NIH Public Access Policy

How to Comply

Authors may submit a paper to the journal of their choice for publication. There are four methods to ensure that a manuscript is submitted to PubMed Central in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

  • Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all NIH-funded final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) without author involvement.
  • Method B: Make arrangements to have a publisher deposit a specific final published article in PubMed Central.
  • Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).
  • Method D: Complete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). See:
Scholarly Communication & Publishing at the UW-Madison Libraries offers services and educational materials related to the NIH Public Access Policy.

How to cite your article

If you publish in a journal that deposits all NIH-fund final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) without author involvement, or if you make arrangements to have a publisher deposit your final published article in PMC, (Methods A or B, respectively), a PMCID may not be assigned until several weeks after publication. During this time, please signify compliance with the policy by indicating PMC Journal - In Process at the end of the citation.

For example:

McEniry, Mary, Alberto Palloni, Ana Luisa Davila, and Alberto Garcia Gurucharri. 2008. "Early Life Exposure to Poor Nutrition and Infectious Diseases and Its Effects on the Health of Older Puerto Rican Adults." The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 63(6):S337-48. PMCID: PMC Journal - In Process


In accordance with Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 ), the NIH voluntary Public Access Policy (NOT-OD-05-022) is now mandatory.

The new policy is effective April 7, 2008. All accepted, peer-reviewed manuscripts (not the print-ready copy) arising, in whole or in part, from direct costs funded by NIH, must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. These manuscripts will be made publicly available on PubMed Central within 12 months of the publication date.

Beginning May 25, 2008, all NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) when citing an article that falls under the policy and is authored or co-authored by the investigator or arose from the investigator's NIH award. The NIH Manuscript Submission ID (NIHMSID) may be used until the PMCID is issued.

It is important to comply with this policy in its entirety. NIH has indicated that a failure to comply with this statutory requirement may delay a future grant or jeopardize future research funding.

Who Is Affected?

The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all peer-reviewed articles that arise, in whole or in part, from direct costs(1) funded by NIH, or from NIH staff, that are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008. This applies to you if your peer-reviewed article is based on research work in one of the following categories:

  • NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 08(2) or beyond.
  • Contract signed on or after April 7, 2008.
  • NIH Intramural program.
  • NIH pays your salary.

1. "Costs that can be specifically identified with a particular project or activity."
2. NIH Fiscal Year 08 (October 1, 2007 - September 30, 2008)

Resources for CDE and CDHA researchers

How to comply with the policy

Compliance policies for social science journals (from Carolina Population Center)

NIH Tutorials: How to submit manuscripts to PubMed Central

Frequently Asked Questions


UW-Madison Ebling Library NIH Public Access Policy FAQ

Other informational resources

UW Madison Libraries Scholarly Communication and Publishing

UW Madison Ebling Library NIH Public Access Policy web site

UW Madison Libraries training session powerpoint

Important Grant Numbers

Center for Demography and Ecology: P2C HD047873

Center for Demography of Health and Aging: P30 AG17266

NICHD Training Grant (Demography and Ecology): T32 HD07014

NIA Training Grant (Population, Life Course and Aging): T32 AG00129

Fogarty Training Grant (International Training in Population Health): D43 TW01586