Implementation of Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research

Notice Number: NOT-OD-05-045

Key Dates
Release Date: April 29, 2005
Effective Date: May 2, 2005

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published its Public Access Policy (Policy) in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on February 3, 2005, and in the Federal Register on February 9, 2005. These announcements and additional relevant information, including Questions and Answers regarding copyright and other concerns, are available at the NIH Public Access Web site:

The purpose of this Notice is to provide a summary of the Policy and to furnish guidance to NIH investigators on the submission of manuscripts.

Summary of the Policy

The Policy becomes effective May 2, 2005. The Policy requests and strongly encourages all NIH-funded investigators to make their peer-reviewed author's final manuscripts available to other researchers and the public at the NIH National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central (PMC) [see] immediately after the final date of journal publication. At the time of submission, authors are given the option to release their manuscripts at a later time, up to 12 months after the official date of final publication. NIH expects that only in limited cases will authors deem it necessary to select the longest delay period.

The Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs1 from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. NIH is requesting that authors submit publications resulting from 1) currently-funded NIH research projects or 2) previously-supported NIH research projects where manuscripts were accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted. We welcome comments and suggestions about the submission process. Please contact us at

The NIH Manuscript Submission System

The password-protected, Web-based, NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system ( has been developed to facilitate the submission process. This system allows easy identification of NIH grant numbers (past and present) and NIH intramural project numbers by associating them with the corresponding extramural or intramural Principal Investigator (PI) of the research study. Currently, manuscript files from NIH Intramural PIs can be submitted to the NIHMS system by the PI or designated NIH staff. Manuscript files from extramural PIs may be submitted by the PI only. Beginning July 6, 2005, manuscript files may be submitted to the NIHMS system by either the extramural PI or a third party on the PI's behalf (e.g., administrative personnel, graduate students, librarians, publishers, etc.).

In all cases, approval of the submitted materials and the determination of the public release date require the PI's review and authorization. Currently, the system is designed for individual submissions, but procedures for batch processing of multiple submissions are being explored and may be developed in the future. No further formatting of the manuscript is necessary beyond that required by the accepting journals. Special arrangements will be available for unusual cases. Please see the NIH Public Access Web site ( for more information about the Policy.

How to Submit the Manuscript

Note: Users are able to track the status of their manuscripts throughout the process.

Need Help?

Do you have questions about the submission process? Refer to the NIHMS FAQ. The NIHMS system also maintains a help desk to assist users with manuscript submissions and answers to any questions related to the submission process. Contact ( the help desk with your queries.

What is the NIH eRA Commons?

The NIH eRA Commons is a system developed to facilitate the discrete exchange of essential information between NIH and applicant organizations. The “Commons” is a Web interface, available at, where NIH and the grantee community are able to conduct their extramural research administration business electronically. For example, this system allows PIs and institutional officials to have various degrees of online access to the status of their grant applications and details associated with their grant awards.

An NIH eRA Commons account is required for PIs to enter into the NIHMS system and submit final manuscripts. Submitting authors do not need to be a currently-funded NIH investigator in order to create quickly a Commons account number.

If you have questions, problems, or comments regarding the NIH eRA Commons system, please contact the Sponsored Research Office (or equivalent) at your institution or contact the NIH eRA Service Desk at (Phone: 866-504-9552).

1. Costs that can be specifically identified with a particular project or activity. NIH Grants Policy Statement , Rev. 12/2003;

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