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NIH Public Access Help: NIH Public Access Policy


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 is accepted for publication before April 7, 2008, or your article 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 is 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.

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.

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Leo Clougherty
Sciences Library


University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA 52242