIH funds were used, then the article must be submitted to PubMed Central