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NIH Public Access Policy and You: Show Compliance

Created by Health Science Librarians

Demonstrating Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy

NIH grantees need to demonstrate compliance with the Public Access Policy when submitting an application, proposal, or progress report to the NIH. Grantees should include the PubMed Central identification number (PMCID) for each paper that was accepted for publication after April 7, 2008 that arose from their NIH award, even if they are not an author or co-author on the paper.

For more information, visit:

Finding the PMCID Number

There are numerous ways to find the PMCID number:

  • Citation in My Bibliography within My NCBI

  • Emailed to PI and authors by NIHMS when article processing is complete

  • Citation in PubMed

    • Make sure you copy the PMCID, not the PMID!


  • Citation in PubMed Central

    • To search for embargoed articles, click on Limits and then check the box under "Embargoed Articles"

                                          PMC Limits

  • PMID to PMCID Converter tool

    • Given a set of PubMed IDs (PMIDs) you can use this converter to obtain the corresponding PMCIDs and/or NIHMS IDs if they exist.

The NIHMSID and other PMCID Substitutes

The NIHMSID is assigned when a manuscript is submitted in the NIHMS System.  It is a temporary subsitute for the PMCID, and can be used only when a publication needs to be cited soon after it has been submitted and the PMCID is not yet available. If you have the PMID (from PubMed), you can also use it to search NIHMS and find your NIHMSID if your PMCID has not yet been assigned. (For more information on using NIHMS, go to our NIHMS tab here.)

This graphic explains when it is appropriate to use the NIHMSID.  For Submission methods A and B, no NIHMSID is assigned, so it is acceptable to use "PMC Journal-In Process" until the PMCID is assigned.

Citing information