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Libraries assist faculty recipients of NIH grants

Logo of the National Institutes of Health, used with permission.

The Rutgers University Libraries are pleased to offer to 'do the work' for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grantees at Rutgers who must meet new public access requirements, for published peer-reviewed articles.

Effective April 7, 2008, NIH requires all investigators to deposit an electronic version of peer-reviewed articles stemming from NIH funding in PubMed Central (PMC), a free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature that is managed by the National Library of Medicine. Authors are required to submit their articles to PMC "upon acceptance" from a peer-reviewed journal, and allow open access to the full text of the article in the PubMed system within a year of publication.

Fulfilling this requirement is no simple task, because journals may often have complicated and/or restrictive policies on authors' rights. Yet as Rhonda Marker, the Repository Collection Manager at the Rutgers University Libraries, explains: "Faculty members can simply send their article files to the Rutgers University Libraries; we will investigate all the open questions, then submit the articles for them to NIH."

According to Marker, the Rutgers University Libraries NIH Submission Service will:

"It is important for researchers to make their publications widely accessible to maximize the impact of their research and to comply with NIH regulations," stated Michael Pazzani, Vice President for Research and Graduate and Professional Education at Rutgers. "When the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate and Professional Education reached out to the Libraries for assistance, we found, not surprisingly, an organization well-versed in the new NIH requirements, and fully prepared to assist Rutgers faculty with the core issues of rights retention and publisher negotiation."

Dr. Pazzani added: "We were especially impressed that the Libraries would develop an easy-to-use technical platform that will expedite the submission process for faculty, delivering an electronic manuscript to PMC while retaining an 'archival' copy at Rutgers."

The platform that enables this is RUcore (Rutgers University Community Repository) which provides access and archival services for all Rutgers faculty, and has been enhanced to specifically address the NIH publishing requirements.

"The Rutgers University Libraries have long been engaged in open access issues," said Marianne Gaunt, University Librarian. "The NIH initiative, intended to expand public access to publicly-funded research findings, is a welcome development along these lines, and we are proud to play a role in furthering access to our faculty's scholarship."

"More practically, the NIH initiative also highlights the importance of the author's rights in publications and the agreements they sign. The Libraries are pleased to extend their expertise in this area to assist faculty in addressing this thorny area."

For more information about the NIH Public Access Policy or the RUcore services, please contact either Rhonda Marker at or by phone at: 732-932-8573 ext 195 or your academic department's library liaison - for information and contact information for libraries liaisons, please see:

To learn more about the Rutgers University Libraries NIH Submission Service, please see:

Important Dates:

April 7, 2008
As of April 7, 2008, all articles arising from NIH funds must be submitted to PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.

May 25, 2008
As of May 25, 2008, NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports must include the PubMed Central reference number when citing an article that falls under the policy.

Posted April 10, 2008