There are four methods to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. Authors may use whichever method is most appropriate for them and consistent with their publishing agreement. 

[Navigating the NIHMS Process : NIH Manuscript Submission Help]

The four submission methods vary in:

  • Version posted
  • Use of the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS)
  • Role of Publishers
  • Role of Authors
  • Participating Journals

NIH Manuscript Submission System  (Entry page for manuscript submission to PMC (PubMed Central))

Identify Submission Method:

  • Method A : Journal deposits final published articles in PubMed Central without author involvement.
    • Journals that automatically submit to PMC : These journals have a contract NIH to make the final published version of all NIH-funded articles available in PubMed Central (PMC) no later than 12 months after publication without author involvement.  Example:  BMJ, LWW journals
  • Method B : Author asks publisher to deposit specific final published article in PMC.
    • Publishers that will support authors in posting papers to PMC : List of publishers who do NOT automatically deposit papers, but will either deposit papers or manuscripts on a case by case basis
    • These are typically journals that offer an "open" option for authors, where the paying of an "author's fee" or "article processing charge" (APC) will make the article publically available at time of publication.  Also known as hybrid journals.  All of the major publishers have "open" options.
  • Method C : Author deposits final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via the NIHMS.
    • Self-submitting of final peer-reviewed manuscripts to NIHMIS involves three tasks:
      • Task 1: Deposit/upload manuscript files and link to NIH funding -- may be done by an author or delegate (librarian, administrative assistant). For a video of this process, see Submitting an Article to PubMed Central (WMV Video; 2:01)
      • Task 2: Authorize NIH to process the manuscript
        • Approval of the PDF Receipt requires author review and authorization
      • Task 3: Approve the PMC-formatted manuscript for public display.
        • Approval of the  web version of the manuscript requires author review and authorization
  • Method D : Author completes submission of final peer-reviewed manuscript deposited by publisher in the NIHMS.
    • Publishers would will deposit in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) : Publisher deposits the final peer-reviewed manuscript into NIHMS.
      • The Author must complete all remaining steps (see Method C Tasks 2 & 3) in the NIHMS in order for the submission to be accepted
    • Most of the major publishers fall into this category, such as Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, etc.  Do make sure you check the author's publishing agreement though, as journals that are "hosted" by major publishers may have different policy practices.


NIH Manuscript Submission FAQs

A list of tutorials and hyperlinked html slide-shows.

How do I submit a manuscript from a journal that does not participate in PubMed Central (PMC)?