The NIH Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research applies to peer-reviewed articles accepted for journal publication—not to letters to the editor, editorials, or other submitted materials. NIH is strongly encouraging you to deposit your articles, completed with partial or full NIH funding, to PubMed Central (PMC) as a means of preserving research findings. While PubMed Central is a proven, reliable digital repository, NIH does not expect PMC to be the only repository of articles in which you may choose to deposit your research.
In developing the policy, NIH took the concerns of all stakeholders into account and balanced the interests of the public and publishers. The policy is not a requirement, but a request. However, depositing your articles in the NIH repository brings you several benefits. By choosing to submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC, you will be:
Your role in the process
The policy does not mandate how and where to publish research articles, nor does it change the ability of researchers or publishers to assert copyright. As an author who wants to follow the NIH's request for deposit, you will have to take the following steps:
Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication or thereafter, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible after publication by Journal.
Where to publish
SPARC encourages you to publish your papers in journals that already deposit their papers in PMC. Most PMC journal articles are freely available immediately, while others in the repository wait to provide access for anywhere from a couple of months to a year after publication. As part of the listing for each journal in the repository, PMC supplies the public access embargo for each journal. If you choose to publish in other journals, be sure to deposit your manuscript in PMC and exercise your right to stipulate that they be posted online immediately upon publication.
For more help in supporting NIH's Public Access Policy, visit the links to the left on this page and contact your NIH grant specialist and the scholarly communications designate at your institution's library.