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NIH Public Access Policy

#nih #publicaccess #openaccess

Retain Your Copyright

Retaining Copyright

Before you sign a publication or copyright transfer agreement, make sure the agreement allows the manuscript to be posted to PubMed Central in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Wide adoption of online journal submission systems make it easy to bypass or click through the copyright licensing part of the submission. At some point, you will be presented with the publisher's copyright license. Please read this carefully, since it will tell you whether or not you can:

  • post a preprint or share data to an online repository
  • use figures and illustrations in online or in-person teaching, at conferences or seminars, or in other publications
  • create derivative works like book chapters or tutorials

Because these rights are buried inside the submission system, it is difficult to stop and find someone to negotiate with if you don't agree with what they require. If you are determined, it is possible to negotiate these rights. Two documents can help you with those negotiations: a Basic Author Addendum and a Broader Author Addendum. These documents let you ask a publisher to retain more of your copyright.

For more information, see the Sheridan Libraries' Guide on Copyright and Authors' Rights.

Know Your Team

Make a list of everyone involved in the research grant; include institutional affiliations, e-mail addresses, and administrative contacts. Consider using the CRediT taxonomy to list author contributions such as conceptualization, analysis, writing, revising, and more.

The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for any manuscripts arising from the grant, including trainee publications, even if the PI is not an author.

Create a My Bibliography Account in NCBI

My Bibliography is a reference tool that helps you save your citations from PubMed or, if not found there, to manually upload a citations file or to enter citation information using My Bibliography templates. My Bibliography provides a centralized place where citations are easily accessed, exported as a file, and made public to share with others.

A feature of interest to eRA Commons users, Award view, allows them to see whether their publications comply with the NIH Public Access Policy, to start the compliance process for journal articles, and to associate their publications to awards. In addition, HRA grantees are able to associate their publications to their HRA awards in My Bibliography.

From: My NCBI Help [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Center for Biotechnology Information (US); 2005-. My Bibliography. 2010 Dec 13 [Updated 2017 Oct 2]. Available from:

This video below provides an introduction to My Bibliography, which you can access through My NCBI in PubMed. See the Monitoring Compliance page of this guide for more information on how setting up My Bibliography will assist in monitoring your publications.