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5 Things to Know About the NIH Public Access Policy

1. What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central (

2. Who must comply?

All researchers publishing work arising from NIH funding must deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript or published article in PMC. Applicable NIH funding includes any direct funding from an NIH grant, cooperative agreement, NIH contract or NIH Intramural Program.

3. What types of publications are subject to the mandate?

The final manuscript of peer-reviewed journal articles, research reports, and reviews that result from NIH funding are required to be submitted to PMC. Works that are not peer-reviewed, such as correspondence, book chapters, and editorials are not covered by this policy.

4. What are the benefits of posting peer-reviewed papers to PMC?

Papers posted to PMC become more accessible and make it easier for all scientists to pursue NIH's research priority areas competitively. In addition, clinicians, patients, educators, and students can better reap the benefits of papers arising from NIH funding by accessing them on PMC at no charge.

5. How do I comply with the NIH policy?

Complying with the NIH policy is easy:

  • Publish with a journal that automatically posts copies of published articles to PMC (Method A)
  • Make arrangements with a journal or publisher to post the published article to PMC (Method B)
  • Submit the manuscript yourself to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system on acceptance for publication (Method C)
  • Publish with a journal that will deposit final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to the NIHMS for you (Method D)

Learn more at:

For assistance, contact the WSU Shiffman Medical Library or send an e-mail to

NIH Public Access Policy Resources