The United States federal government is working to ensure that all scientific research funded by taxpayer dollars is accessible to the taxpaying public. As such, all papers supported by federal grant money are required to be published with some form of open access. For the vast majority of papers published from labs here at CSHL that means navigating the NIH's Public Access Compliance system through their NIH Manuscript Submission system or the NIHMS.
The NIH describes the policy as follows:
To advance science and improve human health, NIH makes the peer-reviewed articles it funds publicly available on PubMed Central. The NIH public access policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication.
And the actual details are spelled out in Division F, Section 217 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2008 (PL 111-8):
The Director of the National Institutes of Health ("NIH") shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter 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.
In brief, it means that any research supported by NIH funds and published via peer-review must be made available through the NLM's PubMed Central (PMC) database. In some cases, the journal you publish in will deposit the manuscript in PMC for you. In other cases, you will be responsible for depositing the manuscript yourself. This LibGuide will help you navigate that process.