NIH Issues RFI on Draft Public Access Policy

On June 18, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for information (RFI) to obtain public comments on the NIH Draft Public Access Policy. The RFI is also seeking feedback on two supplemental draft guidance documents pertaining to government use license and rights, and costs for publications.

The draft NIH policy responds to the August 2022 memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announcing new requirements for federal agencies to make peer-reviewed publications resulting from federal funding freely available to the public immediately following publication. NIH previously sought input into the development of their policy in February 2023. The new draft reflects input received in response to that request.


  • Starting October 1, 2025, the NIH policy will require that manuscripts be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication without embargo upon the official date of publication.
  • The draft policy includes definitions of key terms, including: Manuscript, Final Published Article, Article, Journal, and Official Date of Publication.
  • The policy will apply to manuscripts accepted for publication that result from NIH funding in whole or in part through grants and cooperative agreements (including training grants), contracts, NIH intramural research, and other transactions.
  • In addition, the policy will apply regardless of whether the NIH-funded principal investigator or project director is an author or whether non-NIH funds were used in developing the manuscript.
  • With respect to costs of publishing, the draft policy states, “Reasonable costs associated with publication that are allowable may be requested in the budget for the project as direct or indirect costs, as specified in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.” The policy includes draft guidance to help determine “allowable” and “reasonable” costs; NIH is also seeking public input into this guidance.

Public comments can be submitted by August 19 on the NIH website.


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