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In a policy memorandum dated 22 February 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directed all Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to provide public access to the "results" of federally funded research. Results are defined as “peer-reviewed research publications and digital data sets.” 

Investigators are already aware of the NIH Public Access Policy which has been in force since 2008.  As a result of the 2013 OSTP memorandum, other Federal agencies are implementing similar public access policies. A number of non-federal private and foundation funding agencies have developed similar policies. Note that some policies encompass peer-reviewed journal articles only, while others include data sets.  This web page will be updated as new agency policies are released.

​Washington University Policy Statement on Public Access

(Original Policy Date: July 27, 2005; Revised February 22, 2013.  This policy is under revision to include all mandated public access policies.)

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 at Becker Medical Library.

General Guidance

In addition to this website, WUSTL has numerous resources to assist investigators with public access compliance.

WU Libraries/Danforth Campus​

Becker Library/Medical School Campus

imageNIH Public access policy

The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division F Section 217 of PL 111-8 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009).  The law states:

"The Director of the National Institutes of Health ("NIH") shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, that the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law."
Source:   http://publicaccess.nih.gov/policy.htm


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, 2008Source: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/determine_applicability.htm

The NIH Public Access Policy also requires that, as of August 21, 2009, NIH applications, proposals and progress reports must include the PubMed Centr
al 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, as of July 1, 2013, the NIH will delay the processing of non-competing continuation grant awards 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 manuscript 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:    
Using the My Bibliography Tool in My NCBI and Linking Your eRA Commons Account

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
Using the My Bibliography Tool in My NCBI and Linking Your eRA Commons Account
Flow Chart of Submission Methods 
How to use My Bibliography​​​

NIH Resources

NIH Public Access Policy Web Page
NIH Public Access Policy FAQs
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 2.14.2013
(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

department of energy public access plan

The Department of Energy released its Public Access Plan addressing public access to 1) scientific publications and 2) scientific data in digital formats.

1) DOE requires Public Access to Publications

Public access will be required for publications funded in whole or in part by DOE. This requirement will apply to award agreements starting October 1, 2014.

Public access will be accomplished through links and descriptors in
Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (PAGES).

"When fully operational, this new resource will offer free access to the best available full-text version of DOE-affiliated scholarly publications--either the peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript or the published article--after an administrative interval of 12 months."


Precise compliance procedures are not yet available.

WUSTL researchers who are funded by DOE or use facilities that are funded by DOE should prepare for compliance:

1. Continue to carefully acknowledge funding support on all your publications.
2. Consider this requirement when you publish: review publishers' DOE agreements and your copyright transfer agreements with publishers carefully to be sure you can comply with your funder requirement.
3. Keep a final peer-review author manuscript version of all accepted manuscripts. Many publishers will make final published versions available after 12 months but the author manuscript version will be required for the DOE archive. A final author manuscript version may also be required in a repository, such as OPEN Scholarship or Digital Commons @ Becker, when the particular publisher does not allow access to the final published version on their site.
4. Keep information about funded publications; submissions to PAGES will likely include at least citation, abstract, DOI, funding specifications, full author manuscript version for dark archive.
Please contact your subject librarian or Ruth Lewis, Scholarly Communications Coordinator at Danforth Campus libraries, or Am​y Suiter, Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Becker Medical Library, for more information.

2) DOE Office of Science requires Data Management Plan

Effective October 1, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): Office of Science will require all research solicitations and invitations for new, renewal and some supplemental funding to include a data management plan (DMP). Other DOE offices will implement similar DMP requirements no later than Oct. 1, 2015.

In general, the DOE DMP needs to address the following requirements:
1. Describe whether and how data generated in the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved.
2. Provide a plan for making all research data displayed in publications resulting form the proposed research open, machine-readable, and digitally accessible to the public at the time of publication.
3. Consult and reference available information about data management resources
4. Protect confidentiality, personal privacy, U.S. national security, etc. There is no requirement to share proprietary data.
Additional information about these requirements may be found on the U.S. DOE Office of Science website, or by contacting your subject librarian, or Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Data Librarian at Danforth Campus libraries.


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​
Ruth Lewis  Cat​hy Sarli
Cynthia Hudson-Vitale A​my Suiter

Danforth Campus Libraries                                                      Becker Medical Library