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NIH Public Access Policy & Obtaining PMCIDs

NIH Public Access Policy requires peer-reviewed journal manuscripts arising from NIH funds to be submitted to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. Once a paper is submitted and processed, a PMCID number becomes available to show compliance.

Steps to obtain PMCIDs:

Acknowledge NIH funding and provide a disclaimer

  • NIH Grants Policy requires all funded publications include grant numbers in acknowledgement and provide a disclaimer. (PSC Acknowledgement Examples)
  • Cite direct support, center grant and data collection grant so that paper and grant association can be established in NIH databases.
  • Some publishers will deposit your papers to PubMed Central if grant numbers are listed.

Methods of submission to PubMed Central

  • There are four methods to get PMCIDs. Publisher’s policy determines submission method. Journals’ policies vary from depositing the published paper automatically to leaving authors to handle deposit.
  • Determine journal policy regarding NIH submission during copyright transfer. Communicate with the publisher if needed. (You can also check publishers' policies via Social Science Journals database or contact PSC library.)
  • Method A: Journal deposits final published articles in PMC without author involvement. Papers need to acknowledge NIH grant numbers to be identified for submission. See a list of Method A journals.
  • Method B (rarely used): Pay publisher a fee for depositing published article in PMC.
  • Method C: Author (or someone on author’s behalf) deposits final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via NIHMS (NIH Manuscript Submission System). For submission assistance, see NIHMS FAQs. For method C journals, submission needs to be done at time of paper acceptance so that a PMCID is available within 3 months of publication. During the approval process, you can set the public release of paper to 12 month after publication in NIH system if a publisher so requires.
  • Method D: Publisher deposits for author if author notifies during copyright transfer. Method D is different from Method A. Author is still involved in the process by approving the PDF and web versions of submission. See a list of method D journals.

Authors' approval of submission

  • For Method C and Method D submissions, authors will receive emails from NIHMS asking them to approve the PDF and then the web versions of deposit.
  • A paper will not get a PMCID if not approved. Timely approval is critical to getting a PMCID within 3 months of publication.

For non-competing continuation awards, use My NCBI to report papers

Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research. See details at "Include PMCID in Citations" on NIH Public Access website.

Presentation Slides "NIH Public Access Policy: PMCID, MY NCBI & RPPR Progress Report