Author Manuscripts in PMC

PubMed Central (PMC) serves as the repository for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a number of other public and private organizations that fund scientific research. The policies of these organizations often require authors to deposit in PMC a copy of their peer-reviewed manuscript, as accepted for publication by a journal. These manuscripts are deposited to PMC through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system or Europe PMC Plus (part of the PMC International Network). The deposited papers must include all changes made in peer review as well as all referenced figures, tables, and supplementary materials.

What is the Author Manuscript?

The author manuscript is the version of a paper that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by a journal. This version should include all changes made during the peer review process, though it generally does not include copyediting and stylistic edits or formatting changes.

A paper's lifecycle from preprint to author manuscript to published article

About Author Manuscripts in PMC

Author manuscripts infographic

PMC has archived author manuscripts since 2005. Authors deposit their peer-reviewed manuscripts for inclusion in PMC in compliance with a funder’s public or open access policy for publications. Only manuscripts that are covered by the policies of designated funders can be deposited through NIHMS or Europe PMC Plus.

As of January 2021, more than 760,000 author manuscripts had been archived and made publicly accessible in PMC. Manuscripts in PMC
  • include all referenced figures, tables, and supplementary files;
  • are reviewed by authors prior to public release;
  • are stored and made available in standardized archival and machine-readable formats (NISO Z39.96-2015 JATS XML and txt) for text mining (Note: Author manuscripts deposited prior to the NIH Public Access Policy taking effect in 2008 are not included in this dataset);
  • are linked to corrections, retractions, and NIH Findings of Research Misconduct (when applicable); and
  • represent a valuable and actively used collection within PMC.

Author Manuscript Workflow

The manuscript submission workflow for PMC prioritizes completeness, accuracy, preservation, and currency of all author manuscripts added to the archive.

Deposits may be initiated by an author, investigator, publisher, or other third party. For the submission to move forward, an author or principal investigator must confirm the following:

  • that the right has been retained to deposit this version of the paper in and make it available to the public via PMC;
  • that the version deposited includes all modifications resulting from the peer review process; and
  • that the manuscript is the result of research supported, in whole or in part, by direct costs funded by NIH or other designated funders.

Once confirmed, author manuscript submissions undergo two quality assurance and approval steps. First, submissions are reviewed for completeness. Following this confirmation, the submitted files are converted to archival XML to ensure the long-term preservation of the content. Once converted, the PMC-ready documents undergo final review to ensure the accuracy of the content released publicly.


Author manuscript process through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system

NIHMS submissions are loaded to PMC once this final approval step is complete and article citation data, including publication date, are publicly accessible. All manuscripts are kept confidential until a record of publication is available.

NLM continues to monitor the status of all articles in PMC – whether author manuscript or published article – for related updates, such as retractions or related findings of research misconduct.

Display of Author Manuscripts

Author manuscripts in PMC are identified as such in the citation and funder-branded banner. For additional information on what organization(s) supported a given manuscript, see the Acknowledgments or Funding statement in the full text or click on the hyperlinked PMID and view the Grant Support section of the PubMed record.

Screenshot of an author manuscript in PMC

The citation for author manuscripts in PMC also includes the date the full text was made publicly available and citation information for the published journal article. PMC enables linking to the final edited version of the article whenever possible. If the article includes a digital object identifier (DOI) or is from a journal that participates in NCBI's LinkOut service, then the reference to the published article is hyperlinked directly to the full text of the version of record at the journal website. When available, the link to the journal website is also included below the author information in the yellow box.

All author manuscripts include the corresponding PMCID, NIHMSID (or other manuscript ID), and PMID in the top right-hand corner of the display.

For More Information

For information on depositing a paper in PMC in compliance with a funder's policy, see For Authors. Publishers interested in providing deposit support on behalf of authors should see the For Publishers page for an overview of options.

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Last updated: Mon, 22 Feb 2021