Announcer: From the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, this is All About Grants.

Megan Columbus: Welcome to another edition of All About Grants. My name is Megan Columbus, I'm with NIH's office of Office of Extramural Research. Today I have with me Peter Cooper, from NIH's National Library of Medicine.

He's going to take part in the third in a three‑part series on NIH's Public Access Policy. Our first podcast talked about the policy, what the expectations are around the policy. The second one talked about My NCBI, which is a tool for authors to help them monitor compliance. And today we'll be talking about the Public Access Compliance Monitor, which is a tool for institutions to help institutions monitor compliance.

So, Peter, tell me a little bit more about what this tool is for?

Peter Cooper: Well, as you say, this is a tool for institutions. It's a web‑based tool. And institutions can use it to track the compliance status of publications that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy.

So it works like this: Every institution that receives awards from NIH, the compliance monitor will actually identify journal articles that have been linked to those awards, and then show the institution, so that the institution can see which of those articles we think are compliant and which are non‑compliant with respect to the policy.

Megan: And so the institution is only going to see those articles that are associated with authors from their institution?

Peter: Absolutely right. The grant is the key. So if the institution is receiving the grant, the link will be made between the papers that have been identified as connected with that grant.

Megan: Great, so it's the grant and not the author that's really the linking?

Peter: Absolutely.

Megan: Great. So as an institutional representative, how do I get access to the tool and what permissions or registrations might I need?

Peter: That's a good question. The tool requires that you have a specific role in eRA Commons. And we'll give you the way to access the URL later on. Once you come to that URL, you will notice that you're logging in via My NCBI.

Megan: Logging into the ‑‑ the public access compliance tool.

Peter: Into the compliance monitor, absolutely.

But you are not going to be able to log in unless you have a specific role, what we call the PACR role, P‑A‑C‑R, Public Access Compliance Role.

To get this role, you have to talk to an administrator at your institution who us authorized to assign roles in the eRA Commons. Once you have a PACR role, you can then log into the Public Access Compliance Monitor. What you will see then is the information, the set of reports that are related to the institution that your role is arriving from.

Every institution, as many people may know, is assigned by the NIH an IPF, an Institution Profile File number.

So that means that you're only going to be seeing information related to that ‑‑ that IPF, that you're only going to be seeing information related to that Institution Profile File number.

Megan: Peter, might an institution have more than one IPF that they might be monitoring compliance for?

Peter: Yeah, Megan, they might. For example, you might be at a university, and the university has one IPF. Your university medical Center might have another IPF and maybe there's a research institute that's affiliated with your university and that might have yet a third IPF. So certainly institutions can have multiple IPFs. The important thing to remember is that if you plan to monitor more than one of these IPFs, you're going to need a PACR role for each of those IPFs and you'll just really need to work with your administrator, the one who's familiar with the eRA Commons to help you out with that.

Megan: Where does the compliance monitor tool get its data from? How does it know what I'm compliant with?

Peter: A variety of sources. For instance you talked about the My NCBI and the My Bibliography tool. Well, grant associations, an association between an award and a paper might be made there. The monitor will have a feed from My Bibliography, where we're picking up that information. We also get information from the NIHMS, the NIH manuscript submission system. Where, again, individuals depositing, whether it's an institutional organization or an author, depositing these papers into NIHMS they are making grant associations between the grant and the paper and we'll get that from there.

We also pick up information from PubMed. So a variety of very different sources are feeding into PACM and we're making the associations that way.

Megan: And so I would expect the results that I would get to be comprehensive.

Peter: Should be comprehensive.

Megan: Fabulous. Are there reports that I can generate so if I have to follow up with people, is there something that I have in my hand?

Peter: That's a good question. So let's say that we've got our PACR role and re‑log into the compliance monitor, what do we see in the first place? Well, the first thing that you're going to see is sort of a snapshot of your overall compliance as an institution. You'll see the total number of articles that have a link to grants that are associated with your institution.

Megan: That's probably useful information of itself.

Peter: That's in and of itself useful. And then that total number will be broken out into compliant articles and non‑compliant articles. So let's say that you have 75 non‑compliant articles. Well, you can see at a glance, I've got 75 non‑compliant articles. That's on the summary page. What's really nice is then you can click on that number 75 and go to a detailed page that gives information about all 75 of those articles that the compliance monitor has picked up as being non‑compliant.

That's where it gets really useful, this tool. Because the information about all of those articles includes a PubMed citation, it includes all of the grants that have been linked to each of those articles, it includes every PI that is linked to every grant that is associated ‑‑

Megan: There we go.

Peter: ‑‑ so this is becoming very, very useful information. And I'll say one other thing, we talked a little bit about the NIHMS, the NIH manuscript submission system. If a paper is deposited into the NIHMS, this details page will show you where each paper is in the submission process. So you can actually track the paper all the way through from deposit to final approval. And that's a really, really helpful feature as well.

Megan: I'm sure that will make many people's jobs a lot easier.

I heard you say that the National Library of Medicine was the one who really developed the system. It works with the eRA Commons for authentication, so given that, who do I contact when I need help?

Peter: Well, I think the best place to go, the first place that you want to go is to the Public Access help desk. They'll be able to help you out. Or if not, they'll certainly be able to route the question to someone who can help.

Megan: And so with that, is there anything else that you would like to add?

Peter: Well, we talked a little bit about reports and in addition to being able to monitor and track these compliant and non‑compliant articles that have been associated with grants for your institution, the compliance monitor is a tool that allows you to help PIs and researchers move papers from non‑compliant status to compliant status. So you are not just able to track. You should be able to use this tool to communicate useful and helpful information to PIs so that they can then follow up and help resolve non‑compliance issues. So, for example, there's one really nice feature that you can access from the details page. And that is a downloadable CSV file. So you can download all this information we've been talking about and other information like information relating to publication details, journal, publisher, when published, first author of the article, even the person in NIHMS who is currently responsible for the paper in that system. All of this information you can have on a spreadsheet.

Then you can sort the spreadsheets, say, by PI. Well, what have you got now? You've got really all of this wonderful information sorted by PI so that you can then communicate to each of your PIs ‑‑

Megan: In one lump.

Peter: ‑‑ in one lump all of this wonderful information that will really help them follow up on compliance issues. I think that's where this tool will really be terrific for everybody concerned.

Megan: I think you'll have a lot of people who are listening to this who might agree with you, Peter.

With that, I think I look forward to hearing from our listeners about how it goes with the tool. And thank you for joining us today.

Peter: Thank you, Megan.

Megan: All right. For NIH and OER, this is Megan Columbus.


Announcer: For more information on the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as links for My NCBI and PubMed Central, please visit There's also a companion webinar associated with this podcast. It can be found on the Public Access page via the Training/Communications tab.