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Medicine Subject Guide: Submit paper to PubMed Central

Submission Methods

There are four methods to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. Authors may use whichever method is most appropriate for them and consistent with their publishing agreement. Click on the method in the table for details. Use the box on the left to help determine which submission method to use for your journal.

 

Method A

Journal deposits
final published
articles in PMC without
author involvement

Method B

Author asks
publisher to deposit
specific final published
article in PMC

Method C

Author deposits
final peer-reviewed
manuscript in PMC
via NIHMS

Method D

Author completes
submission of final
peer-reviewed
manuscript deposited
by publisher in the NIHMS
Version of Paper
Submitted
Final Published Article    Final Published Article Final Peer-Reviewed Manuscript Final Peer-Reviewed Manuscript
Task 1: Who starts the
deposit process?
Publisher    Publisher Author or designee, via NIHMS Publisher
Task 2: Who approves
paper for processing?
Publisher    Publisher Author or designee, via NIHMS Author, via NIHMS
Task 3: Who approves
paper for PubMed Central
display?
Publisher Publisher Author, via NIHMS Author, via NIHMS
Participating journal/publisher Journals
Make Arrangements with
Check publishing agreement
Make arrangements with these
Who is responsible? NIH Awardee NIH Awardee NIH Awardee NIH Awardee
To cite papers, from acceptance
for publication to 3 months post
publication
PMCID or "PMC Journal-
In-Process"
PMCID or "PMC Journal-
In-Process"
PMCID or NIMSID PMCID or NIHMSID
       
         
       

Written Instructions for all Methods

Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) without author involvement.

Some journals automatically deposit all NIH-funded final published articles in PubMed Central, to be made publicly available within 12 months of publication, without author involvement.  See the list of these journals at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm.

Method B: Make arrangements to have the publisher deposit a specific final published article in PubMed Central.

Some publishers will deposit an individual final published article in PubMed Central upon author request, and generally for a fee.  See the list of publishers.

Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PubMed Central yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

Submitting a final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central (PMC) via the NIHMS involves three tasks, as explained below.  Task 1 may be done by an author or by someone in the author’s organization (e.g., an assistant or a librarian).  Tasks 2 and 3 must by done by the author.

A Note on Timing: NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication and that all NIHMS tasks are complete within three months of publication.

For a video of this process, see Submitting an Article to PubMed Central (WMV Video - 12:01) (Help Viewing Captions).

Task 1: Deposit Manuscript Files and Link to NIH Funding

Upload a copy of the accepted final peer-reviewed manuscript and associated files (e.g., Microsoft Word document and figures) via the NIHMS.  At the same time, identify the NIH funding associated with the manuscript.  It usually takes less than 10 minutes to complete this task.

Task 2: Authorize NIH to Process the Manuscript

The author designates the number of months after publication when the manuscript may be made publicly available in PMC.  The author then confirms, via the NIHMS, a statement that the deposit of the manuscript is consistent with any publication and copyright agreements, and that NIH may begin processing the manuscript for use in PMC.

Task 3: Approve the PMC-formatted Manuscript for Public Display

The NIHMS will convert the deposited files into a standard PMC format, and email the author to approve the PMC-formatted manuscript for public display.  The author then reviews and approves the PMC-formatted manuscript via the NIHMS. Corrections to the manuscript, if necessary, may be requested at this time. 

Following completion of Task 3:

  • The NIHMS will email the author and all PIs the citation with the PMCID once it is assigned;
  • PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

Method D: Complete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

In a variation of Method C, some publishers deposit the manuscript files in the NIHMS, provide contact information for a corresponding author, and designate the number of months after publication when the paper may be made publicly available in PMC. See the list of Method D publishers.

A Note on Timing:  Though a publisher may make the initial deposit of files under Method D, NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication and that all NIHMS tasks are complete within three months of publication.

The NIHMS will notify the author when the manuscript files are received from the publisher.  At that point, the author must complete all of the tasks outlined for Method C, except for the file deposit part of Task 1 above.

Following completion of Task 3:

  • The NIHMS will email the author and all PIs the citation with the PMCID once it is assigned;
  • PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

PMC will automatically make the paper publicly available after the designated delay period has expired.

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