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Public Access Compliance: Are My Publications Compliant? How Can I Tell?

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

How to Determine Compliance, In Brief

To determine your papers' compliance status, you need to look in the right place.  The rest of this page will walk you through that, but in brief, here are the steps:

  1. Log in to myNCBI via eRA Commons
  2. Find your papers in PubMed, and add them to your bibliography
  3. Determine if your papers are compliant. 

And as always, please contact the author of this guide should you need any assistance with the compliance process. 

Once you have followed these directions, all of your publications will display one of 5 possible statuses: Compliant (green), In process (blue), Non Compliant (red exclamation point), Not Applicable (grey), and a red question mark indicating that no grant funding has been associated with the paper.


Logging in to myNCBI

The NCBI has recently updated the process for logging in to My NCBI. If you are having difficulties, please contact the author of this guide for assistance with logging in. 

First, go to the myNCBI sign-in page, at

Next, sign in by clicking on the eRA Commons button.  It is important that you do not sign in with your NIH Login, otherwise you will not be able to view the grant affiliations below.

Populating the 'My Bibliography' Section

Once logged in to myNCBI, you will see a section labeled, "My Bibliography."  You should populate this section will your publications, as well as any other pertinent papers you may need.  You can either search for your papers directly through PubMed, and export them to your My Bibliography, or follow the directions below to use myNCBI's search function and export from there.  The results are the same either way.  Directions for searching through myNCBI's search function are provided below:

Click on "Manage My Bibliography" on the left hand side, under 'My Bibliography"

In the middle panel, click on "Add Citations"

Choose "Citation from PubMed" from the drop down menu. Next, use the dialog that pops up to set up your search. You will probably want to search by your name. 


Once you have located your publications, select the check boxes next to them. Next, select "add to my bibliography"




You can also add citations to My Bibliography directly from PubMed. Simply select the check boxes next to the publication title, select "Send to" and then "My Bibliography." When you return to My Bibliography, your citations will have been added. 



Continue until you have populated the My Bibliography with all of the publications you need.

Compliance Statuses

There are several different compliance statuses that you must be aware of. 

Green Check Mark

Your publication is compliant. No further steps need to be taken. Include its PMCID in your grant applications, resubmissions and progress reports. 

Blue Arrow

Your publication is in process. You do not need to do anything other than check back in a couple of weeks to confirm that it has shifted to green. You can use the assigned NIHMS ID in your grant applications, resubmissions and progress reports. Once your publication has been assigned a PMCID you must use that in the place of the NIHMS ID. 

 Red Exclamation Point!

This means that your publication is not compliant and you must take steps immediately to bring it into compliance. Failure to do so can delay receipt of funding from grants and awards. You can begin the compliance process directly from My Bibliography by selecting "Edit Status" and following the prompts. If you need any assistance, please contact the author of this guide as soon as possible. The NIH can take several weeks to apply a PMCID so it is best not to wait until the last possible moment. 


Red Question Mark?

This status means that funding has not been associated with this publication. If you are certain that an award should be linked to a publication select the blue "Add Award" button and follow the prompts. Please note, you can not remove an award from a publication once it has been associated with it. Only add awards for yourself, and always do so with caution. If you have any questions regarding this process we recommend contacting CSHL's OSP for further guidance. 

Grey circle

If a paper is not subject to the Public Access Compliance regulations it should be marked as Not applicable- exempted. A paper may be exempted if it was not a result of any NIH funding, wasn't peer-reviewed, is written in a script other than Latin (ie. Russian or Korean). If you are unsure if a paper should fall under the Public Access Compliance regulations contact the author of this guide for an individual consultation. 


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