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NIH Public Access Policy: Home

NIH Public Access Compliance Requirements

In 2008 Congress passed the NIH Public Access Policy. This policy requires that any research: 

  • written on of after April 2008
  • funded by an NIH research grant
  • published in a peer-reviewed journal

must be deposited and available to the public in electronic format  in PubMed Central.

The rational behind this is to help advance science and improve human health.

Policy Overview

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires investigators to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.  To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

The major components of complying with NIH Public Access Policy:

  • Determine Applicability
  • Address Copyright
  • Submit Manuscript to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) for Deposit into PubMed Central (PMC)
  • Show Evidence of Compliance

The Principal Investigtor (PI) is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

In navigating compliance with NIH Public Access Policy, it may be helpful to keep in mind that there are multiple systems involved.  Here is a graphic displaying the systems mentioned in this help guide.

Important News! Changes coming June 1, 2021

NCBI is changing the way Investigators and Delegates login to MyNCBI. Starting June 1, 2021 everyone will have to login
using "federated" account credentials using one of these options:

  • eRA Commons
  • Google
  • University or Institutional point of access (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) - See "Instructions for users with My NCBI account-institutional login" below.

Please be assured nothing in your account will change (e.g. My Bibiliography, SciENcv etc), the only change is the way users login.

For more information on why this change is happening:

See also FAQs:

Alison Kissling

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Alison Kissling
Cincinnati Children's
Edward L Pratt Research Library
3333 Burnet Ave ML3012
Cincinnati, OH 45229
Subjects: NIH Related Guides


Use these links when having trouble with these parts of the NIH Public Access System

Instructions for users with My NCBI account-Institutional login

  1. Login to My NCBI using the Log in on the top right of the PubMed home page. (figure 1)
  2. Click on your username in the top bar to load your NCBI Account Settings page. (figure 2)
  3. If your Settings page looks like figure 3: you have a “Native NCBI Account” username and password and have no linked accounts, then you will need to add a linked account.
  4. To add a linked account, click the “Change” button under Linked Accounts. (figure 3)
  5. Choose University/institutional
  6. Type Cincinnati and click on Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center from the list. (figure 4)
  7. Login using your hospital credentials. Choose one of these:
    “Ask me again at the next login”
    “Ask me again if information to be provided to this services changes”-chosen in this example
    “Do not ask me again”-You will not have to login again until you change your hospital login (every 90 days)

    Click “I agree, continue”
    (figure 5)
  8. Your account is now linked with Cincinnati Children's. You will use your usual login to get into My NCBI.
    To see the link click on your user name at the top and you will see Linked accounts: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and your email. (figure 6)
    Please note: You can click Change at any time to use a different “federated” login (e.g. Google).
  9. Confirm and login using your hospital credentials (user name and password).
  10. To login the new way click Log on the top right of the PubMed home page. (figure 1)
  11. Click on “Login in again with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center”. (figure 7)
  12. Log in using your hospital credentials. (figure 8)


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