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the nih public access policy "The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.  To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication."
Source: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/index.htm  

Washington University Policy Statement on Public Access

(Original Policy Date: July 27, 2005; Revised February 22, 2013)

Washington University, as a recipient of NIH funds, is required to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy. Investigators receiving NIH funds are responsible for making sure that applicable journal articles resulting from those funds are compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy.

The University Libraries, Becker Medical Library, and the Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS) are available to help investigators comply with this regulation. Specific procedures, key information and more details to help investigators achieve compliance can be found on this web page and on NIH Public Access Policy Information and Compliance Services at Becker Medical Library


This policy applies to peer-reviewed articles that arise in whole or part from direct costs funded by NIH (FY 2008 and beyond) that were accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008.
Source: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/determine_applicability.htm

The NIH Public Access Policy also requires that, as of Agust 21, 2009, NIH applications, proposals and progress reports must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) or the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS)reference number when citing an article that falls under the policy and is authored or co-authored by the investigator, or arose from the investigator’s NIH award, even if the investigator is not an author. A PMCID is required for applicable journal articles three months post-publication.  (NOT-OD-09-136)

Compliance with this Policy is a term and condition of the grant award and cooperative agreement, in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy Statement. For contracts, NIH includes this requirement in all R&D solicitations and awards under Section H, Special Contract Requirements, in accordance with the Uniform Contract Format.

Compliance with the Public Access Policy is not a factor in the evaluation of grant applications. However, the NIH has stated that it will delay the processing of non-competing continuation grant awards beginning on or after July 1, 2013 if publications arising from that award are not in compliance (NOT-OD-13-042).

How to Comply

There are four different submission methods to ensure compliance with the NIH Policy. These submission methods are based on journal policies of NIH-funded authors.  NIH-funded authors are highly encouraged to clarify the submission method of journals before submitting a manuscrit for peer review. 

The My Bibliography tool of My NCBI can be used to manage NIH Public Access Policy compliance. Once all publications are entered into My Bibliography, compliance status for each publication is automatically updated and can be managed by the investigator or their delegate. 

  1. Create a My NCBI account and link it to your eRA Commons account to activate your My Bibliography. Investigators are highly encouraged to assign a delegate to manage their My Bibliography account.
  2. Enter all publications associated with your name and grants (even if you are not an author) into My Bibliography. 
  3. Determine whether the publications are applicable under the NIH Policy and if they are in compliance. Take steps to bring non-compliant publications into compliance.

Instructions to complete these steps can be found in the following guidance document:    
NIH Public Access Policy: Compliance Management Using the My Bibliography Tool in My NCBI

WUSTL Resources

Workshops - The OVCR and Becker Library offer customized training on the NIH Public Access Policy and how to achieve, monitor, and track compliance. To schedule a workshop for your group, please contact either Laura Langton or Cathy Sarli.

NIH Public Access Policy Information and Compliance Services at Becker Medical Library
** Becker services are available to all WUSTL researchers free of charge.

Finding Journal Policies for Submission Methods

NIH Public Access Policy: Compliance Management Using the My Bibliography Tool in My NCBI

Flow Chart for Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy

Flow Chart of Submission Methods

Sample Letter to Publishers
** Contact Cathy Sarli to obtain a statement for NIH-funded authors to use when contacting publishers for clarification of submission status.

NIH Resources

NIH Public Access Policy Web Page

NIH Public Access Policy FAQs

How to use My Bibliography

NIH Webinar “Changes to the NIH Public Access Policy and the Implications”

(NOT-OD-13-042) - Changes to Public Access Policy Compliance Efforts Apply to All Awards with Anticipated Start Dates on or after July 1, 2103

(NOT-OD-09-136) - Clarification on the Use of an NIHMSID to Indicate Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, 8.12.2009
(NOT-OD-08-033) - Revised Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research, 1.11.2008


For questions about compliance as related to specific grants contact Laura Langton.
For assistance with My Bibliography and managing the compliant status of individual publications, contact:   

Danforth Campus School of Medicine All Schools
Ruth Lewis Cathy Sarli Laura Langton
University Libraries Becker Library Office of Sponsored Research Services