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Guide to the NIH Public Access Mandate   Tags: nih, open_access, pubmed_central  

Researchers funded by the NIH must, at the time they submit articles for publication, also submit the article to PubMed Central for public access. This Guide explains the steps for doing this.
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What you will find on this site

The purpose of this site is to help University of Illinois authors comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.

As of April 7, 2008, all peer-reviewed works that are the result of funding from the NIH must be submitted into PubMed Central, making them freely available to all. An embargo on the availablity of the research is allowed of up to 12 months after publication.

Furthermore, as of May 25th, 2008, all grant submissions that reference articles that fall under this mandate must include the PubMed Central ID number, thus proving the author's compliance with the mandate.

Additionally, as of July 23rd, 2010, all NIH authors must use PubMed's MyNCBI Bibliography to enter the references in their eRA Commons professional bibliography.  All citations previously manually entered in the eRA Commons need to be placed in the MyNCBI Bibliography by October 22, at which time all citations manually entered into the eRA Commons system will be deleted.

Navigating through the tabs you will find:

  • FAQ
    General information and answers to frequently asked questions about the Policy.
  • Step 1: Copyright considerations
    Resources to help you figure out if you have the RIGHT to deposit your work in PubMed Central.
  • Step 2: Submitting your paper
    Basic, step by step instructions for depositing your work.
  • Your next grant
    How to find the PMCID number for your papers, which you must use during grant renewals, reports and applications.
  • Creating your MyNCBI Bibliography
    Provides resource links that explain how to obtain a MyNCBI account, use the MyNCBI Bibliography feature, and link the citations to your eRACommons account.
  • Let us do it for you.
    How you can have the Library do the submission for you.
  • Links & Contacts
    Useful links & local contacts who can help you.

Common Misconceptions about the Mandate




The mandate is to publish in open access journals. The mandate is to deposit in an open access repository (PubMed Central).
The mandate is to bypass journals and peer review. The mandate is to provide open access to articles already published in peer-reviewed journals.
The mandate applies to the published version of articles. The mandate applies to the final versions of the authors’ peer-reviewed manuscripts.
The mandate directs deposits to PubMed. The mandate directs deposits to PubMed Central.
The mandate requires a 12-month embargo on the copy in PubMed Central. The mandate permits an embargo of up to 12 months on the copy in PubMed Central.
The new NIH budget is US$29 million. The new NIH budget is US$29 billion.
The new mandate will last for only 1 year. The new mandate will last indefinitely.
The mandate requires violation of copyright law. The mandate requires compliance with copyright law.
From: Peter Suber, Open Medicine, Vol 2, No 2 (2008)

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