Investigator Resources

NIH Public Access Compliance Instructions

Manuscripts that fall under NIH Public Access Policy must be uploaded by an author, publisher or a delegate to PubMed Central (not the same as PubMed), depending on the method the publisher has mandated for a given journal. CTSC investigators and scholars who are not familiar with the process are urged to take advantage of the manuscript deposition service offered by the CTSC by sending an email request. The handouts below may also be helpful.

CTSC Instructions Sheets
  • Cite, Share, Submit Handout

    The NIH requires all publications resulting from federally funded (including CTSC-supported) research to acknowledge that support in publications and posters AND to comply with the NIH Public Access policy.

    This handout provides the text to use in the acknowledgement sections of your manuscript, as well as a brief description of the steps to comply with NIH Public Access Policy.

    Cite, Submit, Share Handout
  • NIH Public Access Policy Checklist for CTSC Investigators and Scholars

    This handout provides a detailed list of steps for compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. It also includes suggestions for receiving assistance from the CTSC at all stages of this process.

    NIH Public Access Policy Checklist
  • NIH Public Access Policy Submission Methods

    This chart compares the four methods that are used by publishers or authors to comply with NIH Public Access Policy. It also includes useful links to help authors determine the level of support that a given publisher or journal will likely provide.

    NIH Submission Methods Chart
NIH Public Access Policy FAQs

PubMed is a database of citations and abstracts for more than 26 million articles. PMC is an electronic archive of full-text journal articles, offering free access to its contents. PMC contains more than 3 million articles, most of which have a corresponding entry in PubMed.
In fact, the journal Nature reports that authors’ failure to understand the difference between PubMed and PubMed Central is the most frequently offered reason for their noncompliant articles.

The NIH Public Access Policy is based on a law that requires investigators to submit "their final, peer-reviewed" manuscripts to PubMed Central.
Final peer-reviewed manuscript: The Investigator's final manuscript of a peer-reviewed paper accepted for journal publication, including all modifications from the peer review process. 
Final published article: The journal’s authoritative copy of the paper, including all modifications from the publishing peer review process, copy editing and stylistic edits, and formatting changes.
Note: Galley proofs and other intermediate versions of the article created after acceptance by the publisher are not substitutes for the final peer reviewed manuscript.
Always retain a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript as you may need it to comply with public or open access policies.

The easiest way for CTSC researchers and scholars to get help is to contact the CTSC Concierge. We will:

  • Answer your questions
  • Determine the method your journal uses to help you comply with NIH Public Access Policy
  • Contact publishers on your behalf
  • Upload your final, peer reviewed manuscript to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system upon your request
  • Provide one-on-one or group assistance for any steps in the compliance process