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Managing NIH Public Access Compliance: Applicability

This guide explains the NIH Public Access Policy, the process for submitting peer-reviewed articles to PubMed Central and how to use NIH tools to manage and verify compliance.

Role of author

Every author should answer these questions to determine if their journal articles are subject to the NIH Mandate, and if so, submit them to PubMed Central in a timely way.

NIH Research Fellow?

You are expected to comply with the NIH Mandate. See Registering Research Fellows in eRA Commons to ensure you have an eRA Commons account affiliated with the UA.

Who is responsible?

NIH ultimately holds the Principal Investigator/NIH Awardee responsible for compliance, even when they are not the author or co-author.

PIs may assign a delegate to submit manuscripts to PMC and manage other aspects of compliance.

Does the NIH Mandate apply to your manuscript?


 Manuscript yes no

1. Arises from:

  • any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond, or;
  • Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, or;
  • Any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program, or;
  • An NIH employee
2. Is peer-reviewed    
3. Has been accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008*    

If you answered YES to ALL 3 questions, you are required to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy and ensure that your article is deposited in PubMed Central and made publicly accessible within 12 months of publication.

Okay, now what do I do?

start thinkingStart thinking about how you will comply with NIH's Public Access Policy. 

When selecting a journal to submit your article to, find out what the publisher's policies are with regard to the NIH Public Access Policy. Here are some ways to do that:

If you are an author but not the PI, notify the PI that you are working on a manuscript so it can be reported

Register for a My NCBI account and link it to your eRA Commons account.