How Can My Institution Support Public Access Compliance and Prevent Delays in Funding Due to Public Access Issues?


Here are some strategies awardee institutions are using to ensure compliance with the public access policy:

  • reminding principal investigators (PIs) to compile their publication lists on My Bibliography for their Type 5 applications at least 3 months before they are due so they have time to fix any issues
  • developing publication agreement addenda to ensure their authors always retain the right to post their manuscripts when they need to, and to minimize risk caused by publisher delays or errors in submitting manuscripts
  • developing model agreements that PIs can use with collaborators to ensure that all papers arising from the award still comply with the public access policy even if the PI is not an author
  • ensuring PIs and potential authors are trained on the public access policy. We offer training tools for offices of sponsored research as well as researchers at

For more information for institutions’ research administrators and offices of sponsored programs, visit


  1. These suggestions appear very PI centric. There are also issues with turn around time for PMCID numbers (6-8 weeks), help desk response time (1 week), and error reporting at the NIHMS. For example, with respect to the latter point, if you submit a manuscript and forget an item of supplemental data then your manuscript sits in limbo, is not processed and is not compliant. There is no mechanism, as far as I can see, where the NIHMS gets in touch with the PI, or whoever submitted the manuscript on behalf of the PI (many admin staff perform this role), to tell them that they are missing components for their submission.

    1. If a manuscript submission is missing elements, NIHMS folks correspond to the submitter about what is missing. It is then in the submitter’s court to upload the missing files before the paper is processed.

  2. Please also remember that by statute, manuscripts need to be submitted to the NIH Manuscript Submission System upon acceptance for publication. We provide a grace period of up to 3 months after publication in which an NIHMSID (the ‘in process’ status) may count as provisional compliance. So awardees typically have from 6-12 months to come into compliance for a given paper. I recommend awardees ensure papers are posted upon acceptance for publication so they have plenty of time to address any issues with the submitted files.

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