Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

NIH Public Access Policy: Definitions


Delegate (eRACommons) - appointed person can perform tasks in your account
​For more information:

Delegate (My Bibliography) - appointed person can add or remove citations to the bibliography and perform other functions.

Embargo – a period of time set by a publisher that restricts non-paid access to a publication. After this time period an article can be freely accessible to the public.
Finding a journal’s compliance and embargo policies can be a difficult task. The best way to find this is to go to the journal’s website and check the “Instructions for Authors” section. Look for the keywords Public Access, Compliance or Embargo. Another option is to get in contact with the editor of the journal.

eRACommons (electronic research administration) - an online interface principal investigators, trainees and post-docs at institutions/organizations can access and share administrative information relating to research grants.

My Bibliography - reference management tool within PubMed that helps the user save personal publications (journal articles, books/chapters, patents, presentations and meetings) directly from PubMed or, if not found there, to manually enter citations using My Bibliography templates. eRA commons users can sign in to My Bibliography with their eRA Commons login to track compliance with the NIH public access policy and report papublications to NIH. These two systems will share publication information but only if use eRACommons login. See also Other Citations.

My NCBI - tool that retains user information and database preferences to provide customized services for many databases operated by NCBI, including PubMed, PubMed Central and SciENcv. It allows you to save searches, select display formats, filtering options, and set up automatic searches that are sent by e-mail. It includes the bibliography management system My Bibliography.

NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) – online tool for authors and publishers to deposit electronic version of peer-reviewed final manuscripts for inclusion in PubMed Central. Publications in the NIHMS are assigned an identifier (NIHMSID). The NIHMS has a video overview, illustrated submission tutorials and an FAQ.  

Other Citations – alternative reference management tool to My Bibliography within NCBI but is a separate collection of citations in My NCBI. Its features and operations are identical to My Bibliography. This alternative is offered to NIH principal investigators to use to track and report publications that they did not author, but arose from their NIH award.
The above definitions come from the NIH.

PubMed Central (PMC) – freely accessible database of publications that must comply with the NIH Publication Access Policy NIH grants.

PMID – the unique reference number assigned to a publication that has been entered into PubMed.

PMCID - PMC ID is a unique reference number assigned to a publication that has been entered into PMC to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.