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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.

About MyNCBI

MyNCBI is a tool developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) that can be used in conjunction with various NCBI databases, including PubMed.

MyNCBI must be used by anyone receiving NIH funding to manage your publications connected to grant-funded projects and to ensure compliance with the NIH public access policy.

Creating a New MyNCBI Account

To create a new MyNCBI account:

Please note: There are other methods for authenticating to your MyNCBI account, but NIH-funded researchers should use the eRA Commons method. If you already have an NCBI account, you will need to link your NCBI account to eRA Commons.

  1. Go to PubMed

  2. Click the "Log in" button located at the top right of the screen 

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the "Sign up" link

  4. Choose the option to "Sign up using eRA Commons" (If you need your eRA Commons account information, you can contact the Office of Research Services & Outreach (ORSO))
    The NCBI account sign up page showing the option for signing up using eRA Commons

Please note: There are other methods for authenticating to your MyNCBI account, but NIH-funded researchers should use the eRA Commons method. If you already have an NCBI account, you will need to link your NCBI account to eRA Commons.

What is My Bibliography?

Once you have created a MyNCBI account, you can use the My Bibliography feature to add all of your publications and check to ensure that they are compliant with the public access policy. In order to check compliance, you will need to link your MyNCBI account to your eRA Commons account.

The My Bibliography feature can also be used along with the NIH SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae) researcher profile system to incorporate your publications into an NIH biosketch.

There are several different ways to add citations to My Bibliography.

Adding Publications from PubMed to My Bibliography

To add publications that are in PubMed to My Bibliography:

 Log in to your NCBI account

  1. Go to the My Bibliography section of your Dashboard and click Manage My BibliographyThe My Bibliography section of an NCBI account showing the link to Manage My Bibliography

  2. Click "Add Citations"

  3. From the "Add Citations" drop-down menu, choose "From PubMed"The "Add citations" menu in My Bibliography showing the "From PubMed" option

  4. Enter your search terms into the box--usually title words and/or your last name and initials--and click the "Search PubMed" button.

  5. Check the box(es) to the left of the article(s) you are adding to My Bibliography, and click "Add To My Bibliography"The "Add PubMed Citations to My Bibliography" pop-up window showing a check box next to a selected citation and the "Add To My Bibliography" button

Adding Publications from a File to My Bibliography

To add publications to My Bibliography from a file:

  1. Log in to your NCBI account

  2. Go to the My Bibliography section and click "Manage My Bibliography

  3. Click "Add Citations"

  4. From the drop-down menu, choose "From a file" 

  5. You can upload a file with citations in either MEDLINE or RIS format. A confirmation message indicates the number of citations added to your My Bibliography collection. (If the selected file has citations in a format other than MEDLINE or RIS, a message will indicate that the format is not supported.)
    Downloads folder showing an RIS file selected and ready to be uploaded to My Bibliography

Adding Publications Manually to My Bibliography

To manually add publications to My Bibliography:

  1. Log in to your NCBI account

  2. Go to the My Bibliography section and click "Manage My Bibliography"

  3. Click "Add Citations"

  4. From the drop-down menu, choose "Manually" 

  5. Use the pop-up web form to enter all of the available information about your publication (i.e., article title, author information, journal information) and click the "Add Citation" button at the bottom of the form