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NIH Public Access Policy

Instructions and resources to help the UCI research community comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.

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The NIH Public Access Compliance Process



All peer-reviewed papers that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy must include evidence of compliance. This evidence is required in all NIH and NSF-funded applications, proposals, and progress reports. Please refer to the step-by-step instructions provided in the tabs on the right-hand side of the page to learn when and how to comply.

There are four methods to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.  Carefully consider where to submit your manuscripts for possible publication. See the steps below to determine the submission methods:

  1. Author/PI receives NIH Funding
  2. Author/PI prepares to publish
    • Carefully consider where to submit your manuscript for possible publication. Decide where to publish, use Sherpa/RoMEO to review publisher copyright & self-archiving policies.
  3. The author/PI publishes a peer-reviewed article.

Note: Awardees are responsible for ensuring manuscripts are submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication

1 Final published article: The journal’s authoritative copy of the paper, including all modifications from the publishing peer review process, copyediting and stylistic edits, and formatting changes.

2 Final peer-reviewed manuscript: The Investigator's final manuscript of a peer-reviewed paper accepted for journal publication, including all modifications from the peer-review process.

Important Changes to NCBI Accounts Coming in 2021

Do you login to NCBI to use MyNCBI, SciENcv, or MyBibliography? Do you submit data to NCBI? If so, please click here to read further to get a first glimpse at some important changes to NCBI accounts that will be coming in 2021.  The page also includes instruction on how to link and transition your NCBI account.

Principal Investigators are required to use My NCBI (and My Bibliography specifically) to report their publications in NIH progress reports. My Bibliography is a tool within My NCBI. Publications should not be left off the report for compliance reasons. 


Register for an NCBI Account

  1. Go to My NCBI login ( select Register for an NCBI account. See Figure 1 on the right.

Follow Steps 2-8 as shown in Figure 2 to complete the NCBI registration

  1. Create an alphanumeric username.
  2. Create a password
  3. Repeat the same password you just created.
  4. Enter your e-mail address.
  5. Enter your security question.
  6. Enter the answer to your security question.
  7. Enter the 5 characters shown in the image.
  8. Click the "Create account" button.


Sign In to My NCBI


There are several ways you can sign in to a My NCBI account, e.g., sign in with your UCInetID, Google, or eRA Commons. However, any of these login access must first be authenticated and linked to the My NCBI account.

Signing in using My NCBI username and password

  1. On the My NCBI Login page (Figure 1), enter your username and password.
  2. Check the box "Keep me signed in" only if you are using your personal computer. This will automatically activate My NCBI each time you use any NCBI database. See Figure 3 on the right.
  3. Click the Sign-in button. 
  4. Watch the short video below to learn how to navigate the My NCBI windows, features, and services. 



Figure 1: Register for an NCBI account. 


Figure 2: My NCBI >> Register.




Linked Accounts 

  1. After you signed in to the My NCBI, Click on your NCBI Username (located in the top right).
  2. This will bring up the NCBI Account Settings. In the Linked Accounts box, select Change. See Figure 4 on the right. 
  3. This will bring up the Linked Accounts page with a long list of Login Account Options, see Figure 5 on the right. 
  4. Put your cursor in the "Search for account name" box and enter Irvine. See Figure below. When the University of California-Irvine appears in the "Login Account Options" box. Select the entry.

Figure 6: Link a partner organization to your My NCBI account 

  1. ​​You will be asked to enter your UCInetID and password to authenticate your access.  If successfully login, the University of California-Irvine will appear in the "Your Linked Accounts" Box with your email address.

Note: In order to report publications to the NIH, the My NCBI account must be linked with an eRA Commons account

  • Repeat step 3 to link your eRA Commons account. Enter eRA in the search box. The entry, "NIH & eRA Commons" appears. Select the entry. 
  • This will take you to the eRA login page.  Enter your eRA User name and password.
  • After you successfully authenticated the eRA commons login, you will see eRA login and your email address appears in the "Your Linked Accounts" box.
  • Repeat step 3 to link your ORCID profile:  Enter ORCID in the search box.  When ORCID appears in the box, select it. This will take you to the ORCID login page.
  • Enter your email address or ORCID and your password. After you successfully authenticated your login access, ORCID and your ID number will appear in the "Your Linked Accounts" box as shown in Figure 5a on the right.


Figure 4: My NCBI account Settings.



Figure 5: Linked Partner Accounts. 

Figure 5a: Linked Accounts  
Add Delegates

Use the 'Delegate' feature to share the work with others in your lab, assistants, research coordinator, or with the librarians.

  1. Go to My NCBI Account Settings, select Add a Delegate. See the image below. 
  1. Enter your delegate's email address in the box and click OKYour delegate will receive an e-mail notifying them of access.
  • Your delegate will receive an e-mail notification of access. 
  • Your delegate will click a link in the e-mail to activate access.
  • If your delegate does not have a My NCBI account, they will be invited to register. 
Confirm Delegate Connection 

If you have been assigned to be a delegate for a researcher's My NCBI Bibliography and the researcher has already added you as a delegate in his/her account. Follow the steps below to confirm.

  1. Sign in My NCBI account with your username and password.
  • If you don't have an account follow the instructions to register and create a new My NCBI account.
  1. Respond to the confirmation email you received from My NCBI by clicking on the included URL.
  2. When prompted, click on the Confirm Connection button.

What is My Bibliography and Why?

  • Is a special kind of collection designed to make it easier for authors to search and collect citations for their publications

  • A reference tool within My NCBI.

  • Helps save your citations from PubMed or, if not found in there, to manually upload a citations file, or to enter citation information using My Bibliography templates.  

  • Most importantly, NIH requires investigators to use My Bibliography to enter publications for progress reports. 

  • There are three different methods to add citations into a My Bibliography: Directly from PubMed, Import it from a File, or Manually enter each citation. For specific instruction, watch the short 2 min video on the right.


Watch a short tutorial below on My Bibliography

Adding Citations from PubMed to My Bibliography

  1. Sign in to My NCBI.
  2. Go to PubMed Single Citation Matcher
  3. Enter the author's Last and First name as shown in Figure 7 on the right:
  4. Select the name you want to search for. 

Note: using the Single Citation Matcher will show the variations of an author found in PubMed.  To execute the search, only one entry can be selected at a time. After you select an author name and click Search, you can then add all variations in the search box as shown in Figure 8 below.  

Figure 8: PubMed Author Search

  1. Select the citations you want to add to My Bibliography.
  2. Click ... SEND TO and select My Bibliography.  See Figure 9 on the right.
  3. A message indicates that new citations were added to My Bibliography.
  4. The newly added citations will immediately display in My Bibliography as shown in Figure 10 below. 


Figure 10:  My Bibliography with Publications Compliance Status 



Figure 7: Search an Author with the PubMed Single Citation Matcher



Figure 9: Send the selected citations to My Bibliography.


Note:  In My Bibliography, the color-coding in the publication compliance status bar shown in Figure 10 corresponds to the color coding in the article citation list. Article citations that are compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy have the Public Access Compliance information color-coded in green and they have a PMCID associated with the article citation. In the example shown in Figure 10 on the left, 17 awards are found to be associated with the article.


Initiating Public Access Compliance    

The NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system supports the deposit of manuscripts into PubMed Central (PMC) as required by the public access policies of NIH and other participating funders.  Manuscript 

NIHMS supports many login routes. To simplify the NIHMS process, it is important that you keep your login route consistent. The instruction below illustrates the manuscript submission process with the NCBI account and My Bibliography to the NIHMS system.  

  1. Sign in directly to NCBI and click on Manage My Bibliography, see Figure 11 on the right. 
  2. Verify the    icon is shown on the My Bibliography page, see Figure 12 on the right.  
  3. Click on Sort by and select Public Access Compliance (see Figure 12). The group of not defined citations will move to the top, followed by non-compliant citations, compliance in process, compliance complete, and last, not applicable-exempted article citations. 
  4.  Click "Edit Status" to activate the pop-up wizard to initiate the compliance process in My Bibliography. See Figure 13 Edit Status below. 

Figure 13: Edit Status

  1. The above step will take you to a compliance status pop-up form as shown in Figure 14 where you will initiate the compliance process.  
  2. If the article was supported by NIH, select Yes and select Begin submission in the NIHMS, then click Save (see Figure 14) on the right. 
  3. This will bring up the NIH Manuscript Submission Login page. For instructions on how to deposit files of your manuscript to the NIHMS system, click the next Tab "VI. Deposit Manuscripts to NIHMS". 

Assign Awards to Your Publications  

  1. You can find the grant support information from the PubMed citation. Click on the title of the citation as shown in Figure 13. This will take you to the PubMed Citation in Abstract format. 
  2. Move down to the page until you see the grant support information as shown in Figure 15 below. 

Figure 15: Grant Support Info in PubMed Citation

  1. Go back to My Bibliography and to the citation that you want to add the awards to the citation. 
  2. Click (see Figure 13). 
  3. This will bring up the Assign Awards popup window as shown in Figure 16 below. Check the appropriate boxes to select the pertinent award ID(s) in “My awards” or “Other awards” lists. Your selections will be saved automatically.

Figure 16: Assign Awards 



Figure 11: My NCBI My Bibliography 

Figure 12: My Bibliography & Public Access Compliance Status

Figure 14: Edit Public Access Compliance Status




Manuscript deposits via NIHMS is a multi-step process that takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks following initial approval of the complete submission. Processing times may vary depending on Reviewer responsiveness and the volume of submissions during a given period.      

The NIHMS Process

1.  The NCBI login will automatically take you to the NIHMS homepage, select Log in again with NCBI account as the image shown below. 


2.  This will automatically log you into to NIHMS My Manuscripts as shown in Figure 17 on the right. 

3.  Click "Submit New Manuscript" as shown in the image.

4.  This brings up the "Submit Manuscript" window as shown in Figure 18 on the right. Select PubMed.

5. Enter a PMID in the search box, e.g., 32040886 as shown in Figure 19 below. Note: the PMID can be found in the PubMed citation. 

6.  Click Search. 

7.  The search returns with the exact citation, click on the little as shown in Figure 19 below. 

Figure 19. Manuscript Submission, Search PMID in PubMed 

8.  This automatically populates the Submit Manuscript form as shown in Figure 20 below. Click Next to proceed. 

Figure 20: Manuscript Submission - Citation Found. 

9. The Funding window appears, click Search Funding as shown in Figure 21 on the right.

Note: If you are depositing files on behalf of an author or PI, you may skip this step. The author or PI will have the opportunity to add relevant funding at Initial Approval.  

10.  Enter the Award Number in the search box and click Search, e.g., U01 TR002004. This will bring up the Awardees. If relevant, check the box and click Add as shown in Figure 22

11.  After the funding awardees are found and added, the system will return with the relevant Award ID, Title, and PI that are associated with the manuscript as shown in Figure 23.  Click Next to proceed. 


12. In the next 3 steps, you will see the grayed out NIH Manuscript submission windows with the definition and instruction for Up Upload manuscript file(s),  Add file labels, and the Confirm completeness. To proceed, click Next and Done as shown in Figure 24 on the right. 



Figure 17: NIHMS My Manuscripts 
Figure 18: Submit Manuscript 

Figure 21: Search Funding

Figure 22: Search Funding - Found Awardees 

Figure 23: Funding

Figure 24: the Grayed out windows with instructions