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NIH Public Access Policy: Submission Methods

NIH

How to Submit Your Paper: Submission Methods

There are 4 methods to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.  Authors may use whichever method is most appropriate for them and consistent with their publishing agreement.

Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) without author involvement.
Method B: Make arrangements to have the publisher deposit a specific final published article in PubMed Central.
Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PubMed Central yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).
Method D: Complete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

 

Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) without author involvement.

Some journals automatically deposit all NIH-funded final published articles in PubMed Central, to be made publicly available within 12 months of publication, without author involvement.  There is no fee for this service. If authors publish in one of these journals, no further action is required for compliance except to cite the PMCID reference number in future NIH applications, proposals and progress reports.  See the list of Method A journals at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm. 

 

Method B: Make arrangements to have the publisher deposit a specific final published article in PubMed Central.

Some publishers will deposit an individual final published article in PubMed Central upon author request.  These journals do not automatically deposit every NIH-funded paper in PMC.  Rather, the author can choose to arrange with the journal for the deposit of a specific article; this usually involves choosing the journal’s fee-based open access option for publishing that article.   Authors are responsible for making arrangements with the publisher for this service via publisher copyright agreement form. If authors exercise this option, no further action is required for compliance except to cite the PMCID reference number in future NIH applications, proposals and progress reports.  See the list of publishers at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/select_deposit_publishers.htm.

 

Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PubMed Central yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

Some publishers allow authors to self-submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to NIHMS; NIHMS prepares the manuscript for posting to PMC. Authors who exercise this option must retain the right to do so. When reviewing the copyright agreement form authors should confirm that the publisher will:

  • Allow the author to self-submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance of publication.
  • Allow the final peer-reviewed manuscript to be publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

If not, seek clarification from the publisher or use a different journal in order to be in full compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Submitting a final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central (PMC) via the NIHMS involves three tasks.  

Task 1: Deposit Manuscript Files and Link to NIH Funding
Task 2: Authorize NIH to Process the Manuscript
Task 3: Approve the PMC-formatted Manuscript for Public Display

Before self-submitting, authors will need to find out the stipulations that the journal publisher requires authors to follow. Stipulations are usually listed in the publisher copyright agreement form (embargo period, version to post, including DOI (Digital Object Identifier), link to final published version on journal web site, including full citation).

A Note on Timing: NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication and that all NIHMS tasks are complete within three months of publication.   The NIHMS will email the author and all PIs the citation with the PMCID once it is assigned; PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

For a video of this process, see Submitting an Article to PubMed Central (WMV Video - 12:01)

 

Method D: Complete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

In a variation of Method C, some publishers deposit the manuscript files in the NIHMS, provide contact information for a corresponding author, and designate the number of months after publication when the paper may be made publicly available in PMC. Authors complete all tasks outlined in Method C, with the exception of depositing the actual file.  Authors who exercise this option must retain the right to do so. When reviewing the copyright agreement form authors should confirm that the publisher will: 

  • Allow the author to self-submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance of publication.
  • Allow the final peer-reviewed manuscript to be publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

A Note on Timing:  Though a publisher may make the initial deposit of files under Method D, NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication and that all NIHMS tasks are complete within three months of publication.  The NIHMS will email the author and all PIs the citation with the PMCID once it is assigned; PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

For a video demonstrating author tasks on the NIHMS for Method D, see Approving Submission of an Article to PubMed Central (WMV Video - 6:26).

A list of Method D Publishers can be found at: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/select_deposit_publishers.htm.



Adapted from NIH Public Access Overview and Benard Becker Medical Library