NIH Public Access Policy

In April of 2008, a the NIH Public Access was enacted – a law requiring NIH-funded researchers to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central (PMC). Full texts of the articles are made publicly available and searchable online in PMC no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.

Since the implementation of the policy, more than the PubMed Central database has grown to include more than 2.5 million full text articles, with over 700,000 unique users accessing the database every day. The NIH Public Access Policy effectively addresses the public’s growing need for high-quality health information and promotes accelerated scientific advancement in the biomedical sciences.

The NIH has provided a comprehensive set of resources to explain the details of the policy:

SPARC has also provided key resources to help the library community understand and comply with the NIH Policy.

As libraries and administrators explore local approaches to education and compliance, please keep in mind these additional helpful resources that are currently available:

For additional information on background, supporters, and how you can get involved, visit the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.

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Why Access Matters