In April of 2008, the NIH Public Access policy was enacted which required all NIH-funded researchers to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into the National Library of Medicine’s online archive, PubMed Central (PMC). Full texts of the articles are made publicly available and searchable online in PMC no later than 12 months after publication in a journal.
Since the implementation of this policy, the PubMed Central (PMC) database has grown to include more than three million full text articles, with over one million unique users accessing the database every day. The NIH Public Access Policy effectively addresses the public’s growing need for high-quality health information and promotes accelerated scientific advancement in the biomedical sciences.
The NIH has provided a comprehensive set of resources to explain the details of the policy:
- The full NIH policy
- How to comply
- How to deposit in PubMed Central
- Frequently asked questions
- NIH Policy Factsheet
SPARC has also provided key resources to help the library community understand and comply with the NIH Policy. As libraries and administrators explore local approaches to education and compliance, please keep in mind these additional helpful resources that are currently available:
- Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy – Copyright Considerations and Options, A Joint ARL/SPARC/Science Commons White Paper
- The SPARC Author Addendum, which specifically enables authors to retain the rights they need to deposit articles in PMC after publication in a journal.
- The Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Generator, from SPARC and Science Commons, which offers authors the choice of four different sets of rights in addenda that may be completed online.