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NIH Public Access Policy

Copyright Agreement

Authors need to ensure that any copyright agreement between themselves and their publisher permits the submission of the author's manuscript to PubMed Central. At this time, most publishers acknowledge an author's right to submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC in order to comply with the policy. Further, many publishers will submit the final published version to PMC automatically for you.

Retaining these rights and alerting publishers that the article falls under the policy should occur at the time the manuscript is accepted for publication.

1. Check whether the journal you will publish in is on the list of journals that submits to PMC automatically on your behalf.

2. If the journal you will publish in is not found there, you can review the policies of publishers that do not submit final published articles to PMC for policy details regarding what you can submit and when the paper may be made public in PMC following publication. The SHERPA/RoMEO database collects similar information on copyright and self-archiving policies for specific journals.

3. For publishers that do not explicitly allow deposit in PMC, the NIH provides the following example of language that could be added to a copyright agreement,

“Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.”