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NIH Public Access Policy: NIH Public Access Policy

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

Policy Overview

NIH-funded research papers must be made publicly available in PubMed Central (PMC)

  • Applies to peer-reviewed journal articles which have been accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008.
  • No later than 12 months after publication
  • NIH will withhold grant money to enforce public-access policy
  • PMC is NOT PubMed and PMCID is NOT PMID

PMID vs. PMCID: What's the Difference?

PubMed (PMID)

  • PubMed is an index of the biomedical literature containing citations and abstracts only.
    • A PMID is a unique number assigned to each article indexed in PubMed. See below for an example of a PubMed citation with a PMID.  
      • Matthews S. NIH will withhold grant money to enforce public-access policy. Nat Med. 2013 Jan;19(1):3. doi: 10.1038/nm0113-3. Erratum in: Nat Med. 2013 Feb;19(2):123. PubMed PMID: 23295990


  • PMC (PubMed Central) is a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).  
  • A PMCID is a unique number assigned to each article submitted to PMC. This number verifies that the article has been submitted to PMC in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy mandate. See below for an example of a PubMed citation with a PMID and PMCID.
    • Cole HM, Fiore MC. The war against tobacco: 50 years and counting. JAMA. 2014 Jan 8;311(2):131-2. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.280767. PubMed PMID: 24399546; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4465196.


PMCID - PMID - Manuscript ID - DOI Converter

Use this Converter to check for existing PMCIDs or find associated identifiers:


How to Get Help@UCI

Email us with your NIH Public Access Policy questions:

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