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NIH Public Access Policy: How to Comply

Step by step instructions regarding new NIH law for Yale staff, faculty, and researchers- provided by the Yale Medical Library.


The NIH 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 immediately upon acceptance for publication. 

Although the record for the article will be located in PubMed Central, some publishers may require you to embargo the full text of the article for a specified period of time.  However, the Policy requires that publishers make the full text of these papers accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

How to Comply

All of your papers that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy, whether in press or in print, must include evidence of compliance in all of your NIH applications and reports.

  • Determine Applicability - Does the NIH Public Access Policy apply to your paper?
  • Address Copyright - Ensure your publishing agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • Submit Paper - Submit papers to PubMed Central and approve public release.
  • Include PMCID in Citations - Include the PMCID at the end of the full citation in your application or report.
    You do not need to find PMCIDs for all articles in an NIH grant application, proposal or progress report. You only need to include the PMCID when citing applicable papers that you author or that arise from your NIH-funded research.


If you have any questions or need help complying with the NIH Public Access Policy, please contact the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at