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Upcoming Changes to NIH Public Access Policy Reporting Requirements!

NIH’s public access policy ensures that the results of NIH-funded research are accessible to everyone, for the benefit of advancing science and improving human health. On a typical weekday, over 700,000 users retrieve more than 1.5 million papers on PubMed Central (PMC), the host archive for the public access policy. Since the policy was implemented in 2008, much attention has focused on outreach to the grantee community. This strategy, along with the research community’s shared commitment to making public the results of NIH-supported research, has resulted in a high level of compliance. However, public access is a statutory requirement, and improved compliance is still needed.

New guidelines (NOT-OD-12-160) have been issued, announcing that in spring 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards, if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy. Once publications are in compliance, awards will go forward. This change will take effect in tandem with NIH requiring the use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) for all Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards, also in the spring of 2013.

These changes are being announced several months in advance of implementation, to give awardees as much time as possible to comply with the policy. Awardees should be strongly encouraged to comply with the public access policy. Recent enhancements to My NCBI allow awardees to associate papers with their awards, and track public access compliance. Additional helpful resources, including frequently asked questions about the public access policy, are available on the web site.

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