HOME | Stritch School of Medicine | Graduate School | Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing | LUC Libraries | Loyola University Chicago | Loyola University Health System | loyola.wired

NIH Public Access Policy

On March 11, with the passage of the 2009 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the NIH Public Access Policy became permanent. No changes to the policy were made. It still mandates that researchers funded by NIH grants must submit an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed articles within 12 months of publication. Listed below is information about the policy and access to the submission system. The NIH Public Access Policy Details

The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008). The law states:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicy available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

For more information, click here

The PMCID Converter is a useful tool to identify additional unique identifiers for articles in PMC.


Upon acceptance for publication, LUHS authors may directly submit the final version of the manuscript and accompanying files to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).  

As an overview, here is how the NIHMS is used to collect articles for PubMed Central:

Step 1: Log in
Users can log in to NIHMS using their eRA Commons login (for extramural scientists) or their NIH login (for NIH intramural scientists). Third party submissions may be made by My NCBI account holders. Publisher login accounts are available for publishers interested in submitting manuscripts on behalf of authors to NIHMS. Additional publisher options are discussed in the Publisher FAQ.

Step 2: Upload manuscript
After providing basic information about the manuscript and contact information, users can upload their manuscript file(s). The system will generate a receipt of the uploaded files in PDF format. The PDF Receipt summarizes the information entered into the system, and merges the manuscript's files into one viewable document. Submitters confirm that the manuscript and any additional supporting documents have been successfully received by NIHMS.

Step 3: PDF Receipt approval and processing
If the submitter is not the Principal Investigator (PI), an email will be sent to the PI to approve the PDF and indicate the release date when the manuscript will be made publicly available on PMC. Upon approval by the submitter and the PI, the manuscript will be converted into XML - the standardized digital format used by PubMed Central.

Step 4: Approval of the converted manuscript (Web version)
After the conversion process, a preview of the article as it will appear in PubMed Central will be made available, allowing the PI to correct any errors if necessary. After final approval, the article will be publicly accessible through PubMed Central after the time-delay specified by the PI.

Library Submissions
Loyola Health Science Library can assist you in complying with the NIH Public Access Policy by submitting your manuscript to PubMed Central (PMC) for you. 

For a librarian to submit the article for you, the following information is needed:

  • Confirmation that you have copyright clearance from the journal publisher to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.  Check your agreement with your publisher.
  • Embargo/Time Delay – how long after publication can the article be made available in PMC.  Check your agreement with your publisher.
  • Principal investigator name and email address
  • Grant number(s)
  • Final manuscript file (PDF, Microsoft Word)

The required information and manuscript should be emailed to HSL@luc.edu. The library will send the PI an email confirming that the manuscript has been submitted and will include the NIHMS manuscript number in the email. 

IMPORTANT:  Submission is not complete until you have done one final step:

The NIHMS system will send an email to the PI confirming receipt of the manuscript and ask the PI for final approval for submission to PMC.  Please make sure to respond to this email. 

For more information or assistance, please contact Jeanne Sadlik (jsadlik@luc.edu)

Still Searching?

Call us: (708) 216-9192
Email us: HSL@luc.edu
Chat with us using the chat widget.
Stop by our Service Desk. We look forward to working with you!

We would appreciate your feedback on this toolkit. Please send comments to: HSL@luc.edu.
Staffed Library Hours
Mon-Thurs: 8:30am-7:00pm
Fri: 8:30am-5:00pm

Health Sciences Library
2160 South First Avenue
Maywood, Illinois 60153
(708) 216-9192

Google Map

Vincent J. Galante, M.D.
Information Commons

Open 24/7