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NIH Public Access Policy: Policy Process

Information and guidance for complying with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Step One: Determine Applicability

Does the NIH Public Access Policy apply to your paper?  Was your paper the result of NIH-funds?

The NIH Policy applies to ANY manuscript that:
* is peer-reviewed
* is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008

And arises from:
* Any direct funding 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. 
 
Note: This policy applies to all publications that are funded directly through the P30 Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) via Developmental or Early Phase Clinical Research Support funds and publications that result from the use of CCSG-supported shared resources.
 
Memorial Sloan Kettering requires all publications that result from use of any MSK Core Facility be deposited in PMC and obtain a PMCID. Once obtained, the PMCID must be included at the end of the full citation in applications and reports.
 
When a publication results from use of an MSK Core Facility that is funded by the CCSG, it is essential that the Core Grant be listed in the funding acknowledgements section of the published article.

Step Two: Address Copyright

Ensure your publishing agreement allows the paper/manuscript to be posted to PMC (PubMed Central) in accordance with Policy. Before you sign an author agreement or copyright transfer agreement, make sure that the publisher allows the paper/manuscript to be submitted to PMC.

Option A: Modify the publisher's copyright transfer agreement to retain the right to make the article available via PMC by adding the following language to the publication agreement: Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication for public archiving in PMC as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.

Option B: See MSK Docs for Addendum to Publication Agreements.

Step Three: Submit Paper

Submit paper/manuscript to PMC and approve public release. There are four methods to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PMC in compliance with Policy. Authors should use the most appropriate method and be consistent with their publishing agreement.  If you require assistance in determining which Method applies to you, contact Donna Gibson, Director of Library Services.

Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all final published articles in PMC without author involvement.
Some journals automatically deposit all NIH-funded final published articles in PMC, to be made available within 12 months of publication, without author involvement.  There is no fee for this service.  If an author publishes in one of these journals, no further action is required for compliance except that the author is responsible for citing the PMCID reference number in future NIH applications, proposals and progress reports. Upon acceptance for publication, the author should enter the citation into his/her MyNCBI/My Bibliography as a "forthcoming" paper.

You should be aware of the level of participation for Method A journals.  As PMC participating journals, there are three kinds of agreements (levels):

  • Full participation – journal deposits all its articles
  • Selective deposit – journal / publisher chooses which articles to deposit
  • NIH portfolio – journal deposits just those articles that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy, i.e., are NIH funded. (Note: If you publish in an NIH Portfolio journal and your paper does not have NIH support, you will likely need to deposit the peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript to the NIHMS)

The PMC Journal List page has participation details for each Full participation or NIH portfolio journal. The “Participation Level” column provides important information on whether a journal is participating and at what agreement level.
Review Method A Best Practices for ensuring compliance.

Method B: Make arrangement to have the publisher deposit a specific final published article in PMC.
Some publishers will deposit an author's final published article in PMC upon their request.  These journals do not automatically deposit every NIH-funded paper. Rather, the author can arrange with the journal for the deposit of a specific article; this usually involves choosing the journal's fee-based open access option for publishing the article. It is the author's responsibility to make appropriate arrangements with the publisher for this service via that publisher's copyright agreement form.  If the author exercises this option than no further action is required for compliance except to cite the PMCID reference number in future NIH applications, proposals and progress reports. 
Review Method B Best Practices for ensuring compliance.

Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).
Some publishers allow authors to self-submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to NIHMS, then NIHMS prepares the manuscript for posting to PMC. Authors who exercise this option must retain the right to do so.  When reviewing the publisher's copyright agreement form, the author should ensure that the publisher will:

  • Allow the author to self-submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance of publication.
  • Allow the final peer-reviewed manuscript to be publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.  If you are ensure of this publication date, please contact Donna Gibson, Director of Library Services.

If this is not apparent, authors are encouraged to seek clarification from the publisher.  They can also decide to publish in a different journal in order to be in full compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.  Authors can contact the MSK Reference Team to explore alternative journals.

Submitting a final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC via the NIHMS involves three tasks:
1. Deposit manuscript and any related files and link to NIH funding
2. Authorize NIH to Process the Manuscript (authors receive an email seeking approval)
3. Approve the PMC-formatted manuscript for public display (authors receive a second email seeking approval)

Before self-submitting, authors will need to find out the stipulations that the journal publisher requires authors to follow. These stipulations can usually be found in the publisher's copyright agreement form and include items such as: embargo period, which version to post, whether or not to include the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), and whether to link to the final published version on journal website.
Review Method C Best Practices for ensuring compliance. In addition, detailed information and instructions for submitting the NIH-funded manuscript can be found in a separate tab on this guide entitled: Submission Method C.

IMPORTANT NOTE: NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance of publication and that all NIHMS tasks are completed within three months of publication. The NIHMS will email the author and all PIs the citation with the PMCID once it is assigned; PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

Method D: Complete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).
In a variation of Method C, some publishers deposit the manuscript files in the NIHMS, provide contact information for a corresponding author, and designate the number of months after publication when the paper may be publicly available in PMC.  Authors complete all task outlined in Method C, with the exception of depositing the actual file(s).  Authors who exercise this option must retain the right to do so. When reviewing the copyright agreement form authors should confirm that the publisher will:
  • Allow the author to self-submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance of publication.
  • Allow the final peer-reviewed manuscript to be publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

Review Method D Best Practices for ensuring compliance.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Though a publisher may make the initial deposit of files under Method D, NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication and that all NIHMS tasks are completed within three months of publication. The NIHMS will email the author and all PIs the citation with the PMCID once assigned; PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

Step Four: Cite Papers

All papers that have been NIH-funded require a PMCID number to demonstrate compliance with the policy.  A PMCID is the only way for an author to show compliance.  Visit the tab Compliance within this LibGuide for details.

For Help, Contact:

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Donna Gibson

Contact:
Reference: 212-639-7439
Donna: 212-639-2109
Donna (Blackberry): 646-229-7383
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