The National Institutes of Health (NIH) passed its Public Access Policy on April 7, 2008 in order to advance science and improve human health. The Policy states that all peer-reviewed articles NIH contributes funds to must be made publicly available on PubMed Central.
PubMed Central is a free, full text repository of journal articles, and is different from PubMed, which contains references and abstracts only.
The policy applies to any journal article that meets these criteria:
Exempt publications include:
Exempt publications may still be reported in NIH progress reports via My NCBI, but listed at not applicable (N/A).
The answer, in short, is funding. As of 2013, NIH has a strict policy of delaying the processing of non-competing renewal awards until all applicable articles are brought into compliance.
Tips for hassle-free compliance
See all notices related to the Policy.