NIH Public Access Policy:
How It Affects UCLA Researchers and How to Comply
As of April 7, 2008, researchers receiving grant money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have to submit copies of their resulting research papers to PubMed Central (PMC) when those papers are accepted for publication in a journal. PMC, the NIH's free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, will then make the papers freely available to the public no later than twelve months after publication.
Making research results publicly accessible is important not only to the NIH. It is also an essential element of UCLA's commitment to academic freedom and its mission as a public research university to create and disseminate knowledge for the betterment of society.
How to Comply
Most Important Step: Address Copyright
Before you sign an author agreement or copyright transfer agreement, make sure that it allows the paper to be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in accordance with the public access policy.
UC has issued a letter signed by William Tucker, executive director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Research Administration in the UC Office of the President, that should be enclosed with any paper submitted for possible publication; it gives notice to publishers that, if accepted for publication, the paper will be required by law to be posted on PMC. If this letter is not submitted at the time a paper is sent to a publisher for review, it must be submitted along with any signed publication agreement.
Submit the Article to PMC
This can be done several ways:
- You can deposit a copy of the peer-reviewed manuscript into the NIH manuscript submission system, which puts it into PMC. The system will require you to personally verify and approve the manuscript after it is submitted; it will send you an email message requesting this action.
- Your publisher can deposit the peer-reviewed manuscript into the NIH manuscript submission system for you. The system will require you to personally verify and approve the manuscript after it is submitted; it will send you an email message requesting this action.
- Publishers of some journals have agreed to make all published articles resulting from NIH-funded research publicly available in PMC within twelve months of publication. For these journals, you do not need to do anything further to comply with the submission requirement of the policy.
Cite the Article Correctly
In NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports as of May 25, 2008, when you cite an article you authored or co-authored that falls under this policy, you must include the PMC reference number.
Further Information and Assistance
Take one of the illustrated tutorials created by the NIH.
For Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers, an HHMI Web page provides further information about its publishing policy.
Read the March 6, 2008, guidance memo from Kathleen Babcock, coordinator of government contracts and grants in the UC Research Administration Office, to contracts and grants officers on all UC campuses.
Read the April 4, 2008, UCLA memo offering preliminary guidance about the policy to UCLA deans and directors.