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NIH Public Access Policy: What is a Final, Peer-Reviewed Manuscript?

What is a Final, Peer-Reviewed Manuscript?

The final, peer-reviewed manuscript is defined by NIH as:

“The Investigator’s final manuscript of a peer-reviewed article accepted for journal publication, including all modifications from the peer review process.”

The manuscript should also include:

  • figures, charts, tables and/or images
  • supplemental materials associated with the work
  • title page
  • names and affiliations of the authors
  • the corresponding author's name and email address
  • grant award acknowledgements

What Does Peer-Reviewed Mean?

Peer-review is defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors  (ICMJE) as:

Peer review is the critical assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts who are usually not part of the editorial staff.

NOTE: Do not rely on the document type assigned to the work by the publisher to determine whether the work was subject to peer review. Some works noted as commentaries, letters and book chapters are peer-reviewed journal articles. 

What is a Journal?

What is a Journal?

If a publication is in the journal section of the NLM catalog, NIH considers it to be a journal. Search the journal section of NLM Catalog for the journal by title, title abbreviation, or ISSN.  If the publication is not on the list, NIH will consider it a journal for policy purposes if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • Publication must meet the requirements for ISSN assignment
  • Publication content is issued over time under a common title
  • Publication is a collection of articles by different authors
  • Publication is intended to be published indefinitely

Some journal articles appear to be book chapters with some publishers advising NIH-funded authors that a work does not apply under the NIH Policy as the work is a book chapter. 

Please contact Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter If you need help confirming whether your work is a journal article or book chapter.