One Year Later: NIH Public Access Policy Mandate Success

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Effective July 1, 2013, researchers who have any direct funding from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant active in fiscal year 2008 or beyond are required to submit their final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central. This mandate from the NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research.

In early 2013, librarians at the Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library began working with researchers to deposit those final peer-reviewed manuscripts into PubMed Central. The initial task entailed depositing older publications dating back as far as 2008. Now, the focus is on keeping up with new publications.

A year ago, GRU’s compliance rate was about 77 percent of publications deposited in PubMed Central. Some of those had been deposited automatically by publishers, but many other publishers had not offered such a service, leaving authors unsure how to deposit their remaining manuscripts themselves. Librarians hosted open and individual sessions for principal investigators (PIs) who are responsible for compliance. Often, the most difficult part of the process was finding the final peer-reviewed manuscript and then waiting 6-8 weeks to complete the four-step process within the NIH manuscript submission system.

Today, GRU’s compliance rate is consistently above 90 percent, well above the national average. The library continues to watch the Public Access Compliance Monitor to identify new articles that have been published within the 12 month embargo period and to notify researchers when their articles appear on the non-compliant list.

The LibGuide NIH Public Access Policy: What You Need to Know is available to provide online help for researchers needing assistance. For specific questions or to set up an appointment, contact your Library Liaison or call the library at 706-721-3441.