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NIH Public Access Policy

NIH.gifApril 7, 2008 is an important date in the implementation of the NIH Public Access Policy; as of this date, all articles arising from NIH funds must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.

The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) which states:

SEC. 218. The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

According to the terms of the Public Access Policy, all peer-reviewed articles must be submitted to PubMed Central if they are based on work that is:

  1. Directly funded by an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007- September 30, 2008) or beyond;
  2. Directly funded by a contract signed on or after April 7, 2008;
  3. Directly funded by the NIH Intramural Program.
  4. If NIH pays your salary.

The publishers of some journals will submit articles directly to PubMed Central on behalf of their authors. Authors of articles published in other journals must submit them to PMC themselves; Principal Investigators and their Institutions are responsible for ensuring all terms and conditions of awards are met. This includes the submission of articles that arise directly from their awards, even if they are not an author or co-author of the publication.

Full information about the NIH Public Access Policy, including and FAQ and links to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system are available at

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