PMC and Research Funder Policies

PubMed Central (PMC) was established in 2000 as the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) full-text repository of life sciences journal literature. Since 2005, PMC has been the designated repository for papers submitted in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy. Today, PMC serves as the full-text repository for papers that fall under the public and open access policies of a number of research funding organizations that support biomedical and life science research. NLM has also partnered with U.S. Federal agencies that fund research in other scientific disciplines to provide a cost-effective government solution for their public access policies.

These partnerships support NLM’s mission of enabling biomedical research; supporting health care and public health; and promoting healthy behavior through the acquisition, organization, and preservation of the world's scholarly biomedical literature. Additionally, these efforts support and catalyze NLM’s commitment to open science policies and practices. In bringing together the research outputs of many funding organizations and scientific disciplines in a central archive, NLM seeks to improve discovery of, provide consistent access to, and ensure long-term preservation of the scientific record.

NLM will consider partnering with funding organizations to leverage the PMC repository infrastructure when the following conditions are met:

  • The funder has an established process, e.g., peer review, for selecting projects to fund.
  • The funder has a public or open access policy that requires the deposit of funded research papers in PMC. (Funders that do not plan to require PMC deposit should see Other Arrangements.)
  • The funder is able to demonstrate how partnering with PMC will further the NLM and NIH missions as well as their own.
  • There is evidence that the funder’s policy and implementation will contribute a sufficient volume of papers to PMC on a continuing basis.

To become a partner, a funder must sign a partnership agreement with NLM outlining the responsibilities of the NLM and the partner organization or make arrangements with an existing NLM partner (i.e., Europe PMC, HRA Open). In general, partners may leverage the PMC infrastructure but remain responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of their individual policies.

Partner Organizations

The following U.S government agencies and private funders have partnerships with NLM to leverage the PMC infrastructure. For specific information on how to comply with the policies of these funders, please see their websites. (The overview of How Papers Get Into PMC may also be of interest.) Any questions about an organization’s policy and requirements should be directed to the funder.

U.S. Federal Agency Partners

Private and International Partners

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Europe PMC Funder Group (see Europe PMC for list)
  • Health Research Alliance (see HRA website for current list of member organizations)
    • Alzheimer's Association
    • American Heart Association-American Stroke Association
    • Autism Science Foundation
    • Cancer Research Institute
    • CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy
    • Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
    • Donahue Foundation
    • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
    • Foundation Fighting Blindness
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
    • JDRF
    • LUNGevity Foundation
    • Lymphoma Research Foundation
    • Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
    • Parkinson's Disease Foundation
    • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
    • Susan G. Komen
    • The V Foundation for Cancer Research
    • Thome Foundation
    • Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

Other Arrangements

Outside of these partnerships, funding organizations may reference PMC (or Europe PMC) as a repository available to authors for complying with an open access policy. PMC will accept submissions supported by these funders under a PMC selective deposit agreement when the funding status of the paper and the funder’s policy is clear. Publishers and authors seeking to determine which funding organizations have identified PMC as an acceptable repository for compliance should check the funder website for the most current guidance. A current list of funders with this type of arrangement is below:

  • California Department of Public Health
  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • HAL-Inserm
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

If you represent a funding organization that should be included on the list above, please let us know.

Additionally, some publishers have made direct agreements with funders to support PMC deposit of open access articles. NLM aims to support such independent agreements as much as possible. NLM may reach out to the funding organization to discuss whether PMC is the most appropriate repository for their policy.

General inquiries about PMC and research funder policies can be sent to pubmedcentral@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Funder-Sponsored Journals

If a partner funding organization sponsors a journal to publish their funded research, NLM will recognize the funding organization as the journal owner (regardless of publication platform) and expects the funder to take responsibility for the scientific and editorial quality of the journal and ensure that it meets NLM’s standards for PMC.

Applications from funder-sponsored journals will not be considered prior to the journal meeting PMC’s Pre-Application requirements, as NLM requires a journal to demonstrate a level of sustainability and quality before it is eligible to be added to the archive. In the interim, author manuscripts that fall under the policies of partner organizations may be deposited via the NIH Manuscript Submission system or Europe PMC Plus, as appropriate. Upon acceptance, the PMC participation agreement for the journal will be signed by the funding organization.

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Last updated: Wed, 12 Sept 2018