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NIH Public Access Policy Compliance: Article Submission Methods

Provides information on how to ensure NIH-funded research is in compliance with their Public Access Policy. Lack of compliance can lead to a delay in receipt of funds.

The Four Methods of Article Submission

For NIH-funded grants, the publisher will need to know that your work is subject to the NIH Public Access Policy.  The language stating this stipulation may be added into the copyright agreement between you and the publisher.

The NIH Public Access Policy requires that all works that have been funded through NIH grants be deposited into PubMed Central.  There are four different methods of article submission.

Method A (Publisher Deposits):  Many journals will submit your article directly into PubMed Central for you.  They would do this within twelve months of your article's publication.  Please view the list of journals that deposit into PubMed Central on your behalf to find out if your journal will handle this for you. NOTE: Sometimes Method A journals miss an article. The PI is responsible for verifying deposit and, if necessary, supplying the manuscript.

Method B (Publisher's Optional Deposit):  If your journal was not on that list, there are other options for you to ensure your work is compliant.  In Method B, you may negotiate with the publisher of your article to have them deposit your article directly into PubMed Central for you.  Many publishers will charge a fee for this service.  View the list of publishers who will deposit a specific paper on your behalf into PubMed Central.

Method C (Researcher Deposits):  Even though the journal may deposit your article into PubMed Central for you, you may still be required to deposit your final peer-reviewed manuscript into the NIHMS portion of PubMed Central.  A requirement of all NIH-grant recipients once their manuscript has been accepted for publication must have their work deposited either into PubMed Central or into NIHMS within three month's of the publication of your article.  NIHMS will review your final peer-reviewed manuscript where it will be made publicly available in PubMed Central.  You can designate how long the embargo period is before PubMed Central makes it publicly available.  This would depend on the publication and copyright agreements that you and the publisher have made.  NIHMS converts your article into a format suitable for PubMed Central display.  You will be able to review this draft and request any necessary changes before your work is published online at PubMed Central.  At the final stage, NIHMS will email you and all other researchers who contributed to your work with its newly assigned PubMed Central ID (PMCID) and the work will display once the embargo period has expired.

Method D (Publisher Deposits, Researcher Involved):  Method D is a hybrid model of Methods B and C.  In this method, the publisher will deposit your manuscript into NIHMS on your behalf.  They will submit the corresponding author information and the period of time your work will be considered embargoed.  After that initial deposit by the publisher, you would need to verify that all the tasks required by NIHMS are complete in order to ensure compliance.  NIHMS notifies the corresponding author.  As corresponding author, you confirm the embargo period and you would approve that the version of your work that has been edited for PubMed Central display after submitting any necessary changes to your work.  Just as in Method C, you will receive your PMCID and your work will be on PubMed Central after the expiration of the embargo period.  You may wish to view a list of Method D publishers

More Information on Manuscript Submission using Methods C or D

You may elect to submit manuscripts yourself using NIHMS or ECU can do it for you.  Please contact if you are interested in the latter.

For more information on how to submit your manuscript in NIHMS on your own, view the NIHMS Submission Help page at:

NIHMS Login Information and Additional Resources

You may log in to NIHMS using the same credentials that you use for logging into eRA Commons.  The link for NIHMS is here:


If you have not yet created an eRA Commons account, you may do so at: