NIH Policy on Manuscript Submission

NIH Policy on Manuscript Submission in Accordance with their Public Access Policy: Information and Instructions

The National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy becomes effective April 7, 2008. This policy now requires authors of manuscripts based on NIH-funded research to deposit copies of those manuscripts in the in NIH"S online archive, the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central (PMC), a free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature.

Visit NIH's Public Access web site for the complete policy and FAQs.

With this policy NIH seeks to

  • Provide public access to the results of NIH-funded research in order to help advance science and improve human health
  • Create an archive of NIH-funded research
  • Make the full text of that archive searchable
  • To expand use of publicly funded research findings
  • Permit fulfillment of grant progress reporting requirements by substituting manuscript deposit for the submission of print copies of articles
  • Have articles deposited to PMC cross indexed with other NCBI databases such as PubMed and GenBank
  • Enhance visibility and citation of research

The Association of Research Libraries strongly supports these efforts.

If the publication is the result of research support, in whole or in part, from the NIH or if the publication was NIH-funded work accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal on or after then you must comply with this policy. This policy applies only to journal publications. It does not concern book chapters, conference presentations, posters, etc.

PubMed Central is a free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), developed and managed by NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the National Library of Medicine (NLM). With PubMed Central, NLM is helping to preserve and maintain unrestricted access to the electronic literature. NLM believes that giving all users free and unrestricted access to the material in PubMed Central is the best way to ensure the durability and utility of the archive as technology changes over time.

Journals that currently participate in PubMed Central will submit the final manuscript copyt to PMC on behalf of authors within six months of publication. See the list of PMC journals. Many other journals submit articles to PMC on behalf of their authors. If your article is published in one of these journals, you do not have to do anything. The publisher’s action fulfills your requirement. Complete list of these journals.

The version of the manuscript to be deposited is the final version accepted for publication. This includes all changes and revisions made as a result of the peer review process. Manuscripts should only be submitted once final acceptance for journal publication has been received. Manuscripts should be submitted immediately upon final acceptance but no later than 12 months following publication.

For all other publications you must inform the journal that your article is subject to the NIH Public Access Policy upon submission. You must make sure that the copyright transfer agreement or any other publication agreement required by the publisher permits the article to be submitted to NIH in accordance with this policy. If necessary, language such as the following should be added to a publisher’s copyright agreement

Journal acknowledges that the Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript upon acceptance for Journal publication for archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by the Journal

Manuscripts are to be submitted to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System. An NIH Electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons account is required for extramural Principal Investigators/Authors to enter the system. Third parties designated by the PI/Author, such as librarians, may also submit manuscripts using the my NCBI login option.

Librarian Michel Atlas will act as your third party designated submitter. Please contact her at (502) 852-8534 or mcatlas@louisville.edu to arrange a submission.

To create an eRA Commons account

  • Go to http://nihms.nih.gov/
  • Click login on the right side of the screen
  • Click on the eRA Commons link in the list of login routes
  • Click on Create New Account Link above the login box. Complete the form to create your account. Use the eRA Commons User ID and Password you create to login to the NIHMS system.

To create a myNCBI account

  • Go to http://nihms.nih.gov/
  • Click login on the right side of the screen
  • Click on the myNCBI link in the list of login routes
  • From the myNCBI login screen displayed, click on register for an account at the top of the screen. Complete the form to create your account. Use the myNCBI User ID and Password you create to login to the NIHMS system.

To submit a manuscript

  • Go to http://nihms.nih.gov
  • Login using your eRA Commons or myNCBI User name and Password
  • Provide basic information requested
  • Upload complete manuscript text. Manuscript may be in MS Word, Word Perfect, PDF, PowerPoint, Excel and use various graphic formats including TIFF, JPEG, and GIF
  • Upload any appropriate supplemental image files that may contain figures, tables, images, or any orther supplemental information.
  • The NIHMS will generate a receipt of the uploaded files in PDF format. This receipt summarizes the information entered into the system and merges the manuscript files into a viewable document. It will also include a Manuscript Submission system reference number (NIHMS ID)

An online tutorial demonstrating the submission process is available at http://nihms.nih.gov/help/

As of May 25, 2008 all NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) when citing an article that falls under this policy and is authored or co-authored by the investigator or arose from the investigator’s NIH award. If the PMCID is not yet available use the NIH Manuscript Submission system reference number (NIHMS ID) instead. This includes applications submitted to NIH for the May 25 due date and all subsequent due dates.

Librarian Michel Atlas will assist you in locating these numbers. Please contact her at (502) 852-8534 or mcatlas@louisville.edu with your inquires.

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the NIH Public Access Policy and procedures go to http://nihms.nih.gov/help/faq.shtml