Public Access of Publications

Federal agencies have been directed to develop plans to make the publications resulting from federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) was the first to implement its Public Access Policy, effective in 2008. To advance science and improve human health, NIH makes the peer-reviewed articles it funds publicly available, including publications resulting from grants, contracts, and NIH-funded subawards. Other federal agencies and a few other sponsors are now implementing policies to support open access.

The UMB Health Sciences and Human Services Library supports researchers throughout the compliance process. A faculty librarian can check your NIH compliance status, assist you in the steps needed to be compliant, provide one-on-one consultations or offer a workshop to your group. See step-by-step instructions for becoming compliant or contact a faculty librarian.

NIH Policy Applicability and Effect

  • Policy applies to grants active any time during the period 10/1/07-present.
  • Policy applies to contracts executed on or after 4/7/08.
  • Policy applies to peer-reviewed articles arising from work funded by the awards described and accepted for publication on or after 4/7/08.
  • Policy applies to citations in the biosketch, the bibliography/references section for NIH grants, and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs).
  • The My NCBI tool is used for bibliography management.
  • Articles are made publicly available through PubMed Central.

Copyright Agreements

Ensure that copyright agreements with publishers allow the publication to be made publicly accessible within 12 months after the publication date.

The UMB HS/HSL page on copyright for researchers provides information and resources for retaining author rights.

Links and Resources

Resources for Publisher Policies


Overview and step-by-step instructions on eRA Commons

My NCBI Redesign — on managing compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy using My Bibliography

myNCBI Help — step-by-step instructions