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NIH Public Access Policy

Public Access Policy Requirements Heading link

The NIH Public Access Policy requires investigators to deposit an electronic version of articles resulting from NIH funding to PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance for publication. PubMed Central is the NIH digital archive of full-text biomedical and life sciences journal articles that allows free and unrestricted access. Manuscripts will need to be made publicly available no later than twelve months after the date of publication. For additional information on the Public Access Policy, visit the UIC University Library.

Most journals automatically deposit NIH funded manuscripts into the PMC system. Check the PMC System to determine if your journal participates in this service.

If your journal does not participate in this service or you did not include NIH funding information before publication, the NIH Manuscript Submission system has information on manually depositing a publication in PMC.

If you have been notified that you have a publication that is ‘stalled’ in the NIHMS, log in using your eRA commons account information to release this publication.

Your Publication is Accepted- Now What? Heading link


Q1: Did I have funding or other support from NIH or an NIH funded entity? 

  • If NO, that’s it. Nothing to do.
  • If YES, answer Q2

Q2: Will the journal submit to PMC for me (these are called “Method A” journals) OR is it my job? 

Two things must be true for the journal to submit on your behalf. First, it must be a journal that does submit for authors. The journal’s acceptance letter will generally say, or you can check

Second, the corresponding author must have told them that your research received NIH funding. If the journal will submit, it’s still a good idea to check the article status in My NCBI / My Bibliography (sign in to NCBI at within the first three months post-publication. If the article has a PMCID or status of PMC journal—In process, all is good.

If the journal says they will not submit for you without a fee or the journal is not on the list linked above, proceed to the next step.


Time to Submit 

The sooner you submit, the easier the submission will be because you will have everything on hand. You will need:

  • Journal Name and Manuscript Title
  • Grant Project Numbers that funded the research or writing of the article
  • Your final peer-reviewed manuscript files (text, tables, figures, etc.)
  • An ERA commons account or other means of logging into NIHMS (NIH Manuscript Submission System)

Sign in at Select the “Submit New Manuscript” button and follow the manuscript submission process.

Please follow the steps included in the NIHMS Manuscript Submission Process. When submitting the manuscript to NIHMS, select our UL1 TR002003 award listed as University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Clinical and Translational Science.


The person set as the designated reviewer for the submitted paper in NIHMS will get an email stating the submission is ready for final review. The email will have a link to a PDF final draft. Review it, and if they got it right, APPROVE it. You’re done. NIHMS will assign a PubMed Central ID number (PMCID) and put it on Pub Med Central.

A few days later, a PMCID will be attached to your paper citation and it will be marked “Compliant” in My NCBI / My Bibliography (sign in to NCBI at

* timeframe is an optimistic estimate

Frequently Asked Questions Heading link

That timeline didn’t happen. What do I do?

Your paper is now defined as non-compliant and federal grants will be held up until it is compliant. Go ahead and get started now; just follow the steps listed.

How do I know if I’m compliant?

Your paper will have a PMCID (PubMed Central ID). This is in addition to, but not the same as, a PMID (PubMed ID). Confusing, we know.

You can check in MyNCBI’s My Bibliography by signing in at or sign in at and look at the status tabs

I submitted my paper a month ago and haven’t gotten the email for final review.

Sign in at to check the status of the paper. Be sure to check the “Stalled” section. If it is not clear what the problem is, or you have questions about the delay, use the “Write to the NIHMS Help Desk” link at the bottom of the home page.

Include your paper’s NIHMS ID (assigned when you submitted) in your email.

And if it’s not that easy and I want someone to walk me through it?

You can contact Sandy De Groote in the Library of the Health Sciences-Chicago for more information on complying with the NIH PAP: (312) 413-9494, She can walk through the process with you step by step and help troubleshoot any problems.

A helpful guide is also available at: