Implemented in 2008, the NIH Public Access Policy acts to ensure that the public has access to published results of NIH funded research. More specifically, the policy requires NIH funded investigators to “submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication” (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/policy.htm). The policy further requires submitted manuscripts to comply with citation guidelines.
Recent Changes to the Public Access Policy
In April, 2013, NIH will begin auditing PMC publications to ensure they are compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy. NIH will delay the processing of an investigator’s non-competing continuation award (with a start date of July 1, 2013 or beyond) until it is demonstrated that all publications arising from that award are compliant (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-042.html).
Managing Publication Compliance with My NCBI
Fortunately, tools are available to assist investigators with publication compliance. My NCBI is a publication database developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information that can be used to manage publication compliance. Within My NCBI, investigators can use the My Bibliography to list all associated NIH sponsored publications. My Bibliography will then indicate the compliance status of those publications so that investigators can correct any instances of non-compliance (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53595/#mybibliography.Managing_Compliance_to_th).
NIH Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) and the Role of My NCBI
Many investigators are likely familiar with the PHS 2590, eSNAP and PHS 426-9 used for progress reporting in the non-competing award process. NIH, however, is in the process of transitioning from these formats to the RPPR. Once the transition is fully implemented, progress reports will need to be submitted electronically through the NIH RPPR module in eRA Commons. In preparing the RPPR, investigators will need to use My NCBI to enter publications onto progress reports. Publications can be associated electronically using the RPPR or included in the PHS 2590 using the My NCBI generated compliance report (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-042.html).
As a cautionary measure, the RPPR will inform investigators if associated publications are not in compliance with the Public Access Policy by generating a warning message. If the RPPR is then submitted with non-compliant publications, an automated email will generate, and investigators will be required to verify that all associated publications are in compliance with the Public Access Policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rppr/rppr_instruction_guide.pdf).
RPPR with Non-Compliant Publications and the Progress Report Additional Materials (PRAM)
If the RPPR containing non-compliant publications has been submitted, investigators will receive an automated email indicating non-compliant publications. Investigators will then need to demonstrate publication compliance no later than two weeks prior to the start date of the next budget period. Investigators will use the PRAM feature in eRA Commons to respond to non-compliant publications. Note that NIH plans to expand the PRAM functionality in the future (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rppr/rppr_instruction_guide.pdf).
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