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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.

Linking My Bibliography to eRA Commons

To check and make sure your publications are in compliance with the NIH public access policy, you will need to use the My Bibliography tool in MyNCBI.

Once you have a MyNCBI account, or if you have an existing account, you will need to connect it to your eRA Commons account that you use to manage NIH grant applications and awards.

To connect your MyNCBI account with your eRA Commons account:

  1. Select the eRA Commons button on the NCBI log in page
    Screenshot of the NCBI sign in page displaying the eRA Commons button

  2. You can use your PIV card, mobile PIV-D credentials, or eRA Commons account credentials to log inThe eRA Commons sign in screen showing the different options for signing ine

  3. Follow the My NCBI instructions for linking to an existing My NCBI account or creating a new account

Associating Funding With Your Publications in My Bibliography

Once you have added your publications to My Bibliography, you can associate them with your NIH or HRA awards, if they are not already linked. That is how you can check whether or not they are compliant with the public access policy.

To link an individual publication to an award:

  1. Click the "Add Award" option to the right of the publication you want to link to an award

  2. From the options that display, choose the correct award, and it will link it to your publication. 

Checking Compliance Status of Your Publications in My Bibliography

Once you have linked publications not associated with awards to the correct awards, you will be able to see whether or not they are currently in compliance, and if they are not, begin the process to make them compliant.

If you have linked one award or more to the publication, and the status is My Bibliography is green, then it is in compliance and you do not need to take any further steps. A compliant publication should include a PMCID (ID number for the publication in PubMed Central) and a link to the award(s) associated with the publication.

An example of a compliant publication in My Bibliography including the PMCID number for the article and the linked awards

If you have linked one award or more to the publication, and the status in My Bibliography is red, then you may need to take action to ensure compliance with the policy.  

Initiating the Compliance Process in My Bibliography

To begin the process of making your publication compliant:

  1. Click the "Edit Status" link to the right of the publication in My Bibliography


  2. If the publication is not related to an NIH award or other applicable award, you should choose "No" in answer to the question "Did the NIH support this citation, in whole or in part?" on the pop-up "Edit Public Access Compliance Status" form                                                                                   
    The article will then display as gray with a "Non-Applicable" status in My Bibliography.

  3. If the publication is linked to an NIH or other applicable award, you should choose "Yes" in answer to the question "Did the NIH support this citation, in whole or in part?" on the pop-up "Edit Public Access Compliance Status" form

  4. When you choose yes, options for how to proceed will display on the web form
    It will depend on the submission method required by the journal it was published in what steps you will need to take. To check the submission methods required by your journal publisher, you can check Manuscript Submission Methods