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NIH Public Access Policy

This guide provides an overview of the NIH Public Access Policy and how to ensure your research and publications are compliant with its requirements.

What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

The Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) which states:

SEC. 218. The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

The Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central. The Policy requires that these final peer-reviewed manuscripts be accessible to the public on PubMed Central to help advance science and improve human health.

What is the NIH Public Access Policy? 

Does it Affect Me?

This policy applies to any journal authors under the following criteria:

  • Is peer-reviewed;
  • And, is accepted for publication in a journal2 on or after April 7, 20083;
  • And, arises from:
    • Any direct funding4 from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond, or;
    • Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, or;
    • Any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program, or;
    • An NIH employee.

https://publicaccess.nih.gov/policy.htm