Skip to main content
Clinical and Translational Science Center

Clinical and Translational Science Center

Thank you for citing our grant!   Now please obtain your PMCID.

Meeting the NIH requirement for Public Access

MOST NIH SUPPORTED PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS know they are expected to acknowledge the grant that funded their research by citing the grant number in manuscripts, presentations, press releases and other published materials, including those posted on the web. Many investigators and scholars recognize that this expectation also extends to them, as users of CTSC resources, recipients of CTSC pilot awards, and scholars or trainees enrolled in CTSC training programs, because the CTSC is supported by an NIH grant.

What may have escaped the attention of some recipients of CTSC services or training is that, in addition to citing the CTSC grant number, the manuscript also must meet the NIH requirement for public access.

According to the NIH website, “The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research to help advance science and improve human health.”

To comply with this policy, any research manuscript accepted for publication must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC), and a PubMed Central ID (PMCID) must be obtained for it. The PMCID is the reference number assigned to a manuscript at the end of the submission process. Investigators must supply the PMCID for publication citations included in their NIH biosketch and progress reports (

The submission process is relatively simple and begins by uploading the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system (the portal to PMC). Many journals will initiate the required steps to ensure that publications are compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Quick and easy guide to satisfying NIH Public Access Policy requirements

Step 1
– Cite the CTSC grant in your manuscript.

Step 2 – When your manuscript is accepted for publication, determine applicability of the NIH policy to your manuscript.

Step 3 – Review your publishing agreement to identify any copyright conflicts.

Step 4 – Submit your manuscript to PubMed Central (PMC) through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system.

Step 5 – Shepherd the manuscript through the NIHMS system, noting the PMCID at the end of the process.

Step 6 – Send an email to with your PMCID.

However, for manuscripts published in journals that do not perform this service, the responsibility falls to one of the authors (or other designated person) to shepherd the article though its journey in the NIHMS system.

The NIH already has begun to enforce its Public Access Policy, and some investigators have experienced the consequences of noncompliance. As of this past July 1, failure to submit a manuscript to PMC within NIH-imposed deadlines can result in a delay of processing certain grant awards and noncompetitive renewals. This mandate includes out-of-compliance articles dating back to 2008.

The CTSC is tracking publications that cite the CTSC grant, but are not yet deposited into PubMed Central. CTSC staff will follow up with authors of noncompliant articles to help facilitate compliance with the Public Access Policy. Please note that the ramifications of noncompliance also apply to the CTSC grant, as funding will be withheld if investigators supported through the use of CTSC resources do not comply with this policy.

The health science and medical librarians and CTSC staff will offer a workshop in early 2014 to help investigators and staff work though the compliance process, from citing a grant to obtaining a PMCID number.

The accompanying inset contains links to important details about this process. The last page of this newsletter lists additional online resources.

Investigators are encouraged to be proactive and to ensure they comply with the NIH Public Access Policy. If you have not been able to resolve technical difficulties with the online NIHMS system or have questions about the process, please send an email to