Skip to Main Content

NIH Public Access Policy

The four submission methods

There are four ways to upload a paper to PubMed Central (PMC). You'll need to be aware of whether your publisher will submit the paper to PMC on your behalf, or whether you will need to initiate or follow up on the process in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). 

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.

NIHMS & PMC Deposit Tutorials

The NIHMS Step-by-Step Tutorials illustrate how to perform various actions in the NIHMS system:

The Deposit and Initial Approval video provides a detailed demonstration of the manuscript submission process, including how to associate funding, upload required files, and approve the submission for NIHMS conversion to PMC-ready documents.