Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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 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 how 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, the NIH Public Access Policy does not apply. 

Applications, proposals, or progress reports to NIH must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) when citing articles that arise from the submitting PI's 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. NIH has suggested language to help you do this.
    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 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.  

Janna Lawrence

Profile Photo
Janna Lawrence
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences