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NIH Public Access Policy

The four submission methods

Method A | Publish your article in a journal that automatically submits to PMC. If you use this method, tasks related to the submission step of compliance will be completed for you by the publisher. It is important to let these publishers know that the article was NIH funded at the time of acceptance.  For a listing of journals that submit for you, click here.

Method B | Make arrangements to have a publisher deposit a specific final published article in PMC. Submission to PMC is free, but some publishers will charge a fee to do this for you. Paying the publisher is not necessary if you or a third party submit the manuscript yourself (via Method C). For a listing of publishers that will support authors using method B, click here.

For Methods C & D
NIH Manuscript Submission System

Go Directly to NIHMS
View NIHMS Help & FAQs

Method C | Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). This system is easy to use and submission can be done by the author or a third party in your lab or department.  Check selected publishers' policies or Sherpa-Romeo.

Method D | This is a variation of method C. In this case, the publisher submits the manuscript to NIHMS, usually assigning the corresponding author as reviewer. NIHMS will contact the reviewer when the submission has been received by them. The reviewer is responsible for all approval tasks related to NIHMS processing following the initial deposit by the publisher. Click here for a list of publishers that submit via this method.

For a list of publishers and their specific policies on submission of final peer-reviewed manuscripts (Methods B, C & D), click here.

Note: Regardless of the submission method used, you are still required to cite PMCIDs in NIH documents. For more information on this step of compliance see the section on citing PMCIDs.

Overview of Submission Methods

  Method A
Journal deposits final published articles in PubMed Central without author involvement
Method B
Author asks publisher to deposit specific final published article in PMC
Method C
Author deposits final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via NIHMS
Method D
Author completes submission of final peer-reviewed manuscript deposited by publisher in NIHMS
Version of Paper Submitted Final Published Article Final Published Article Final Peer-reviewed Manuscript Final Peer-reviewed Manuscript
Task 1: Who starts the deposit process? Publisher Publisher Author or designee, via NIHMS Publisher
Task 2: Who approves paper for processing? Publisher Publisher Author or PI, via NIHMS Author or PI, via NIHMS
Task 3: Who approves paper for PubMed Central display? Publisher Publisher Author or PI, via NIHMS Author or PI, via NIHMS
Participating journal/publisher Method A Journals Make arrangements with these publishers Check publisher agreement or Sherpa-Romeo Make arrangements with these publishers
Who is Responsible? NIH Awardee NIH Awardee NIH Awardee NIH Awardee

Adapted from NIH Public Access Policy site