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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.

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 here.

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. From PubMed searches in either PubMed directly or within My NCBI.
  2. When an author associates a PI's award to a paper via NIHMS or My NCBI.
  3. Through manually input publications. Use only for articles and publication types not indexed in PubMed.
  4. By uploading a file with citations in MEDLINE or RIS format.

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

  • 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)
  • 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).
  • Use Other Citations to save publications associated with a PI's award but that are not authored by that PI. Both the My Bibliography and Other Citations collections are linked to eRA Commons and the RPPR.
  • Training grant publications should also be reported (NOT-OD-15-091).
  • Papers resulting from shared resources only should not be reported in C1, Publications (NOT-OD-16-079).

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