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NIH Public Access Policy

Need Help?

The following resources provide additional guidance and assistance on how to submit your papers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the journal I'm publishing in submit the paper to PubMed Central for me, or do I have to do it myself?
Some publishers automatically submit all papers in their journal to PubMed Central; others do so only if the author specifically requests it.  Some publishers do not submit to PMC at all, in which case you as the author will have to do so yourself.  Remember that it is ultimately your responsibility as the author to ensure that you are in compliance with NIH Public Access Policy.  For more information about how to submit and to find out whether your journal or publisher automatically submits, see NIH's page on Submission Methods.

Do I have to submit a data management plan with my NIH grant?
While NIH strongly encourages researchers to share their data to the greatest extent possible, at this time there is no formal requirement for the inclusion of a data management plan as with NSF grant applications, except for researchers requesting more than $500,000 in NIH funding.  For more information about NIH's Data sharing Policy, see their website.  If you are seeking more than $500,000 and would like assistance with writing a data management plan, check out the DMP Tool, which provides guidance and customizable templates for DMPs for NIH, NSF, and other funders.

Am I responsible for papers that arise from my NIH grant funding, but on which I am not an author?
Principal Investigators are responsible for all papers that arise from their NIH grant funding, even if they are not listed as authors or co-authors.  You should work with your authors to ensure that they comply with the policy.

My paper has an NIHMSID, but no PMCID.  How do I complete the process of submission to PMC?
There are several steps in the Method C submission process that require the author to complete an action.  If your paper has an NIHMSID, but no PMCID, it could be stalled in the submission process.  Log in to the NIHMS and check your queue to see if any of your papers require further action.

Have other questions that aren't on the list?  Check out the NIH FAQ or send us an email!