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NIH Public Access Policy: Overview

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

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides programs that are one of the anchors of the nation’s cancer research effort. There are currently 68 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers that form the backbone of NCI’s programs for studying and controlling cancer. Memorial Sloan Kettering is a comprehensive cancer center delivering cutting-edge cancer treatments through research, education and patient care.  Funding is provided by the P30 Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) (P30 CA008748).

Effective September 1, 2015, all peer-reviewed publications by MSK faculty or employees must:
(1) acknowledge the MSK CCSG in the funding acknowledgements;
(2) be deposited in PMC (PubMed Central) and assigned a PMCID and;
(3) be properly associated with the P30 Core Grant in MyNCBI/My Bibliography. 

Policy Overview

The NIH Public Access 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.

* Note: The version that should not be deposited into the NIHMS system is the .PDF as found on the journal's website.  This is an infringement on copyright.

In order to advance science and improve human health, the NIH is committed to providing free online access to full-text, peer-reviewed journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires every scientist who receives an NIH research grant and publishes the results in a peer-reviewed journal to deposit a digital copy of the article in its digital archive, PMC (formerly PubMed Central). In turn, the NIH will make these articles freely available within one year of publication.

UPDATE: Revised Guidelines and Related NIH Policies

NIH is planning to enhance the current NIH Public Access Policy aligned with the 2022 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy guidance. The new policy will go into effect no later than December 31, 2025.

Other NIH policies related to the Public Access Policy are:


To learn more about the NIH Public Access Policy, feel free to contact Jeanine McSweeney, Associate Librarian, Scholarly Communications.

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Jeanine McSweeney