Guidance for Retroactive Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy

NIH_Master_Logo_Vertical_2ColorCongratulations to all NIH-supported investigators who have achieved 100% compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy! For those who may have non-compliant publications, a new easy-to-use guide, Steps for Retroactive Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, is available on the HSLS Scholarly Communication LibGuide. Click on the NIH Public Access Policy tab and select either the MS Word document or the PDF version in the HSLS Tips section in the upper left corner.

Seven steps will guide you through

  • confirming applicability of the Policy;
  • using the PMID-PMCID Converter tool to check for status updates;
  • using the “Edit Status” function in My Bibliography;
  • what to do if there is no NIHMSID or PMCID assigned;
  • what to do if the responsible author is not timely in completing the process;
  • contacting journals for submission status; and
  • contacting the NIH and/or the NIHMS submission help desks.

Compliance begins with the publisher’s agreement: confirm the author’s right to deposit a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC (formerly PubMed Central). It should appear in the publisher’s agreement, in the journal’s Instructions to Authors, or other related section. If not, it may be necessary to attach the necessary language as supplied by NIH, or the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Author Addendum.

Question: “When working towards retroactive compliance, may an author submit the journal’s PDF to PubMed Central?”

Answer: As stated in the NIH Public Access Policy, the author must submit the final peer-reviewed journal manuscript upon acceptance for publication. This is usually a MS Word document. In the case of traditional publishers, authors generally do not retain the right to submit the publisher’s PDF. Thus, it is very important to keep a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript in the original format as submitted to the publisher. Always check the publisher’s agreement for specific details.

For more information, visit the HSLS Scholarly Communication LibGuide or send an e-mail to Andrea Ketchum.

~Andrea Ketchum