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NIH Public Access Policy: Submission Method D

Submission Method D

Some publishers submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript (or in some instances, the final, published article) to NIHMS on behalf of NIH-funded authors (no fee); NIHMS prepares the manuscript for posting to PMC.

Authors who exercise this option must retain the right to do so. When reviewing the copyright agreement form authors should confirm that the publisher will:

  • Submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance of publication.
  • Allow the final peer-reviewed manuscript to be publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

 If not, authors are advised seek clarification from the publisher or use a different journal in order to be in full compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Authors should review the publisher copyright form for sections that may need to be marked indicating the manuscript as a NIH-funded publication so that the publisher is aware that the manuscriptneeds to be submitted to NIHMS. Some copyright forms for Method D publishers also have a space to allow authors to add the name and email address of the designated author who will be responsible for approving the submission by responding to emails from NIHMS to complete approval tasks. If no space available, note this information on the copyright form.

A NIHMS ID is assigned to the manuscript as soon as it is submitted by the publisher.

The designated author is required to complete two NIHMS tasks in order for a PMCID to be assigned to the manuscript. The corresponding author is assigned by default as the designated author to be responsible for the completion of two NIHMS tasks: "Approval Step #1: "Approve PDF Submission" and "Approval Step #2: Approve Web Version" in order for a PMCID to be assigned to the manuscript.

Submission Method D Steps


  • Acknowledge grant award/s in manuscript
  • Review copyright form to confirm the journal will submit the final peer-reviewed manuscript upon acceptance of publication and that the embargo period is 12 months or less
  • Check any boxes on the copyright form to note work as NIH-funded
  • Complete NIHMS approval steps (answer emails from NIHMS)

My Bibliography and Compliance:

  • Add the work to My Bibliography when a record for the work is in PubMed (or add manually if not)
  • NIHMSID will appear after work is submitted to NIHMS
  • Follow-up with journal if no NIHMSID one month after acceptance of publication
  • PMCID will appear after work is posted to PMC


NIH Approval Steps for Submission Method D

The corresponding author will receive two emails from NIHMS:

             1. “NIHMS: Approve Submission of Manuscript”

             2. “NIHMS: Approve Web  Version”

NIHMS sends multiple reminder emails.

Timely completion of the approval process will help ensure that a PMCID is assigned.

A PMCID is required within 90 days post-publication.

Contacting the NIHMS Desk to Request Responsible Author Reassignment

If a work was published in a Submission Method C or D journal and the responsible author is not timely completing their NIHMS approval steps required for a PMCID, any other author or the PI for awards associated with the work can be assigned as the responsible author. This is done by sending an email to the NIHMS Help Desk.

Sample language to the NIHMS Help Desk:

Please assign me [INSERT NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS] as the responsible author for review and approval for the following work per NIH Public Access Policy: [INSERT CITATION TO THE WORK AND PMID].

Sample Publisher Forms

Submission Method D publishers usually have a separate form or section within the copyright transfer agreement to allow authors to inform the publisher that a work requires a submission to NIHMS to prepare the work for posting to PMC.

If a work is applicable under the NIH Policy, confirm that the corresponding author is aware of this and will note the work as requiring a submssion. As follows are examples of forms:

* * * * *

* * * * *

Contacting the Journal to Trigger a Submission

In some instances, authors fail to note the work in a Submission Method D journal as requiring a submission to NIHMS or a journal may not be timely submitting a work to NIHMS on behalf of the authors. The recommended practice is to send an email to the journal requesting clarification of the submission status of the work.

Sample Language to the Journal:


I am checking on the submission status of the following work:


The authors of the work are required to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy and to date, no submission has been made to the NIH Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS) to prepare the work for posting to PubMed Central and assignment of a PMCID. Per publisher copyright agreement, the work was to be submitted by the journal.  NIH has requested documentation of compliance with the NIH Policy for this work.  Documentation of compliance cannot be provided until the work is submitted.  Failure to provide evidence of documentation of compliance will result in sanctions issued by the NIH against the authors.

Can you please expedite a submission as soon as possible?

Thank you,


See How to Find Journal Policies for more information. 

If no response to the email within five business days, resend the original email. If no response to the second email after five business days, please contact Cathy Sarli.