NIH Public Access Compliance: By the Numbers and Tips for Authors

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.

PubMed Central recently hit the milestone of having 1 million NIH-funded articles available free to the public in PubMed Central.

Since 2006, Becker Library and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research have worked together to promote compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. Services include contacting publishers and NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) on behalf of NIH-funded authors, running publication reports to determine compliance status for applicable publications and to spot-check publications that may have omitted acknowledgment of a grant award, submitting manuscripts to NIHMS, and providing guidance on proactive compliance.

By the Numbers

  • The NIH Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS) processes 75,000 papers annually
  • 6 out of 10 NIH-funded papers submitted to NIHMS are author manuscripts
  • 13 funders (including NIH) utilize PubMed Central (PMC) to allow for public access to funded papers
  • 2 million users access PMC each weekday
  • There are 3 million papers in PMC
  • In 2017, over 1 billion papers were retrieved from PMC
  • 23,532 NIH-funded papers were published by Washington University in St. Louis authors from April 2007 to March 2019

Tips for Authors

Do you have a compliance plan for the NIH Policy in place? A compliance plan includes:

  • Citing NIH funding support in papers
  • Determining applicability
  • Determining how a paper will be assigned a PMCID via Submission Method used by the journal
  • Informing the publisher that a paper is funded by NIH and requires a submission to NIHMS/PMC
  • Confirming that papers are submitted to NIHMS/PMC upon acceptance
  • Adding the citation to the paper to My Bibliography
  • Obtaining a PMCID for applicable papers within 90 days post-publication

If you need help with your compliance plan or want to schedule a training, please contact Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter.

More information is available in Becker Library’s NIH Public Access Policy Guide.