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NIH Public Access Policy

A Guide to the NIH Public Access Policy


Do you want to know how often your papers in PubMed Central are being accessed?

Read the NCBI Insights Article on how to view those stats.

Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research

Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren has directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.

OSTP has been looking into this issue for some time, soliciting broad public input on multiple occasions and convening an interagency working group to develop a policy. The final policy reflects substantial inputs from scientists and scientific organizations, publishers, members of Congress, and other members of the public.

Getting Help!

The Health Sciences Library offers free individual & group consultations on NIH Public Access Policy (NIHPAP) compliance.

Contact us to schedule an appointment:

  • telephone on campus 4-3099 | off campus (631) 444-3099
  • email
  • Chat click the 'Chat is Online' button on the top right of all Library pages.
  • SBU Answers the University Libraries knowledgebase; Ask a question, get an answer, or search our FAQ.

What is the NIHPAP?

The NIH Public Access Policy (NIHPAP) implements Division F Section 217 of PL 111-8 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009).  

The Director of the National Institutes of Health ("NIH") shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, that the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

When Do I Have To Comply?

The Policy applies to any manuscript that is:

  • Peer-reviewed;
  • Accepted for publication in a scholarly journal on or after April 7, 2008;
  • Based, at least in part, on:
    • Any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond
    • Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008
    • Any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program
    • An NIH employee.

Note that 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. Papers written in Latin (Roman) script that contain characters and fonts used in standard mathematical notation are acceptable.

NIH Instructional Videos - YouTube