NIH Public Access Policy

The CFDR provides support to CFDR research affiliates to ensure that articles accepted for publication by peer-reviewed journals are uploaded to the PubMed Central database.

The NIH Public Access Policy requires all NIH-funded authors to submit final peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been accepted for publication to the digital archive PubMed Central (PMC). The policy applies to those who receive NIH funds after October 1, 2008.  If you are affiliated with an NICHD P2C-funded Population Center and use the center resources (e.g., seed grants, statistical core, training) for your research you should also be acknowledging the P2C in your publications as well.

The Public Access Policy is mandatory.  It applies to final peer-reviewed papers published in journals only.  (Book chapters and editorials do not apply.)  Submissions to PMC need to be done  upon acceptance of papers, instead of upon publication. 

The author must deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (if you have copyright permission). Two numbers will be generated specific to your manuscript. An NIHMSID number is the temporary number and when the journal’s designated embargo period has expired the PMCID number (the permanent number) will be assigned and the paper will automatically be made publicly available. Many journals will deposit manuscripts to PubMed Central upon request, after an embargo period:  List of Publishers.

Here are the steps for complying with NIH’s Public Access Policy:

1.    When you submit a manuscript to a journal, always cite the CFDR grant using the following acknowledgement. Many journals will submit articles directly to PubMed Central when have this information.

This research was supported in part by the Center for Family and Demographic Research, Bowling Green State University, which has core funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P2CHD050959).

2.    As soon as you are officially informed that your peer-reviewed manuscript has been accepted for publication:

  • Send an electronic version of it (in MS Word format) to the CFDR office ( We will deposit it in the NIH Manuscript Submission System. This is the first step to getting the article into PubMed Central, a requirement for all NIH-funded research.
  • Once the article is deposited, you will receive an email from NIH asking you to approve the submission and they will send you a link to follow. Click on the link, log onto eRA Commons and follow the easy, 3-step approval process.*
*Please note: As of September 2021, NIH transitioned to, a 2-factor authentication for logging in to eRA Commons, ASSIST, MyNCBI, MyBibliography and other Federal systems. It’s a simple, one-time, three-step process to associate your eRA account with your account. Go to the eRA Commons home screen, click on LOGIN.GOV, and follow the on-screen prompts. More details are on this cheat sheet. Webpage: Two-Factor Authentication: Accessing eRA Modules via

The NIH Public Access Policy allows NIH to link and track publications and grants. The linked publications show up under the grant’s “Results” tab in NIH RePORTER. This now makes the productivity of all NIH grants public knowledge.  Please check your RePORTER entries for completeness. If your publication listing is not complete follow the instructions on the “Results” page to enter the missing publications.

PubMed Central ≠ PubMed 

PubMed Central is an index of full-text papers, while PubMed is an index of abstracts. The PMCID links to full-text papers in PubMed Central, while the PMID links to abstracts in PubMed. PMIDs have nothing to do with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Citing a PMC Journal Article:

When citing a paper in NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports that falls under the Policy, you are required to include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) to confirm that the publication has been uploaded and is publicly available.

Helpful links:

Updated: 05/26/2022 02:14PM