Skip to main content

NIH Public Access Policy: Policy Process

Information on the NIH Public Access Policy

Determine if your paper applies

The NIH Public Access Policy applies to your manuscript if it:

  • is peer-reviewed
  • was accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008
   And 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. 

The NIH Public Access Policy Does NOT Apply to the Following:

  • Books or Book Chapters
  • Editorials
  • Articles accepted for publication BEFORE April 7, 2008
  • Articles resulting from work funded by sources other than NIH
  • Other materials that are NOT peer-reviewed

Address Copyright

Ensure your publishing agreement allows the paper/manuscript to be posted to PMC (PubMed Central) in accordance with Policy. Before you sign an author agreement or copyright transfer agreement, make sure that the publisher allows the paper/manuscript to be submitted to PMC. You can use SHERPA/RoMEO to find an overview of common publisher copyright and self-archiving policies.

As an author, it is your responsibility to make sure that you retain sufficient rights to deposit your materials in PubMed Central.

Option A: Modify the publisher's copyright transfer agreement to retain the right to make the article available via PMC by adding the following language to the publication agreement: Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication for public archiving in PMC as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.

Option B: Submit an addendum to Publication Agreements. The SPARC Author Addendum is an example of an addendum you could download and use to secure a wider range of copyrights. To use an addendum, modify it for your use and attach it to the publisher's original agreement, sign it, and return it along with the original agreement.


Submit Paper

See our detailed instruction on the submission process

Cite Paper

Find more information on citing papers

Find Help



eRA Commons

Toll-free: 866-504-9552
Phone: 301-402-7469


Help Desk Report Form