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Iowa State University

NIH Public Access Policy   Tags: nih_public_access  

Information and resources to help researchers comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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NIH News

NIH notice: Public access policy compliance to impact funding distribution

On Friday, November 16, 2012 the NIH announced “that in Spring, 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy. The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance.” (NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-160).

NIH notice: Public Access Compliance Monitor: A New Resource for Institutions to Track Public Access Compliance

On January 9, 2013, the NIH announced "the release of the Public Access Compliance Monitor, a web-based tool that institutions can use to track compliance of publications that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy." (NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-13-020) (Note: In order to use this tool, you must be assigned the PACR or Public Access Compliance Role.)


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The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. Effective April 7, 2008, the NIH Public Access Policy requires that all peer-reviewed articles arising from NIH funds are submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.  PubMed Central is the digital archive of the National Library of Medicine.

To help advance science and improve human and animal health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

NIH further requires investigators to include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) in all subsequent NIH grant applications, proposals, and progress reports as evidence of compliance.

NIH Public Access Policy Fact Sheet (Feb 2012) discusses the implications of the policy.

A (not so) friendly reminder: NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the Public Access mandate. NOT-OD-12-160 (Nov 2012)

Additional information (February 14, 2013): Changes to Public Access Policy Compliance Efforts Apply to All Awards with Anticipated Start Dates on or after July 1, 2013. NOT-OD-13-042

Changes to the NIH Public Access Policy and the Implications to Awards (Jan. 15, 2013 Webinar from NIH. A transcript/presentation slides are available.)


How to Comply

The PI is responsible for compliance throughout the process.

  1. Determine Applicability [NIH]
    Does the NIH Public Access Policy apply to your manuscript?
  2. Address Copyright
    Make sure your publishing agreement allows your work to be posted to PubMed Central (PMC).
  3. Determine the "Journal Method"
    In Journal Methods A & B, the publisher submits the manuscript to PMC and approves the public release. In Journal Methods C & D, the manuscript goes through the NIH Manuscript Submission system, and you approve the public release.
  4. Cite PMCIDs in Reports and Applications
    Include the PMCID at the end of the full citation in your application or report. The PMCID is your evidence of compliance.

Becker Library (Washington University) has prepared a 1-page flowchart/overview, "Compliance Methods for the NIH Public Access Policy."

The NIH Public Access Policy & Your Grant

  • The NIH Public Access Policy & Your Grant
    This 7 minute video was created by the NYU Health Sciences Libraries. Itbriefly covers the NIH Public Access policy, the submission process, and some of the major issues with achieving compliance.

Your Librarians

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ISU Scholarly Communications Librarians

Guide Credits

Thanks to Kate Anderson, University of Missouri, for allowing me to adapt her NIH Public Access Policy guide for Iowa State University.


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