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For Authors

PubMed Central (PMC) is a full-text open archive of journal articles as well as a repository for papers supported by designated funding organizations. This page aims to help authors determine whether their paper is eligible for submission to PMC, how it may be deposited, and by whom.

Determining Eligibility

Your paper may be included in PubMed Central (PMC) if

NIH Preprint Pilot

As of June 2020, PMC also includes preprints that report NIH-funded research results. To learn more, see NIH Preprint Pilot.

Determining Submission Method

Content is archived in PMC in a standardized XML format. Publisher versions of journal articles are deposited directly by the journal or publisher data provider to PMC. These submissions are already in XML format and standardized when loaded to the PMC database. No author action is required.

Accepted author manuscripts (AAMs) are generally deposited through the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHM) system. (AAMs supported by members of the Europe PMC Funders Group are submitted through Europe PMC Plus.) AAM submissions undergo conversion to XML format for inclusion in PMC. Author review and approval is required for all AAM submissions.

To figure out which way your paper will be added, follow these steps. You only need to continue to the next step if your paper does not meet the criteria outlined in the previous step.

Step 1: Check the Journal List

To find out if a journal submits the publisher version directly to PMC, see the Journal List. Journals that submit their complete contents to PMC will have a status of Full. Journals that deposit only NIH-supported articles to PMC are listed with an NIH Portfolio status.

Tips for Funded Authors

  • If a journal is listed as NIH Portfolio and your paper was not supported by NIH, proceed to Step 2.
  • If a journal is listed as Full but has a default embargo period that does not comply with your funder’s policy, you may want to send a request to the journal to modify the embargo for your particular article.
  • Always keep in mind your funder’s requirements when reviewing a publisher agreement so you can retain the necessary rights and make arrangements for a compliant deposit in PMC.

Step 2: Review the Selective Deposit Programs

Even if a journal does not participate in PMC, the publisher may deposit an article directly to PMC without author involvement if open access arrangements were made and one of these additional submission criteria are met:

Always confirm with your publisher directly that they will use this deposit option for your paper if you make such arrangements.

Step 3. Deposit the Accepted Author Manuscript (Funded Only)

If neither of the above deposit options apply, you may deposit your accepted author manuscript to one of two manuscript submission systems to comply with a designated funder policy:

NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System Europe PMC Plus

The NIHMS is operated by the National Library of Medicine. The list of funder policies that NIHMS supports is available on the NIHMS Funders page.

NIHMS

Europe PMC Plus is operated by the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). The list of funder policies that EPMC Plus supports is available from the Europe PMC website.

Europe PMC

Tips for Funded Authors

  • Start your deposit at the time of acceptance for publication. This ensures you should have the files readily accessible and allows for manuscript processing times, which may take up to 4 weeks during periods of high volume submissions.
  • If your research was supported by a US PMC funder and a Europe PMC funder:
    • You only need to deposit the manuscript once. All manuscripts are made discoverable in both PMC and Europe PMC.
    • Submit to the manuscript system that partners with the funder who has stricter embargo and license requirements, e.g., if your work was supported by NIH and Wellcome Trust, submit to Europe PMC Plus.

Getting a PMCID

Funders or institutions may request a PMCID as evidence of compliance with any public or open access policies. A PMCID is assigned once a submission has been received by PMC and loaded to the database. A PMCID will be assigned even if an article in currently under embargo.

Tips for Funded Authors

  • Upon deposit to NIHMS or Europe PMC Plus a manuscript identifier will be assigned. NIH-funded researchers can use the NIHMSID as evidence of compliance for up to 3 months after the publication of a paper. After that, a PMCID is required.
  • You can input a DOI for your article into the ID Converter to find a PMCID or other related identifiers for your article.
Last modified: Mon Feb. 22 2021
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