National Institutes of Health (NIH)

A summary of the National Institutes of Health's open access policy and their requirements for researchers who receive funding from them.

Requirements overview

Requirement Detail
Acknowledge the funder Required
Data accessibility statement Not required
Rights retention statement Not required
Specific licence Not specified
Embargo limit 12 months or less (none accepted for NCI Cancer Moonshot)
Deposit locations PMC
APC payment exclusions None specified
APC payment source NIH grant
Other notes Currently under review

Further information

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What is covered by the policy

"The NIH public access policy applies to any manuscript1 that:

  • Is peer-reviewed;
  • And, is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008;
  • And, arises from:
    • Any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond, or;
    • Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, or;
    • Any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program, or;
    • An NIH employee."

1 Until further notice, manuscripts written in scripts other than Latin (e.g., Russian, Japanese) cannot be processed by the NIHMS. These manuscripts are not required to be posted on PubMed Central and do not require evidence of compliance on applications, proposals or reports. The NIHMS continues to process manuscripts written in Latin (Roman) script that contain characters and fonts used in standard mathematical notation.

Does the Public Access Policy apply to dissertations or book chapters?
"No, the policy only applies to peer-reviewed journal manuscripts. See for the full criteria. Please also be sure to confirm that the publication does not meet the public access definition for a journal ."

Further criteria

Address copyright

"Before you sign a publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement, make sure that the agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central (PMC) in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy."

Include PMCID in Citations

"Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research."

Deposit into PMC

"Papers are required to be submitted via the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication. Publishers, authors or their designee deposit files and the NIHMS converts them to the PMC native format."

Paying for NIH publications

Will NIH pay for publication costs?
"Yes. Publication costs, including author fees, may be charged to NIH grants and contracts on three conditions:

  1. Such costs incurred are actual, allowable, and reasonable to advance the objectives of the award
  2. Costs are charged consistently regardless of the source of support
  3. All other applicable rules on allowability of costs are met."

(All quotations taken from NIH policy pages and FAQ on 08/06/2023)

What is covered by the policy

"Specifically, this Policy applies to:

  • Competing grant and cooperative agreement applications that are submitted to NCI in response to a Cancer Moonshot Research Project funding opportunity announcement on or after October 1, 2017.
  • Proposals for contracts for Cancer Moonshot Research Projects that are submitted on or after October 1, 2017.
  • NCI intramural Cancer Moonshot Research Projects generating Publications and Underlying Primary Data on or after October 1, 2017."

Deposit into PMC

"Electronic copies of Publications will be deposited in PubMed Central with proper tagging of metadata to ensure online discoverability and accessibility within four weeks of acceptance by a journal. If the publisher will not be able to deposit the article into Pubmed Central by this timeframe, the author should consider submitting the manuscript through the NIH Manuscript Publishing System."

No embargo period accepted

"Publications will be made publicly available immediately without any embargo period."

(All quotations taken from NCI Cancer Moonshot policy pages on 08/06/2023)