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NIH Public Access Policy


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy became effective April 7, 2008. The NIH requires that the author's final version of any peer-reviewed journal article resulting from NIH-funded activities must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC), NIH's digital repository, where it will be made available to the public within 12 months after the  article is published.

The information in this guide will help with several of the compliance issues Brown University authors will need to address and is organized around three steps to compliance:

  1. Address Copyright | Information on how to ensure your copyright agreement allows you to submit to PMC.
  2. Submit to PMC | Overview of submission methods with links to submission help and publisher policies.
  3. Cite PMCIDs | Detail on different types of PubMed IDs and links to help with MyBibliography.

The NIH Public Access Policy does NOT apply to the following:

  • Articles accepted for publication before April 7, 2008.
  • Articles which resulted from work that was not funded by NIH.
  • Books and book chapters.
  • Dissertations.
  • Any non peer-reviewed work, such as some conference proceedings or editorials.
  • (currently) Manuscripts printed in scripts other than Latin (like Russian or Japanese).


If you have questions about the policy or workshops contact your subject librarian:

For upcoming library workshops, you can check our calendar of events.


Can't make a workshop? We can schedule one and take it to you. Topics can include:

  • Basics of the NIH or NSF public access policies.
  • Using My Bibliography to manage grant reporting and compliance.
  • Using SciENcv to create, and store biosketches for NIH and NSF.