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NIH Public Access Policy

TO: All Faculty and Researchers with NIH Support

FROM: Jim Moran

SUBJECT: NIH Public Access Policy

Date: 4/24/08


This memo alerts you to an important new federal requirement contained in the Public Access Policy from NIH that will affect current and future NIH grants and contracts. This includes projects funded in full or in part by NIH, and either direct and flow-down subcontracts.

This Policy implements a provision in the 2008 federal appropriations act which requires that all NIH investigators “submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (PMC), an electronic version of their peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication … in a manner consistent with copyright law.” This policy became effective April 7, 2008, but applies to articles arising from grants and cooperative agreements active from October 1, 2007.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator and the university to ensure compliance with this policy. Compliance involves three main areas:

  • Copyright,
  • Manuscript submission to PMC, and
  • Citing PMC ID numbers in subsequent grant reports and proposals.


DU authors/investigators must ensure that all agreements with publishers permit submission to PubMed Central after April 7, 2008.

We will provide a standard letter for publishers that you should include, with your manuscript, indicating your intent to comply with this policy.

We will provide for your use the standard language provided by NIH that should be inserted into a publisher’s copyright agreement at the time your article is accepted for publication, ensuring your right to deposit your article and supporting data into PMC. (Some agreements may already contain this language but we recommend adding it as a safeguard.)


DU principal investigators must ensure that final peer-reviewed manuscripts and accompanying data required by the publisher resulting from their funded research are deposited into PMC, upon acceptance for publication on or after April 7, 2008, using the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) available at

  • The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) will incorporate this into your notice of award to remind you of this requirement.
  • Some journals will deposit manuscripts on behalf of authors. The NIH maintains a list of these at: In addition, some may charge a fee for this service; but you can avoid the fee by submitting your manuscript yourself. You are not required to pay the publisher to do this for you.
  • You can submit your manuscript yourself or have your designee submit it for you. The NIH site provides tutorials ( that explain each step of the process.
  • You, as the author of an article submitted to PMC, always have the final sign-off before it is added, so you can be sure that it is complete and accurate. During the submission process, you also have the right to set an embargo period for your article of up to twelve months before it becomes publicly available, if you so choose.
  • PubMed Central has been operational since May 2005 – their staff is available online or by telephone at the “help desk” to assist in the implementation of this policy.


Effective May 25, 2008, DU investigators must include the NIHMS Submission Number or the PMC ID Number when citing articles accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008 in progress reports, new applications, and renewals.

  • These numbers are available by searching PubMed or PubMed Central.


If you have any questions, please contact your ORSP Project Administrator.

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