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Scholarly Publishing & Research Impact

Information about assessing researchers, publications, and journals and increasing the impact of your scholarship.

Policy Overview

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.




  1. Mandatory for any publication directly funded by the NIH
  2. Some journals submit manuscripts automatically on your behalf (list here:
  3. If not submitted by the journal, authors must self-submit to PMC (instructions here:
  4. Manuscripts must be shared within 12-months of publication (note that journals may have an embargo period before you may self-submit to PMC)
  5. Contact the Health Sciences Library for a consultation about the policy and submitting your work!