There are 4 submission methods:
Journal deposits final published articles in PubMed Central without author involvement
Author asks publisher to deposit specific final published article in PMC
Author deposits final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via the NIHMS
Author completes submission of final peer-reviewed manuscript deposited by publisher in the NIHMS
You may use whichever submission method you prefer as long as it is consistent with your publishing agreement.
Some publishers do not automatically deposit NIH-funded published articles in PMC, but will make arrangements to deposit your paper upon your request (usually for a fee). This is Method B. Contact your journal directly for details, or check this list of journals and publishers who have arranged with NIH to follow this method. You may still need to approve what the publisher submits.
If your publisher does not deposit your published article directly into PMC, you or a delegate (Method C), or the publisher (Method D) will need to submit your final, peer-reviewed manuscript (not the published version) to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).
After you have determined which method you will use to submit your article, click on the selected Method above or for a timeline and best practices.
You (or someone you delegate) can submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript (not the final published version) to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). Submitting to NIHMS is the only way an author can submit manuscripts to be added into PMC, if the journal publisher doesn't deposit it for them.
Step 1. Deposit your files as shown above. Anyone can submit, but an author or PI should serve as the reviewer. Reviewers will be notified of the submission via email.
Step 2. The reviewer associates funding and approves the material for processing.
Step 3. NIHMS converts complete deposits to PMC-ready documents and notifies the reviewer via email when they're ready (2-3 weeks).
Step 4. Reviewer requests corrections to or approves PMC-ready documents for inclusion in PMC.
Step 5. A PMCID is assigned when final approval is complete and the manuscript is matched to a Pub-Med record.
Step 6. Material is available in PMC.