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NIH Public Access Policy

What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

As part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, the law states:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health ("NIH") shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter 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.

What does this mean for you as a researcher?

If you are supported by NIH funding for your project, then you are required to make your final, peer-reviewed manuscripts publicly available no more than 12 months after publication through PubMed Central.

What Is Subject To The Policy?

What types of papers are subject to the Public Access Policy?

  • Peer-reviewed
  • Accepted for publication in a journal after April 7, 2008
  • Arises from any direct NIH funding (received 2008 or later)

What types of research products are not subject to the Public Access Policy?

  • Manuscripts written in non-Latin languages (e.g. Russian, Japanese)
  • Book chapters, dissertations, conference posters

What does it mean to be "directly" funded by the NIH?

  • Costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project
  • Costs that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy
  • Publications that resulted from work conducted while an individual was supported by an Institutional Training, Career Development, or Related Award (e.g. T15, T32/TL1, T34/TL4, T35, T90, R25/RL5, R90/RL9, K12/KM1/KL2, D43, D71, DP7, U2R, U45)

For more details on determining the whether your paper is subject to the policy, please check out the below link:

Who Is Responsible?

Ultimately, the PI listed on the award is responsible for ensuring that all papers that arise from the award are compliant with the Policy.

This is the case even when the PI is not an author on the manuscript.

The Institution is also responsible for ensuring that all its authors and PIs are compliant with the policy.

They have a vested interest in ensuring that the funding continues to come in without delay.

Acknowledging Support

How should you acknowledge NIH support?

The NIH Grants Policy Statement provides guidance and requirements of how to appropriately acknowledge your research funding in a variety of research products.

All acknowledgements should include the following 3 statements:

  • A specific acknowledgement of NIH grant support, including the grant number(s)
  • An acknowledgement of the level of NIH funding (e.g. percentage and dollar amount)
  • A disclaimer that indicates the author is responsible for the contents of the work

For specific instructions on how to cite your NIH funding, please consult the following website:

When should you acknowledge your NIH support?

There are a few points in the publication process where you want to make sure you are acknowledging your NIH support:

  • Article Submission: Make sure you are including the appropriate grants statement in your manuscript.
  • Copyright Statement/Form: Include your NIH funding support to ensure your publisher knows that your article will be subject to the Public Access Policy.
  • Article Acceptance/Publication: Associate the paper with the appropriate award(s) once it has been accepted for publication, using the NIHMS and/or My Bibliography systems