NIH Public Access Policy
In December, 2007, Congress passed and the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (PL-110-61). This law included language which made the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy mandatory and compliance to it a statutory requirement. The law becomes effective April 7, 2008 and states the following:
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.
As of May 25, 2008, NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports must include the PubMed Central reference number when citing an article that falls under the policy and is authored or co-authored by the investigator, or arose from the investigator’s NIH award. This policy includes applications submitted to the NIH for the May 25, 2008 due date and subsequent due dates.
The Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit journal articles that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central. The Policy requires that these articles be accessible to the public on PubMed Central to help advance science and improve human health.