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NIH Public Access Policy: When is Compliance Required?

Compliance Details

The NIH Policy applies to any manuscript that:

  • Is peer-reviewed;
  • Is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008;

And arises from:

  • Any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond, or;
  • Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, or;
  • Any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program, or;
  • An NIH employee.

Until further notice, papers written in scripts other than Latin (e.g., Russian, Japanese) cannot be processed by the NIHMS.  These papers are not required to be posted on PubMed Central and do not require evidence of compliance on applications, proposals or reports. The NIHMS continues to process papers written in Latin (Roman) script that contain characters and fonts used in standard mathematical notation.

Is Compliance Required?

The NIH Public Access Policy is Federal law and is a term/condition of NIH award funding.

Who is Responsible for Compliance?

Institutions and Principal Investigators (PI) are responsible for compliance. The PI of the grant is also responsible even if they are not an author or co-author of a work that falls under the NIH policy.

How to Respond to NIH if Documentation of Compliance is Requested

NIH reviews citations noted in applications, proposals and progress reports and will request documentation of compliance for works that may have applied under the NIH Public Access Policy. Requests for documentation of compliance are sent by NIH Program Officers via email to the Principal Investigator/s. The WU Office of Sponsored Research Services is copied on this email.

The PI should review the list of citations as noted and determine whether they apply under the NIH Public Access Policy. The PI should provide documentation for each citation to support why compliance is not required (i.e., not peer-reviewed, accepted for publication before April 7, 2008) or if the citation applies under the NIH Public Access Policy (i.e., PMCID, NIHMS ID or “PMC Journal – In Process”). A PMCID is required for demonstration of compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy for works.

When responding back to the NIH Program Officer with documentation of compliance or why a work does not apply under the NIH Public Access Policy for citations as noted in a NIH application, proposal or progress report, the appropriate WU Institutional Business Office must be copied on the response back to NIH. This is required by NIH per Reminder Concerning Grantee Compliance with Public Access Policy and Related NIH Monitoring Activities (NOT-OD-08-119).

Add the following statement in the response:

“The documentation provided is in response to your email dated (insert date here). Our Institutional Business Official (IBO) is being copied utilizing the office’s generic email."

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.

What is Direct Funding?

What is Directly Funded?

"Directly" funded means costs that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy.

How to Find the Date of Acceptance on an Article?

The date of acceptance information for an article is usually noted on the final, published version of the article in PDF format. Usual places to look are below the author names and affilation, before the reference list, the top of the first page, or at the bottom of the first page. Headings may be noted as "Publication History," or "Article Information."

If you are unable to locate the date of acceptance information, please contact Cathy Sarli or Amy Suiter.