The NIH Public Access Policy and Compliance Requirements: Part 2


In this section, we will discuss the three
steps to complying with the NIH Public Access Policy. They are: addressing copyright, submitting
the paper, and citing the article. The first step is to address copyright during
the publication process. You should make sure the journal knows that the paper is NIH-funded
and needs to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy. The publishing or copyright agreement
should be reviewed to ensure that the publisher will allow the article to be deposited in
PMC. So far, the NIH has not run across any journals that do not allow compliance with
the Public Access Policy. You should also find out who will submit the article — some
journals will do this for you–, which version can be submitted, and when an article can
be made publicly available — this is referred to as the ’embargo period’. Journals can request
that their articles be held for up to 12 months before they are made publicly available. If
you request an embargo, the article will still be in PMC, but the full-text will be hidden
from view until the embargo period passes. The next step is to submit the paper. Again,
you will want to find out from the journal which submission method to use. There are
4 different submission methods, A, B, C and D, which we will talk about in detail. In
some cases, the journal may do all of the work, some of the work, or none of the work,
so find out upfront what you will need to do. Reminder: you need to submit the article upon
acceptance for publication in order to ensure that all submission tasks are completed within
3 months of publication. In Submission Method A, the journal will do
all of the work for you! The journal will submit their formatted version of the article
directly to PMC. If you are lucky enough to be publishing in a Method A journal, all the
PI or author needs to do is to make sure that the journal submits the article, and follow
up and make sure the PMCID gets assigned. It is always the PI’s responsibility to comply
with the policy, so even if the journal says they will do the submission, if they do NOT
submit or are late, it is the PI who will be held accountable for non-compliance. A
list of Method A journals is available online, and fortunately, the number of journals offering
Method A is constantly increasing. Method B is the same as Method A, except the
author must ask the journal to submit a specific article. However, the journal will usually
charge a very large fee for this service — anywhere from $1000 to $3000! The submission tasks
are not that difficult, and you always have the option to do the submission yourself.
You NEVER have to pay to get your articles into compliance with the Public Access Policy!
If you do use Method B, the PI or author will need to request that the journal submit the
article, pay the fee, and then follow up and make sure a PMCID gets assigned. A list of
Method B publishers is also available online. In Method C, the author or PI must complete
the entire submission process, which involves three tasks. The author/PI is responsible
for each of these tasks: submitting the files, approving the PDF receipt for processing,
and approving the manuscript formatting for PMC. The file submission can be performed
by a delegate, such as a research administrator, assistant, or graduate student. The author
will need to do the two approval steps. Once all of the submission tasks are complete,
the PMCID should be emailed to all of the authors on the paper. You will want to make
sure this gets assigned within the required 3 months from publication. Method D is very similar to Method C, except
the publisher does the first task and submits the article thru the NIH Manuscript Submission
system. The Author/PI is responsible for making sure the journal knows to submit the article.
The publisher will list the corresponding author as the contact for the two approval
steps. That person will be notified to approve the PDF receipt for processing, and to approve
the manuscript formatting. If there are multiple authors on the paper, you will need to decide
who is going to take responsibility for these tasks in advance, and make sure that person
is listed as the corresponding author. After all the submission steps are complete, watch
your email to make sure the PMCID gets assigned. A list of Method D publishers is also available
online. Now I’ll go into more detail about those three
submission tasks, which again, only apply to Submission Methods C and D. All of the
tasks are done in the NIH Manuscript Submission system, or NIHMS. The first task is to deposit all the files
(the final peer-reviewed manuscript, any tables, figures, images, etc.) in the NIHMS system.
In Method C, the author or delegate does this, and in Method D, the publisher does this step.
If you are doing the submission yourself, you will need to use your own copy of the
article. Remember, you cannot download the PDF version from publisher’s website and submit
that! Do the submission ASAP so files are not lost. Task 2 is to approve the PDF receipt, which
will list all of the information that was submitted about the article and all files
that were submitted, and asks the author to confirm those details are correct. There’s
also a brief statement regarding the intellectual property of the article, which is why the
author needs to do this step. It will also ask the author to set the embargo period if
one applies. Task 3 will follow a little later. The author
will receive an email asking them to log into the NIHMS system to review and approve the
formatting of the Web version of the manuscript that will be displayed in PMC. The author
can request manuscript corrections at this point, if needed. After the third task is complete, the PI and
all authors should receive an email with the article citation and PMCID number. If an embargo
was specified, the article will automatically be made available in PMC when the specified
time period expires. Before you submit your paper yourself in the
NIHMS system, you will need to have the following information: an eRA Commons or My NCBI username
and password, the journal name, the manuscript title, all grant numbers, all of the manuscript
files, and you will need to know the embargo period required by the journal, if any. This is a screen shot of the login screen
for the NIHMS system. You can use an eRA Commons or a My NCBI username/password to sign in.
Whichever method you choose to use, you should always log-in the same way! If you log-in
different ways, you will not be able to see all of your information. On the HSL guide about the NIH Public Access
Policy, you can navigate to the NIHMS system tab for step-by-step instructions and tutorials
on submitting papers in the NIHMS system. If you have articles that are showing as non-compliant,
you will need to take steps to bring them into compliance as soon as possible. This
is known as “Retrospective Submission”. The first step is to contact the journal and ask
for permission to submit the manuscript to PMC. Also, you will need to find out the embargo
period that the journal requires. If it is already been more than a year since the article
was published, the embargo no longer applies. You will also want to review your copyright
agreement with the journal to make sure you can submit the manuscript to PMC. Determine
who will take responsibility for submission — if there are multiple authors on the paper,
only one needs to do the submission. In the interest of time, you may want to use Method
C to submit the manuscript, even if the journal offers to do it for you. In that case, you
will then need to submit the manuscript yourself using the NIHMS system. The final step in the compliance process is
to cite articles. For all NIH grant applications, renewals, and progress reports, you MUST CITE
the PMCID for all publications subject to the NIH Public Access Policy. This includes
papers authored by the PI or that arose from their award. So, even if the PI is not an
author on the paper, it still must comply with the policy and be cited if it was a result
of the PI’s NIH funding. In some cases, it may be appropriate to use
a substitute for the PMCID. This slide shows a timeline for citing publications. If the
publication is in-press, or less than 3 months have passed from publication, and you need
to cite a paper on a progress report, you can use the PMCID if you have it; if you do
not have a PMCID, for methods A and B you can use the phrase “PMC Journal-In Process”.
The NIH knows which journals submit articles directly to them, and will know to expect
the submission directly from the journal. If you are using submission methods C and
D, you can use the NIH Manuscript Submission system identification number, or the NIHMSID,
which gets assigned when you submit your articles through the NIHMS system. However, the NIHMSID
is only a temporary substitute for the PMCID and should only be used when you need to cite
a paper soon after publication, and the PMCID is not yet available. After 3 months have passed from publication,
you should have a PMCID, and you must use that PMCID to show compliance. The NIH will
not accept the NIHMSID after 3 months. If you submit your paper as soon as you are accepted
for publication, you should have no problem completing all of the submission tasks within
3 months. There are several ways to find the PMCID.
If the article was submitted through NIHMS, it will be emailed to the PI and all authors
once it has been assigned. It is also available in the My Bibliography section of My NCBI,
which we will talk about in the next section. Those are probably the easiest ways to find
the PMCID. You can also look it up in PubMed or PubMed Central. Or, if you have the PubMed
IDs, or PMIDs, you can use the PMID to PMCID Converter tool to find the PMCIDs. We also have a sample citation here showing
you that the PMCID goes at the end of the citation. Finally, this is a screenshot of the abstract
view of an article in PubMed. The PMCID is at the bottom, circled in blue. If you are
pulling PMCIDs from PubMed, just make sure you are copying the PMCID, not the PMID! For more information about the NIH Public
Access Policy, visit the HSL’s NIH Public Access Policy guide, or submit a question
to the HSL using our Ask-A-Librarian service.

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