NIH Public Access - Author's Rights Retention

  • The NIH recommends that authors check agreements prior to submitting to a particular publisher for manuscript review. Go to SHERPA/RoMEO to see what your journal's standard copyright transfer agreement allows.
  • When you send the first draft of your manuscript, it is a good idea to include a notice to the publisher that the research was funded by the NIH and is, therefore, subject to the public access policy.
  • The copyright transfer agreement must contain language that allows submission to PubMed Central which is a national repository. The standard agreement of some publishers already includes this.
  • If the standard agreement does not allow NIH submission:
    Insert NIH suggested language (below), OR
    Use an addendum to publication agreements
    See more on using SPARC's Author Addendum or generate a customized addendum with the Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine from Science Commons. SPARC's and other addenda are available here.


NIH Suggested Language

If your goal is simply to secure the right to deposit your manuscript in PubMed Central, NIH suggests inserting the following language into the publisher's agreement:

"Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to NIH, upon acceptance for Journal publication or thereafter, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible after publication by Journal." Note: the agreed-upon period should be stated here, replacing the vague underlined phrase.

This is the minimum that is required for NIH compliance; you may wish to go further. For more on this issue, see: