In an effort to better advance science and improve health, a new public law has been enacted that requires NIH to expand public access to research findings supported with federal tax dollars. To respond to this law, NIH has mandated a Public Access policy, which requires that an author's final version of any peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008 be submitted to the PubMed Central (PMC) repository.
The policy, which applies to all NIH-funded activities, stipulates that the manuscript, once submitted, must be made available to the public within 12 months after the article is published. Investigators are also expected to cite the PMC identification number for such publications on all proposals or progress reports submitted to NIH beginning May 25, 2008.
The Office of the Vice President for Research and the University Libraries have taken a number of steps to help investigators and authors ensure institutional compliance:
- The University Libraries and Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA) have developed a new web site http://www.lib.umn.edu/scholcom/NIHaccess.phtml which contains a wealth of information to assist authors in retaining key rights in their agreements with publishers, as well as assistance with depositing articles to NIH and citing articles.
- The Vice President for Research has developed a letter that authors can attach to the first submission of a manuscript to a publisher that informs the publisher of the University of Minnesota's intent to comply with the policy. This letter is available for download at: http://www.lib.umn.edu/scholcom/umn-ovpr.pdf
- SPA will remind investigators of this requirement on the Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) for NIH awards
- SPA will add the new NIH requirement to the terms and conditions of its NIH-funded subawards when these are issued or modified