PubMed Central Reference Number (PMCID) in publications and citations

If you are submitting a manuscript, the NIH public access policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds (e.g. INBRE) to PubMed Central (DIFFERENT from PubMed) immediately upon acceptance for publication. To comply with this policy, you will need to follow these three steps:

1) Address Copyright

Institutions and investigators are responsible for ensuring full compliance with the Public Access Policy when working with a publisher (e.g. that any publishing or copyright agreements are consistent with submitting to PMC). Authors should work with the publisher before any rights are transferred to ensure that all conditions of the NIH Public Access Policy can be met. Authors should avoid signing any agreements with publishers that do not allow the author to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.

2) Deposit Paper Upon Acceptance for Publication

  • Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all NIH-funded final published articles in PMC without author involvement.
  • Method B: Make arrangements to have a publisher deposit a specific final published article in PMC.
  • Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC yourself via the NIHMS.
  • Method D: Complete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited via the NIHMS.          

3) Cite Article

Include the PMC number (PMCID) for applicable papers in applications, proposals and reports, as described at

Following this process is extremely important as the NIH will delay processing and funding for awards that are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy. Please read the below FAQs to assist you in this process. Visit the NIH Public Access page for additional information about including PMCID in citations or contact Paige Ruesch at with any questions or concerns about your publication.

Additionally, anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from NIH funded research.

Publication and PMC Compliance FAQ

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