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NIH Public Access Policy: Introduction

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Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy became law in January 2008. The law states:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.

Benefits of the NIH Public Access Policy

  • makes freely available taxpayer-funded research;
  • advances science; and
  • improves health.

This guide outlines the necessary four steps for compliance as well as incorporates frequently asked questions and other helpful resources to help you get familiar with the NIH Public Access Policy.

  1. Determine applicability
  2. Address copyright
  3. Submit to PubMed Central
  4. Cite appropriately

For questions and/or help with compliance, please don't hesitate to contact Kelli Hines (khines@westernu.edu) or the reference department (reference@westernu.edu or x5323) at the Harriet K. & Philip Pumerantz Library.

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