Scholarly Communications

Learn about trends in scholarly publishing and communication.

About the NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy requires that Principal Investigators submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. The policy applies to all manuscripts accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008.
Compliance requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. Evidence of compliance must be provided in all NIH applications and reports.

As of July 1, 2013, papers that aren't compliant will cause funding delays for the supporting NIH grants. Detailed instructions on the submission process are available here from the JHU Libraries. The NYU Health Sciences Libraries have put together a great presentation outlining the compliance procedure.



  • In November 2012, NIH updated their reporting requirements to ensure compliance.
  • Use the NIHMS number in reports for the first three months after the article has been published.
  • After that you must use the article's PMCID in your NIH reports. It should appear at the end of the citation. PMCID:1234567
  • The PMCID will be emailed to the PI. It can also be found in PubMed and PubMed Central.
  • You can use the PMID to PMCID converter tool to search for PMCID numbers.

Managing Your Citations

  • RefWorks: Exporting from PubMed or PubMed Central will include the PMCID. The NIH output style will include the PMCID in your citations.
  • EndNote has an import filter and output style that includes PMCID number.
  • In July 2010, the myNCBI bibliography tool replaced the eRA Commons for bibliography management. Instructions are available from the eRA (click Manage Your Professional Bibliography (My NCBI), then How-to Step by Step).