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NIH Public Access Policy: How to Find Journal Policies

What to do First?

The first step is to confirm that that work applies under the NIH Public Access Policy.

Three Criteria for Applicability:

  • Peer-reviewed journal article;
  • Accepted for publication on or after 07 April 2008;

AND arises from:

  • Direct NIH funding, FY2008 onward.

How to Determine the Submission Method of a Journal

What Submission Method does the journal follow?

  • Journal website—usually in “Instructions for Authors” or “Journal Policies” sections
  • Copyright agreement form for a journal
  • NIH Public Access Policy website for Submission Method A journals
  • Editor-in-Chief of a journal
  • Editorial staff of a journal

Go to the journal website and look for “Instructions for Authors” or “Author Guidelines” or “Journal Policies” or “Funding Policies”—anything that might lead to information for journal policies for NIH-funded authors including the copyright form.

Submission Methods

There are four options for compliance based on submission methods:

  1. Submission Method A:
    Author publishes in a journal that submits all NIH-funded final published articles to PubMed Central (PMC); no fee. See Method A Journal list.
  2. Submission Method B:
    Author pays a publisher a fee to submit an individual final published article to PMC. See Method B Select Deposit Publishers.
  3. Submission Method C:
    Author or third party such as Becker Library submits the final, peer-reviewed manuscript to the NIH Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS) in preparation for posting to PMC. See Method C Best Practices.
  4. Submission Method D:
    Publisher submits the final, peer-reviewed manuscript to NIHMS on behalf of NIH-funded authors in preparation for posting to PMC; no fee. See Method D Publishers list.

Contacting the Journal

 If no guidance or copyright form is available from the journal website, contact the Editor-in Chief or Managing Editor. Find a “Contact Us” or “About the Journal” or “Editorial Board” link from the journal website to locate an email address.

Sample Language:
Dear Sir or Madam,
Can you please advise as to the journal policy for NIH-funded authors who are required to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy?
Thank you,
Your Name