NIH Public Access Policy

Information and resources on the NIH Public Access Policy, including eligibility, processes and compliance.

NIH Public Access Policy Update

Starting on July 1, 2013, for non-competing continuation grant awards, NIH will delay processing if publications arising from it are not in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. 

Articles resulting from NIH funding that have been published since April 2008 must be in PubMed Central (PMC) to be compliant.

On August 25, 2022 the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued updated policy guidance directing federal agencies to expedite access to results of federally funded research.  The results of taxpayer-supported research will be immediately available to the American public at no cost. In a memorandum to federal departments and agencies, Dr. Alondra Nelson, the head of OSTP, delivered guidance for agencies to update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost. All agencies will fully implement updated policies, including ending the optional 12-month embargo, no later than December 31, 2025.

Check your Compliance

  1. Sign in to your My NCBI account
    a. As of June 2022, PubMed no longer accepts My NCBI credentials and requires a 3rd party login
    b. Third party logins or federated credentials are credentials (username, password) you use on other sites such as Google, NIH, eRA Commons, ORCID, Login.gov, or your institution if it participates in InCommon.  You can use these to log into your NCBI accoun
    c. Use the steps below to link 3rd party logins to your account.
    1. Sign in directly to NCBI with your username and password.
    2. Click your username, which is located on the top right of the browser page.
    3. Click “Change” in the “Linked Account” portlet.
    4. Locate the 3rd party account of your choice using the search bar.
    5. You will be transferred to the 3rd party’s sign in page. Enter your credentials there for the 3rd party account.
  2. Link your My NCBI login to your eRA Commons account (if eRA Commons is not your primary login)
    a. Listed as "NIH & eRA Commons" in the list of partner accounts
  3. Add citations to My Bibliography via PubMed
    a. Search for your publications on PubMed
    b. Check each publication
    c. Click "Send to:" and choose "My Bibliography"
    d. Save
  4. In the "My Bibliography" section of the My NCBI Home page, click on the link that says some of the citations in "My Bibliography" are not compliant with NIHPA (assuming you have non-compliant citations)
  5. Sort your publications list by Public Access Compliance using the Display Settings

Submit to PMC

If you find that you have non-compliant citations, you will need to submit them to PMC.  There are four different submission methods.  The method you use will depend on the journal/publisher associated with each citation.

NIH Help and Training

The NIH Public Access website offers overviews of the policy and the recent changes, along with help documents.

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