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NIH Public Access Policy: Monitoring Compliance

Use My Bibliography and eRA Commons to check publication status

Easily monitor your publications by signing up for My NCBI in PubMed. Once an account is created add your publications to My Bibliography by searching them in PubMed or enter them manually. Finally link you eRA Commons account to My NCBI and easily keep track of each publication to see if they are complaint or where they are in the process.

My NCBI Account

Create a "My NCBI" account:

  1. Go to Pubmed.
  2. Click on  “Sign into MyNCBI”.
  3. If you have an eRA Commons Account Sign in using your eRA Commons username and password.
  4. Your eRA Commons account is now linked with your MyNCBI account.

Do you already have a "My NCBI" account? Link it to an eRA Commons Account:

  1. Go to Pubmed.
  2. Click on “Sign into My NCBI”.
  3. Sign in using your My NCBI username and password.
  4. Access the Account settings page by clicking on the Hyperlink of your name at the top right corner.
  5. Go to “Linked Account” and click on change.
  6. In the box entitled “Login Account Options” scroll down to the “NIH & eRA Commons” option and click on it.
  7. Login to your eRA commons account to link the account.

Create an Award Compliance Report PDF

Creating a report in PDF (e.g. RPPR) format using My Bibliography or Other is easy:

  1. Log in to
  2. Go to My NCBI located in the top right hand corner and login.
  3. Go to 'My Bibliography' or 'Other'.
  4. Using the scroll down under 'Display Setting'
    • View-choose 'Award'.
    • Sort by - choose 'Public Access Compliance'.
    • Grouping -choose  'By citation type'
  5. From the 'Filter citations by' column on the right of the page and check box next to the appropriate award under 'Awards' OR check the box next to 'Linked to my 'Awards' under 'Paper-grant Associations'.
  6. Click 'Apply Filters'.
  7. Click Select All at the top of the page in the blue band.
  8. Click on 'PDF Report'.
  9. Fill in the PI's First Name and Last Name and starting page number.
  10. Finally click on 'Download PDF'.

My Biblgraphy Status Definitions

question mark

 A question mark means that compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy cannot be determined.

What should you do?

Click on the question mark icon or "Edit Status" link to enter supporting information for the citation. Once information is added My Bibliography determines the status as either N/A Not Applicable* or will assign it a color coded status as seen below.

Do not manually enter a publication that should be submitted by the publisher!*


red dot

Public Access Compliance: Non-compliant. No PMCID 3 months post publication. [Edit Status] NIHMS ID: NIHMS343954
A red dot indicates that the article is non-compliant.

What should you do?

The compliance process can be started by clicking on the red dot or “Citation not in NIHMS or PMC.” NIH funding information (award id) can be added to this citation by clicking “Add or delete award.” If you are the first author you can determine who is responsible for submitting the publication (see Submitting to PMC). If a publisher is responsible contact the journal as soon as possible. If you are responsible for submitting it start the process right away by submitting it into NIHMS.

Do not manually enter a publication that should be submitted by the publisher!*

Public Access Compliant:

yellow dot

A yellow dot means that the publication has been submitted to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system and is considered in process.

What should you do?

If you are the first author check your NIHMS account and make sure that the publication is not in your que waiting for the first author to approved the information. If you are not the first author or person responsible then contact that person to see if it is waiting in their que.

green dot

A green dot indicates that the citation is compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy. Note that the PMCID number displays in this status. 

What should you do?

Nothing! Your article complies with the NIH Public Access Policy!

green dot

N/A for Not Applicable * status is automatically applied to citation types that are not journal articles, e.g., book chapters, patents,   presentations) or publications published prior to April 7, 2008 because they are not covered by the NIH Public Access Policy. N/A can also mean that the citation is not associated with NIH funding therefore is not counted in the Public Access Policy.

What should you do?

Nothing! There is no other action to take.

*This information comes from the NIHMS system
"If the author manually submits a manuscript for a paper that the publisher has already agreed to deposit, it could prevent the publisher s submission from getting into the NIHMS and/or can result in duplicate submissions. For papers that the authors know will be submitted by the publisher, they should not be manually submitted by the authors. Instead, the authors should contact the journal/publisher and request for it to be deposited for PMC asap.

There is the risk of archiving the author's submission of poor quality in PMC if the publisher has not submitted the correct version in a timely manner or A if the NIHMS is not notified that that author's poor quality submission needs to be canceled."