Submitting Papers Through the NIHMS: Methods C and D Best Practices

Find instructions on submitting manuscripts to the NIH Manuscript Submission System using Methods C or D, in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

You are using either submission Method C or D. In Method C, the author or a delegate deposits the final peer-reviewed manuscript into the NIH Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS). In Method D, the publisher deposits the final peer-reviewed manuscript into the NIHMS. Regardless of who starts and manages the submission process, authors and awardees are responsible for ensuring that the final, peer-reviewed manuscript is deposited into the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication. Steps 1 and 2, described below, need to be completed within 90 days of the article’s official date of publication in order to be compliant with the NIH public access policy. The NIHMS has a video overview, illustrated submission tutorials and an FAQ.

  1. At the time of acceptance
    1. Enter the citation of the paper into your Commons-linked My NCBI account as a ‘forthcoming’ paper.
    2. Ensure that the manuscript is submitted to NIHMS, either by your publisher (Method D) or by yourself (Method C). Method C submissions can be started from within My Bibliography.
      Note: If your publisher is on the list of Method D Publishers, they may perform the initial deposit for you. Please confirm the deposit with the publisher as you are still responsible for ensuring the manuscript is deposited.
    3. If necessary, manually add the NIHMSID to the corresponding citation in My NCBI bibliography. An NIHMSID is required to show compliance in My NCBI.
  2. After the manuscript is submitted to NIHMS
    1. The assigned author in the NIHMS system must complete the following steps for a citation to be assigned a PMCID:
      • Approve the initial submission for processing in the NIHMS system.
      • Link the paper to all NIH awards that directly supported it. The Principal Investigators of these awards will be contacted by the NIHMS for confirmation, and the citation will appear in their My Bibliography collection. PIs can move papers to the Other Citations collection if they wish.
      • Review and approve the PMC-ready web version for inclusion in PubMed Central after the submitted files have been converted.
        Note: The assigned author will receive an email notifying him/her when action is required in NIHMS. Any author, or even a Principal Investigator if they are in a position to verify the content, can serve as the assigned author. See the NIHMS FAQ to change the author assignment.
      • My Bibliography will automatically link the forthcoming citation to the published record, and list the PMCID when it is available. A PMCID must be obtained within 90 days of the official date of publication in order to be compliant with the NIH public access policy.
  3. Reporting the paper to NIH

    For Type 5 progress reports, My NCBI will generate a citation in the correct format for you in a PDF report and in the publication section of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). The RPPR draws from every paper in the PI’s My Bibliography collection, and any paper linked to the award in the Other Citations collection. To manually cite the paper on NIH applications, proposals and reports, including renewal applications (type 2s) and biosketches: 1. For papers published more than 3 months before an application, proposal and report is submitted: List the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) at the end of the full journal citation. A PMCID is the only way to demonstrate compliance for these papers. 2. For papers in press (often listed as “[epub ahead of print]”), or published within 3 months of when an application, proposal or report is submitted: provide a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) or PMCID at the end of the full citation.

For additional information on how and when to report papers to NIH, see Reporting Publications to NIH.