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NIH Manuscript Submission

NIH Public Access Policy
As of April 7, 2008, all articles arising from NIH funds must be submitted to PMC (PubMed Central) upon acceptance for publication.

There are three steps to the NIH manuscript submission process:

  1. Addressing Copyright
  2. Submitting the Manuscript
  3. Approving the Submission


Does this law apply to me?

The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all peer-reviewed journal articles, including research reports and reviews, if the article is based on work in one or more of the following categories:

  1. Directly funded by an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 (October 1, 2007- September 30, 2008) or beyond, including K-awards and training grants
  2. Directly funded by a contract signed on or after April 7, 2008
  3. Directly funded by the NIH Intramural Program
  4. You are an NIH employee

The policy does not apply to non-peer-reviewed materials, and correspondence, book chapters, and editorials.

NIH Non-Compliance Enforcement Action
"A grantee’s failure to comply with the terms and conditions of award, including confirmed instances of research misconduct, may cause NIH to take one or more actions, depending on the severity and duration of the non-compliance. NIH will undertake any such action in accordance with applicable statutes, regulations, and policies. NIH generally will afford the grantee an opportunity to correct the deficiencies before taking action unless public health or welfare concerns require immediate action. However, even if a grantee is taking corrective action, NIH may take proactive actions to protect the Federal government’s interests, including placing special conditions on awards or precluding the grantee from obtaining future awards for a specified period, or may take action designed to prevent future non-compliance, such as closer monitoring. See Enforcement Actions in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (10/11):"

Process Change: "With this Notice, NIH informs grantees that in Spring, 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy.  The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance."


Addressing Copyright

Before you sign an author agreement or copyright transfer agreement, make sure that it allows the article to be submitted to PMC. Submit the Tufts Medical Center or Tufts University cover letter to the publisher in order to ensure compliance with the NIH mandate.

NIH FAQ: Whose approval do I need to submit my final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC?

SHERPA, a UK-based partnership for open access institutional repositories, provides a searchable database of publisher's copyright & archiving policies.


Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all NIH-funded final published articles in PMC without author involvement.

Method B: Make arrangements to have a publisher deposit a specific final published article in PMC (usually fee-based).

Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

NIH Tutorial on how to submit your paper to PMC

The following materials are required for NIH manuscript submission:

  • PI name and email
  • Title of the journal
  • Title of the manuscript
  • Final peer-reviewed version of the manuscript (or final published version if journal allows)
  • Supplemental materials or graphics associated with the manuscript
  • Grant number/s (full alpha numeric number)
  • All information as necessary for following the stipulations set forth by some journal publishers, including the embargo period

Connect to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System.

Method D: Publish in a journal that deposits the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC on your behalf. You will still need to approve the submission.


Need Help?

Hirsh Health Sciences Library (HHSL) Submission Assistance

HHSL will help you submit in two ways:

  1. Via phone - Contact us via phone at 617.636.6705 or email at to set up a phone consultation regarding your submission. We will answer questions and/or walk you through the entire submission process with you over the telephone.
  2. House call - Contact us via phone at 617.636.6705 or email at to set up an appointment for an HHSL librarian to come to your office/lab for manuscript submission assistance.

Webster Family Veterinary Library (Grafton) Submission Assistance

Contact us via phone at 508.839.7957 or email at for assistance with your submission.

Not on the Boston or Grafton Campus?

Contact the Scholarly Communication Team for assistance with the NIH Manuscript Submission process.

Grant Information

Members of Tufts Medical Center community may contact Fred Frankhauser, Director, Office of Grants & Contracts,

Members of the Tufts community may contact Paul Murphy, Director, Research Administration, Office of Research Administration,

NIH Public Access Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Provides quick answers to specific questions about the NIH Public Access Policy.

Manuscript Submissions in support of the NIH Public Access Policy
Video slide presentation by the National Library of Medicine providing an overview of the NIH Public Access Policy.


Approving Submission

For Methods C & Method D, authors must authorize NIH to process the manuscript in the NIHMS System, as well as designate the number of months after publication when the manuscript may be made publicly available in PMC.

The NIHMS will then convert the deposited files into a standard PMC format, and email the author to review and approve the PMC-formatted manuscript via the NIHMS System. Corrections to the manuscript, if necessary, may be requested at this time.



Beginning May 25, 2008, anyone submitting an application, proposal or progress report to the NIH must include the PMCID or NIH Manuscript Submission reference number when citing applicable articles that arise from their NIH-funded research. Applicants are not responsible for including PMCIDs on citations they did not author and/or that did not arise from their NIH funding.

Note: The PMCID and PMID are NOT the same.

PMID : PMCID Converter

Search Endnote's Knowledgebase for information on importing PMCID numbers.

Use My Bibliography for Bibliography Management
As of July 23, 2010, PD/PIs are unable to enter citations manually into eRA Commons and must use My NCBI’s “My Bibliography” tool to manage their professional bibliographies.

How do I include the PMCID in my citations?
What do I do if the PMCID has not been assigned yet?
Do I have to include a PMCID for every paper that I cite in an NIH application, proposal or progress report?
How do I get the PMCID so I can cite it on my application, proposal or report?


Additional Publication Support

Scholarly Communication at Tufts

  • Provides information for the Tufts community about all aspects of the process used by scholars to share and use the results of their and others' research, specifically copyright, fair use and open access.

Grants and Funding



Selecting Where to Publish