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NIH Public Access Compliance: Do I Need to Deal With This?

This LibGuide will walk users through issues of compliance with the NIH

Does Compliance Apply to Me? (The Short Version)

Was this manuscript supported by ANY NIH funds?  AND was it subjected to Peer-Review (not subject to editorial review alone)?

  • If you answered YES to BOTH of those questions, then your manuscript needs to be Public Access Compliant.  For more information, see the box below this one, and then refer to the tab labeled "How Do I Make This Paper Compliant?"
  • If you answered NO to EITHER of those questions, then Public Access Compliance does not apply to this manuscript.  But there is one thing you'll need to do.  Please see the tab labeled, "What About 'Non-Applicable' Publications?"

Which Publications Need to Be Public Access Compliant

The US Federal Government has passed a series of laws and regulations requiring that research funded by tax-payer dollars be available to the public. In practice, the result is the set of Public Access Compliance regulations that must be followed. Almost all of the papers published at CSHL are subject to these regulations. 

Any papers matching these three (3) criteria must address Public Access Compliance:

  1. If the research being published was supported in whole or in part by an NIH grant or grants
  2. If the research is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7th, 2008
  3. If the paper is peer-reviewed

Given that April 2008 was over a decade ago, it is safe to assume that criteria #2 is met for all future publications.  Therefore, if you are a researcher or scientific administrator acting on behalf of one, and the manuscript you are dealing with was funded with any NIH funds, and was peer-reviewed, you MUST address Public Access Compliance.

One area where this guidance can be unclear is in the case of review articles. Many review articles are not subject to peer review, and only undergo editorial oversight.  If you are unsure in the case of your particular paper, please contact the editor at your journal to determine the answer.