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Shimberg Health Sciences Library & Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange

NIH Grants Guide


The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance for publication.  To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PMC no later than 12 months after publication.

The NIH Public Access Policy Does NOT Apply to the Following:

  • Books or Book Chapters
  • Editorials
  • Articles accepted for publication BEFORE April 7, 2008
  • Articles resulting from work funded by sources other than NIH
  • Other materials that are NOT peer-reviewed

Time Requirements

When citing applicable papers in any applications, proposals, or reports you submit to the NIH, you must include the PubMed Central ID number (NOT the PubMed ID #)!

  • Over 3 months after publication

    • List the PubMed Central number (PMCID) at the end of the full citation

  • Less than 3 months after publication or in-press

    • Add PMCID at the end of the full citation if you have it

    • Add 'PMC Journal - In Process' at the end of the full citation (Submission Method A or B)

    • Add a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) at the end of the full citation (Submission Method C or D)

Note:  This applies to articles for which you are either the PI of the NIH award or an author of the article.  It does not apply to articles you cite but have no affiliation with.


Need Help?

NIHMS Submission

Does your article have a PMCID number decision tree

PubMed Central (PMC) Submission

There are 4 submission methods:

  • Method A  Journal deposits final published articles in PubMed Central without author involvement
  • Method B  Author asks publisher to deposit specific final published article in PMC
  • Method C  Author deposits final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via the NIHMS
  • Method D  Author completes submission of final peer-reviewed manuscript deposited by publisher in the NIHMS

submission methods

PMC Submission Methods


Screenshot of a record in the PubMed database (Note the PubMed logo in the top left corner).

PMCID in PubMed

  • Note the differences between the PubMed ID # and the PubMed Central ID #.
  • You can also look for the 'Free PMC Article' link to go to PubMed Central and view the full-text article.
  • The 'Grant Support' from NIH will often be listed in the PubMed record.  Just click the plus sign to view the Grant.