Before an author signs a publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement, they need to make sure that the agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central (PMC) in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy. Final, peer-reviewed manuscripts must be posted to the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) upon acceptance for publication, and be made publicly available on PMC no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.  Institutions and investigators are responsible for ensuring that any publishing or copyright agreements concerning submitted articles fully comply with this Policy.

What authors should consider when submitting an article to a publisher:

  • What submission method will be used?  [Method A, B, C or D]
  • What version of the paper will be made available on PMC?  [Publisher's final pdf or Author's peer-reviewed manuscript]
  • Who will submit the paper?  [Publisher or author]
  • When will it be submitted?  [Upon acceptance for publication]
  • Who will approve the submission?  [Publisher or author]
  • When can the paper be made public on PMC?  [Maximum is 12 months after official publication]

Definitions: Document Types

  • Final Peer-Reviewed Manuscript
    • The version that exists when the publication agreement is signed, after peer-review, but before copy-editing, layout, etc.
    • Not yet formatted in the journal's style
    • Usually a Word document.
  • Final Published Article
    • Journal’s authoritative copy of the paper
    • Includes copyediting, stylistic edits, layout, etc.
    • Usually a PDF

NIH FAQ: Whose approval do I need to submit my final peer-reviewed manuscript to PMC?

University of Minnesota/CIC Author's Addendum (pdf)

Author's rights addendum endorsed by the University of Minnesota that can be attached to a journal publisher agreement.