Method A Best Practices

Find instructions on submitting manuscripts to PubMed Central using Method A, in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

You are using Submission Method A. These journals post the final published version of all peer-reviewed NIH-funded articles to PubMed Central (PMC) no later than 12 months after publication without author involvement.

  1. Track the paper and ensure compliance
    1. Make sure the journal knows this paper is supported by NIH funding, and falls under the NIH public access policy.
    2. Upon acceptance for publication:
      1. Enter the citation into your Commons-linked My Bibliography as a ‘forthcoming’ paper.
      2. To identify the paper as a Method A journal in My Bibliography, use the autofill settings to enter the journal name. (Check the My Bibliography FAQ for detailed instructions.)
      3. Ensure your collaborators can also track the paper by suggesting it to your co-authors and the principal investigators (PI) of any supporting awards. Each PI will have to link the paper to their award.
  2. Link the paper to the published record

    My Bibliography will link the forthcoming paper to the published record automatically when the paper is published, provided that the forthcoming citation is similar to the published citation. See the My Bibliography FAQ if you need additional assistance.

  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). To manually cite the paper on NIH applications, proposals and reports, including renewal applications (type 2s) and biosketches:

    • 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

    • 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: “PMC Journal - In Process” or the 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.

Related Resources

Reporting Publications to NIH