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Scott Memorial Library
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JEFFSelects: Copyright & Fair Use

Depositing Your Work at NIH or Jefferson Digital Commons

NIH Deposit Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy on publications that result from all research funded by NIH grants took effect in May 2005. If you receive NIH funding, this policy pertains to you.

Authors are requested to deposit copies of their articles into PubMed Central as soon as possible after their acceptance for publication. The policy applies to peer-reviewed articles accepted for journal publication—not to letters to the editor, editorials, or other submitted materials. The new policy has been described as an attempt to balance the needs of publishers and societies to realize income from the sale of published research vs. the right of taxpayers to access the work they have funded. The interests of researchers are served by the combination of publication in peer-reviewed journals together with rapid free access to electronic content. A notice in the NIH Guide describes the public access policy: "Implementation of Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research."

Use the NIH Public Access site for easy submission.

Need help? NIH has provided a set of Frequently Asked Questions about the program, as well as a Help Desk to answer specific questions.

Note that for submission, NIH extramural investigators must use their eRA Commons account. NIH eRA Commons is a system developed to facilitate the discrete exchange of essential information between NIH and applicant organizations. The “Commons” is a Web interface, where NIH and the grantee community are able to conduct their extramural research administration business electronically.

Not sure you have the right to deposit your work?

Your right to deposit your work with NIH or in the Jefferson Digital Commons (Jefferson's own institutional repository) depends on the agreement you signed with your publisher. Many publishers require that you sign over all rights, which would preclude you from making deposits.

AISR and Jefferson's University Counsel recommend that you retain your right to deposit your articles. If your publishing contract does not already allow this, ask your publisher to modify your contract to allow it -- sample language is available as an "author's addendum," developed by SPARC, an organization of which Jefferson is a member.

If you do not know whether you have the right to deposit your work, and no longer have a copy of your pubishers' agreement, you will need to contact your publisher to find out. AISR staff are available to assist you with this; contact the Reference Desk at 215-503-8150 or

Jefferson Digital Commons

Depositing your work in Jefferson's institutional repository gives your work greater exposure world-wide. Studies of other repositories show significant increases in citations result from such exposure. You may deposit articles in both PubMed Central and Jefferson Digital Commons if your publisher permits deposits and/or you have retained your right to deposit.

You may deposit your own articles or request AISR staff assistance. For assistance with the Jefferson Digital Commons, contact Dan Kipnis at 215-503-2825 or