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NIH Public Access Policy : FAQ

Presents an overview of the NIH Public Access Policy and the steps involved in demonstrating compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions!

For Investigators, Awardees, and NIH Staff (scope of the policy and how to comply)

  • Example: Am I responsible for papers that arise from my NIH-funded project for which I am not an author?

    Principal Investigators and their Institutions are responsible for ensuring all terms and conditions of awards are met. This includes the submission of final peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise directly from their awards, even if they are not an author or co-author of the paper. Principal Investigators and their Institutions should ensure that authors are aware of and comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.

    Many more frequently asked questions about policy scope, how to comply, and submission methods.

Policy Background (why and how)

  • Example: Can authors and publishers continue to assert copyright in scientific publications resulting from NIH funding?

Yes. The NIH Public Access Policy does not affect the ability of the author, the author's institution, or the publisher to assert ownership in the work's copyright. Authors, consistent with their employment arrangements, may assign these rights to journals (as is the current practice), subject to the limited right that must be retained by the funding recipient to post the works in accordance with the Policy, or the provision that the journal submits the works in accordance with the Policy on the author's behalf.


Many more frequently asked questions about copyright, Open Access, and the NIH Public Access Policy.

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Susan Foster-Harper
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