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NIH Public Access Policy

What is the current status of the article?

Each article in My Bibliography will have an icon indicating its status. An article can be in compliance (green), in process (yellow), or out of compliance (red).

Green indicates that there is a PMCID associated with the article. Yellow indicates that the article is in the process of being added to PubMed Central via NIHMS. Red indicates that the article *should* have a PMCID because it is associated with funding, but it does not. 

There is also the "N/A" icon, which indicates that the article does not fall under the policy and the "?" icon, which usually means the article is not associated with any funding (click here to see how to add funding).

If you have a red or yellow icon...

Is the publication date of the article more or less than 3 months ago?

  • If it is more than three months ago, your article is currently out of compliance and it could not be included in a progress report.
  • If it is less than three months ago, you're okay for now, but you should probably follow the steps below to get the article in compliance before the three month grace period ends.

Is the article even relevant for the grant?

Sometimes grants get associated with publications under mysterious circumstances. If the article is not relevant to a grant it's associated with in My Bibliography, you may be able to disassociate it. Look at the grant number(s) listed below the article. If the grant does NOT have a gold or silver lock next to it, you can remove the association in My Bibliography. Learn how to do so here.

Does the article need to be submitted to PMC?

If the article 

  • Was not peer-reviewed
  • Was accepted for publication before April 7, 2008
  • Is printed in a script other than Latin (Korean, Russian)
  • Was not directly supported by NIH funds active in FY08 or after

Then you don't need to submit it to PMC. You can indicate the status by clicking "Edit Status" or see more details here.

If the article was funded by a NIH grant and falls under the policy, you will need to have it submitted to PMC. 

Does the article already have a NIHMSID (NIH Manuscript Submission System ID) listed in My Bibliography?

If so, then someone has started the process already. You can login to NIHMS (with your eRA commons or My NCBI credentials) and look up the status with the PMID or NIHMSID. There are several approval steps involved in getting an article through this system. By looking it up, you can find out where it is in that process and who has been assigned to manage it (this person is called the reviewer).

Depending on the status, you may need to contact the reviewer to remind them to approve the manuscript, contact NIHMS if there are any issues or delays on their end, or reassign reviewer duties to yourself, another author (or the PI). 

If the article does not have a NIHMSID in My Bibliography...

What is the submission method required by the publisher?

Check to see if it is Method A by searching or browsing for the journal on this list.

If it is Method A, you will want to contact the journal's publisher with the citation, PMID, and grant number it was funded by and request that they add the article to PMC and send you the PMCID when available. They should be able to submit the article directly to PMC.

If not Method A, check to see if it's Method D by searching for the publisher of the journal on this list.

If it's Method D, you will want to contact the journal's publisher with the citation, PMID, grant number it was funded by, and the name and email of an author from the paper who will act as reviewer and approve the article as it moves through NIHMS. The publisher should be able to submit the manuscript of the article directly to NIHMS and assign the reviewer. Whoever is assigned as reviewer will then need to log in to NIHMS as needed to approve the manuscript at several steps before it is added to PMC and assigned a PMCID.

If it is not Methods A or D, it is probably Method C.

If it's Method C, someone will need to submit the manuscript to NIHMS. They will usually need the final peer reviewed manuscript, PMID, embargo period required by the publisher, grant number it was funded by, and the name and email of an author from the paper who will act as reviewer and approve the article as it moves through NIHMS. Anyone with this information may begin submission through NIHMS. More about NIHMS, the process, and help on the NIHMS site.