In 2003, the National Institutes of Health instituted its Final Statement on Sharing Research Data, stating, "Data should be made as widely and freely available as possible." This policy required all grant applications more than $500k/year to include a plan for data sharing, or explain why data sharing is not possible.
The NIH Public Access Policy, implemented in 2009, created PubMed Central, a new public repository in the National Library of Medicine. All NIH researchers are required to submit an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central within 12 months of its official publication date (as permissible by copyright law).
The Public Access Policy portal can help you prepare a manuscript, submit it to PubMed Central, and report compliance to NIH. It also maintains a list of peer-reviewed journals that automatically deposit the final published version of NIH-funded articles into PubMed Central within the required 12-month period without author involvement, and instructions on how to report papers that should be excepted from the Public Access Policy.
Since NIH-funded authors are required to submit their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central, it is essential that the authors work with the journal to ensure the publishing agreement allows the author to do so. Below are the NIH's recommended points to consider while reviewing publishing contracts:
For more information on negotiating copyright agreements, visit the copyright guide.