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NIH Public Access Policy

NIH requirements for public access to scholarly articles published as a result of NIH awards, with help for UCSF researchers.

My Bibliography for NIH Policy Compliance

The NIH requires investigators to use My Bibliography to enter publications for progress reports. My Bibliography is a tool within My NCBI.A view of the My Bibliography publications list showing the MyNCBI logo followed by the eRA Commons icon with "eRA linked account"

In order to report publications to the NIH, the My NCBI account must be linked with an eRA Commons account. Investigators can log in to My NCBI with their eRA Commons account to ensure this. Or, link an existing My NCBI login with an eRA Commons account.

When linked, you'll see the eRA Commons icon on the publications page, as well as the option to display Award View as highlighted in the image to the right.

In Award view, you can view the compliance status for each article and manage compliance steps from within My NCBI. Link directly from an NIHMSID to a NIHMS status summary.

Publications that were published more than three months ago but don't yet have a PMCID will show a non-compliant status, even when there's an NIHMSID. Once the PMCID is assigned, the status will update to "complete".

Add Publications Associated with an Award

Publications can be added to My Bibliography in multiple ways:

  1. Directly from PubMed searches or by adding PMIDS within My Bibliography (see video tutorial).
  2. When any author associates a PI's award to a paper via NIHMS or My NCBI.
  3. Through manually input publications. Use for articles not indexed in PubMed, for reporting forthcoming articles not yet in PubMed, or for preprints and other interim products that are publicly accessible.
  4. By uploading a file with citations in MEDLINE or RIS format.

Be sure to associate the award(s) with the paper so that publications link up to your NIH Progress Report. For articles in Method A and Method B journals, the investigator must 1) add articles published to My Bibliography, and 2) associate the award. These two steps are not automatic.

Duplicate adds will not be saved to the list, so long as they are an exact match. If any of the metadata differs, it'll result in duplicate records, which can be collapsed. Contact the My NCBI Help Desk for any problematic duplicates.

Tips for Reporting Publications

  1. NIH requires all publications published or accepted for publication as a result from the award during the reporting period to be reported, regardless of public access compliance status. (NOT-OD-12-160) See NIH's FAQs on interim research products.
  2. Preprints and other interim research products may be reported as of May 21, 2017 (NOT-OD-17-050), Note, however, that interim research products are not accepted as post-submission materials for grant applications (NOT-OD-19-083).
  3. Publications that are exempt from the policy may still be reported in NIH progress reports via My NCBI, but listed as not applicable (N/A).
  4. Include publications associated with a PI's award but that are not authored by the PI in My Bibliography in order to ensure they are reported on the progress report. These could formerly be listed in Other Citations and linked to the RPPR, however NIH no longer supports Other Citations.
  5. Training grant publications should also be reported (NOT-OD-15-091).
  6. Papers resulting from shared resources only should not be reported in C1, Publications. They may optionally be listed in B2, Accomplishments or on data sharing plans (see "Tracking and reporting papers.arising from resource sharing"). (NOT-OD-16-079).
  7. NIH also has requirements for data sharing. See the Library's guide for details.

See all notices related to the policy, as well as NIH's guidelines for determining applicability.