Upcoming Changes to Public Access Policy Reporting Requirements and Related NIH Efforts to Enhance Compliance

Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-160

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • February 14, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-042. Changes to Public Access Policy Compliance Efforts Apply to All Awards with Anticipated Start Dates on or after July 1, 2013.
  • February 6, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-035. NIH Requires Use of RPPR for All SNAP and Fellowship Progress Reports, and Expands RPPR Functionality. This guide notice applies to all awards with anticipated start dates on or after July 1, 2013.
  • January 10, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-017. eRA Commons Users Can Now Generate a Publications Report for the PHS 2590 with My NCBI.
  • January 9, 2013 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-020. Public Access Compliance Monitor: A New Resource for Institutions to Track Public Access Compliance.
  • December 21, 2012 - See Notice NOT-OD-13-016. Changes to the NIH Public Access Policy and the Implications to Awards: Webinar - January 15, 2013.

Key Dates
Release Date: November 16, 2012

Related Announcements
May 26, 2015 - See Notice NOT-OD-15-091, Clarifying Publication Reporting Instructions for Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and Renewal Applications.
August 23, 2012 - See Notice NOT-OD-12-142, Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Module and Training Webinar Available to NIH Grantees
June 10, 2010 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-103, My NCBI Tool to Replace eRA Commons for Bibliography Management
October 30, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-10-009, Until further notice, only papers written in Latin script will be collected via the NIH Manuscript Submission System for the NIH Public Access Policy.
August 12, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-09-136, Clarification on the Use of an NIHMSID to Indicate Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
March 19, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-09-071, The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 Makes the NIH Public Access Policy Permanent.
March 19, 2009 - See Notice NOT-OD-09-070, The intent of this Notice is to provide information on the following statutory provisions that limit the use of funds on National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, cooperative agreement, and contract awards for FY2009.
September 23, 2008 - See Notice NOT-OD-08-119, Reminder Concerning Grantee Compliance with Public Access Policy and Related NIH Monitoring Activities. January 11, 2008 - See Notice NOT-OD-08-033, Revised Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Since 2008, compliance with the NIH public access policy has been a statutory requirement and a term and condition of all grant awards and cooperative agreements. NIH and its awardees have developed increasingly effective ways to track and report compliance with the public access policy. To this end, NIH has provided outreach and worked to assist applicants with understanding the policy. However, there is a need to improve grantee compliance.

Upcoming Process Change:
With this Notice, NIH informs grantees that in Spring, 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy. The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance. This change will take effect in tandem with NIH requiring the use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) for all Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards in the Spring of 2013 (see NIH NOT-OD-12-142).

NIH will simultaneously implement the procedural change outlined below to facilitate public access reporting in paper progress reports (PHS 2590) submitted on or after this to be announced spring date.

New Tools
NIH made changes to My NCBI that improve the workflow and communication between PD/PIs and non- PD/PI authors. It is now easier for PD/PIs to track compliance of all papers arising from their awards, even they do not author those papers. (See http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/ja12/ja12_myncbi_new_features.html for details).

Communications about Public Access Compliance Issues with the RPPR
The RPPR requires grantees to report publications using a Commons linked My NCBI account. The RPPR publication section (C.1) is pre-populated with the PD/PI’s publications from My NCBI and the PD/PI simply checks the publications to be associated with that progress report.

Submitting an RPPR with a non-compliant publication will generate an automated email notifying the grantee that the progress report includes citations that are out of compliance with the public access policy and requesting a response by a specified due date two weeks prior to the next budget start date. As indicated above, no sooner than Spring, 2013, the non-competing continuation award will be delayed until a reply to the e-notification is received from the grantee with evidence of compliance or a satisfactory explanation (e.g., the sole author has passed away before they were able to process the manuscript for posting to PubMed Central).

Grantees can respond via a Progress Report Additional Materials (PRAM) link rather than by email. The link provides a text box in which the grantee may respond through the eRA Commons. The grantee will be able to view the PRAM submission in the grant folder. Grantees using email must respond to the Grants Management Specialist and Program Officer.

Procedural Change for Paper Progress Reports (PHS 2590)
All grantees submitting paper PHS 2590 progress reports will be required to provide a My NCBI generated PDF list of publications as part of their progress report. These PDF reports will be required at the time the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) is required for all Streamlined Non-Competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards, expected in the Spring of 2013 (see NIH NOT-OD-12-142). Grantees will be able to use these PDF reports on a voluntary basis starting December 2012.

The new My NCBI PDF report will serve as publications Section 2.2.6, Section E. Publications, of the PHS 2590. This PDF will standardize reporting of publications to NIH, facilitate grantee reporting by providing a computer generated publication list, and enhance compliance by clearly indicating the applicability of the public access policy and compliance status of each reported paper. If a publication is not compliant with the public access policy, NIH staff will email the PD/PI and business official to inform them that the award will be delayed until a reply to the email is received with evidence of compliance or a satisfactory explanation (e.g., the sole author has passed away before they were able to process the manuscript for posting to PubMed Central).

Reminders Regarding Completeness and Accuracy of Progress Reports
1) PD/PIs submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH are required to include the PMC reference number (PMCID) or appropriate substitute every time a paper that falls under the public access policy is cited that they authored or that arose from their NIH-funded research. Listing one of these publications anywhere in a progress report without an appropriate identifier is not consistent with the requirements of the public access policy. Using My NCBI to report publications guarantees that the correct identifier is reported accurately, and the public access compliance status is clearly conveyed.

2) Grantees are reminded to only report publications in the relevant section of the progress report (Section 2.2.6 Section E of the PHS 2590 and section C.1 of the RPPR). Publications listed in other sections of the report will not be recorded as productivity arising from the award in NIH systems (e.g., RePORT).

3) Grantees must report all publications arising from their award during the reporting period regardless of the public access status of the publication. Grantees are reminded that they certify the completeness and accuracy of the information in their progress reports when it is submitted to NIH.

Additional Advice and Resources for Grantees
NIH expects that the provision of this advance notice will provide institutions and PD/PIs with sufficient time to ensure that all of their NIH-supported papers are posted to PubMed Central as required, before annual progress reports are submitted to NIH.

NIH advises PD/PIs to use their My NCBI account to track compliance for their publications now, and to ensure all publications arising from their awards are posted to PubMed Central in accordance with the policy. For information on how to use My NCBI for public access compliance tracking, see:

NIH also encourages institutions to provide training and other support for their authors and PD/PIs. NIH provides resources at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/communications.htm and http://publicaccess.nih.gov/sponsored.htm/.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
1 Center Drive, Room 144
Bethesda, MD 20892-0152
Email: PublicAccess@nih.gov
Website: http://publicaccess.nih.gov