NIH Public Access: Requirements and Compliance

February 2009

To: NIH Awardees and Applicant Investigators

From: Twila Fisher Reighley, Assistant Vice President for Research

Re: NIH Public Access Policy – New Publication Requirements

As an investigator holding or seeking NIH funding, please be aware of the new publication requirements recently mandated by the NIH Public Access Policy.

According to the Policy, any published manuscript resulting from your NIH-funded research must be submitted to the NIH PubMed Central (PMC) database – a publicly accessible digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed journal articles. Specifically, you must:

  1. Ensure an electronic copy of the final manuscript, including all modifications from the publishing peer-review process, is submitted to PMC when the manuscript is accepted for publication;

  2. Authorize the NIH to make the manuscript publicly accessible in digital form within 12 months following journal publication; and

  3. Include the PMC reference number when citing your NIH-funded articles in NIH applications, proposals, or progress reports.

The NIH has begun checking for compliance with these terms, which is now a statutory requirement and a condition attached to NIH research funding. Failure to comply could result in serious penalties, including the loss of your NIH funding and/or eligibility for future awards.

To safeguard your ability to comply, you must ensure that any publication agreement or copyright arrangement allows the PubMed Central database contribution. To facilitate this we offer two resources: A standard letter that may be included with any manuscript submission, attached to this notice and available electronically here and a standard paragraph that may be inserted into any publication agreement, attached to this notice and available electronically.

We encourage you to make liberal use of the above resources, and remind you of these additional resources available to assist you with the NIH Public Access Policy requirements:

The Division of Sponsored Programs staff provides information, clarification, and consultation regarding the NIH Public Access Policy requirements. For more information, visit the DSP’s NIH Public Access Policy information website.

The Hardin Library staff provides compliance guidelines and resources; training for departments and labs; and a manuscript-submission service for completing the PubMed submission. For more information, visit the Library’s NIH Public Access Policy.

The National Institutes of Health provides an NIH Public Access Policy website, detailing the policy requirements and manuscript submission process. For more information, visit the NIH website.

The NIH encourages researchers to make use of its Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) for depositing manuscripts to PubMed Central and for tracking and managing submitted manuscripts. For more information, visit the NIHMS website.

PubMed Central, the digital archive that is to receive and post your manuscripts, includes database information and a listing of journals that automatically deposit articles for public viewing. For more information, visit the PubMed website at or access the listing of journals that deposit directly to PMC here.

Thank you very much for your attention to these new compliance requirements.

Your questions may be directed at any time to Jennifer Lassner at jennifer-lassner@uiowa.edu or 335-3710, or to Oliva Smith at 335-3708.