1. Address Copyright. Before signing a publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement, make sure the agreement allows the paper to be submitted to NIH in accordance with the Public Access Policy. See the sample letter to include with your agreement if you need one. Points to consider:
2. Submit the paper to NIH. This can be done in a number of ways. See this Submission Methods table from NIH.Note that NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication and that all NIHMS tasks are complete within three months of publication.
Method A: Journal deposits final published articles in PubMed Central without author involvement. Journals that Submit All NIH Funded Final Published Articles to PMC.
Method B: Author asks publisher to deposit specific final published article in PubMed Central (usually for a fee). Publishers that Will Deposit a Specific Final Published Article in PubMed Central on Request
Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC yourself (either the author or a designee) via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS). IMPORTANT: The simplest way to proceed is to set up a myNCBI account and access the NIHMS via your myNCBI account. You will need to register to obtain a login and password.
To submit the manuscript, you will need the grant number from the Principal Investigator (PI); the manuscript, and any supplemental data (figures and/or tables, etc.); the name of the journal in which the manuscript appears; and the title of the manucript. Upon submission, the system will generate a receipt of the uploaded files in the PDF format. Submitters confirm that the documents have been successfully received by NIHMS and a NIHMS ID number is issued. Then there are several review and approval steps, by the author or PI, for initial approvals and to designate the number of months after publication when the manuscript may be made publicly available in PMC. Within a couple of weeks, a PMCID (PubMed Central ID) is assigned and emailed to the author and the PI.
Near the time when the article is about to be published, the author receives another e-mail requesting final approval of the document. Prior to this time, the PMCID can be viewed in PubMed Central. PMC will automatically make the paper available at the appropriate time.
Tutorial for Submitting a Manuscript for a Journal that Does NOT Participate in PMC
Tutorial for Submitting a Manuscript for a Journal that DOES Participate in PMC
The NIHMS has a help desk to assist with submissions. Contact the NIHMS.