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Hardin Library for the Health Sciences

NIH Public Access Policy: NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research.


The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit peer-reviewed journal articles that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central. The Policy requires that these articles be accessible to the public on PubMed Central to help advance science and improve human health.

Are you required to comply?

If your article was accepted for publication before April 7, 2008, or is based on research funded by a grant that expired in FY 2007 or earlier, you do not need to comply with this law. Otherwise, if your article was accepted on or after April 7, 2008, you must submit your manuscript to PubMed Central. NIH has a thorough FAQ that can answer many questions, as well as tutorials that can show you what to do.

Beginning May 25, 2008, anyone submitting an application, proposal, or progress report to NIH must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) when citing articles that arise from their NIH funded research.

How to comply

  1. If your article is published in a journal that submits articles to PubMed Central, no further action is needed to comply.
  2. For articles published in other journals:
    1. Retain your copyright.
    2. Submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript.
  3. Cite articles in your grant applications using PubMed Central reference numbers.

In all cases, the PI is responsible for ensuring compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

What happens if I don't comply?

Since July 2013, NIH has blocked renewal of grants if papers arising from the grant have not been submitted to PubMed Central as required by the NIH Public Access Policy.  

Library Liaison

Janna Lawrence's picture
Janna Lawrence
I am Deputy Director of Hardin Library and also serve as Hardin's collection management librarian. Other areas of interest include scholarly communication and evidence-based practice.
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences