NIH Public Access Policy
The NIH's Public Access Policy requires that all papers resulting from NIH-funded research must be deposited in the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central within 12 months of publication so that the articles are accessible to the public. The policy applies to peer-reviewed articles and must include comprehensive information on how authors perform the following actions:
- Determine applicability
- Address copyright
- Submit paper to PubMed Central (4 available methods)
- Include PMCID in citations
A publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement must allow the author’s paper to be posted to PubMed Central (PMC) in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy. The Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine will help the author generate a form that can be attached to a journal publisher's copyright agreement to ensure certain rights are retained. Each addendum gives the author non-exclusive rights to create derivative works from the article and to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, and publicly display the article in connection with the author’s teaching, conference presentations, lectures, other scholarly works, and professional activities. However, the addendums differ with respect to how soon the final published version is available and whether others are authorized to re-use the author’s work in various ways. For journals that submit to PubMed automatically, authors may use the NIH Public Access Sample Addenda Letter to assist with this process.