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The NIH Public Access Policy (which went into effect in the spring of 2008) is designed to ensure that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. Articles that arise from NIH-funded grants must be submitted to PMC (formerly PubMed Central) within 12 months of publication in a journal. This page provides a brief overview of the policy, what it entails, what the University Libraries can do to assist you in this process, and where you can go to find additional information. Much of this information comes from NIH Public Access Policy website, which contains more detailed information. It is very important that you read all information on the NIH Public Access Policy website.
Does this policy apply to you?
How to comply with the policy
The policy applies to you if your peer-reviewed article (research reports and reviews) is based on work in one or more of these categories:
- Directly funded by an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007- September 30, 2008) or beyond;
- Directly funded by a contract signed on or after April 7, 2008;
- Directly funded by the NIH Intramural Program.
- If NIH pays your salary.
This policy does not cover editorials, correspondence, or book chapters. Please note, that if you are the PI for the funded project, you are responsible for making sure that all articles coming out of the project are submitted, even if you are not an author. The University is also responsible for making sure this happens. For more information, see the NIH Public Access web site.
This is a three-step process.
First, you will need to make sure that the publication agreement (or any other copyright-transfer document) that you sign with a journal publisher allows submission to PMC. Consult the NIH web site for additional information about how to do this, including sample language and what to do if a journal publisher refuses to allow submission to PMC.
Second, submit your manuscript (the final, peer-reviewed version) to the NIH. This can be done by using the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system (by you, your support staff, or by the University Libraries staff). Some publishers may submit it for you. (With these first two options, you will still need to go into NIHMS to verify and personally approve the manuscript.) Other journals automatically submit all articles to PMC within 12 months of publications; if you publish in one of these journals, you do not have to do anything extra.
Third, when citing an article in NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports that falls under the policy AND was authored or co-authored by you or arose from your NIH award, you have to include the PMC reference number (PMCID) or the NIHMS ID number, if a PMCID has not been assigned yet. Usually the number can be found in PubMed, and more information is available on the how to include this number in your citation page. If you need help finding this number, contact the Mulford Health Science Library for assistance. What can the University Libraries do for you?
Submission. The University Libraries can submit manuscripts for you. For each manuscript, complete this form (to save to your computer, right-click on the link and select Save target as...) and email it, along with all files that go with the manuscript (manuscript text, tables, figures, supplemental data) to MulfordReference@utoledo.edu on the Health Science Campus or AskIt@utnet.utoledo.edu on the Main Campus (use only one). Once the manuscript has been submitted and processed, the PI will receive an email, indicating that the manuscript is ready for his or her approval. The requirements of this policy are NOT fulfilled until the PI has approved the manuscript in the NIHMS system. [By having the University Libraries submit a manuscript to NIH, you agree that you have proper copyright permissions from the copyright holder, which is usually the journal publisher.]
Training. If you or one of your staff members need training on submitting manuscripts to the NIHMS system, on the Health Science Campus contact Mulford Reference Assistance at 419.383.4218 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment. On the Main Campus, you may contact Wade Lee at 419.530.4490 or email@example.com.
Confirming that a journal submits articles to PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. Check the Public Access page or contact the journal.
Identifying PMC ID or NIHMS ID numbers for NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports. See the how to include this number in your citation page. If you need additional assistance, contact Mulford Reference Assistance.
NIH submission information
- NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS)
- NIHMS System Online Tutorials - includes tutorials for PI submissions and non-PI submissions
- FAQ for Investigators and Awardees
- NIH PubMed Submission Methods Videos -- Method C (12-minute .wmv file)
- NIH PubMed Submission Methods Videos -- Method D (6-minute .wmv file)
More information about the policy & other helpful links
- NIH Public Access - information about the requirements, submission guidelines, and answers to frequently asked questions
- Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy: Copyright Considerations and Options - from SPARC, Science Commons, and ARL - written by Michael W. Carroll, who is a lawyer with expertise in intellectual properly and copyright law; this white paper provides information for policymakers and administrators
- NIH Public Access Policy: Guide for Research Libraries - from ARL, implications of the NIH Public Access Policy from the libraries' perspective.
- Publisher Policies on the NIH Public Access Policy - from the Open Access Directory wiki
- PMC ID numbers in PubMed - from the National Library of Medicine