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NIH Public Access Policy and Manuscript Submission: PMCIDs

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For any additional questions on the NIH Public Access Policy, manuscript submission, or PMCIDs, contact your liaison librarian.

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Clarifying the Identifiers

PMID = permanent PubMed abstract identifier

PMCID = permanent PubMed Central full-text article identifier

NIHMSID = temporary manuscript submission identifier given to an author who self-submits a manuscript to the NIHMS system

  • The PMCID is required for compliance.
  • The temporary NIHMSID will be replaced later by the permanent PMCID.
  • PMCIDs correspond to an article's full text in PubMed Central and PMIDs to an article's abstract in PubMed.
  • Not all articles with PMCIDs will have PMIDs.
  • PMIDs do not substitute for PMCIDs.
  • You can convert between these three numbers using this converter.

Including PMCID in Citations

PMCIDs must be included when citing papers in NIH applications, proposals, and reports.  

  • If the paper was published more than 3 months before an application, proposal, or report is submitted, the PMCID must be used.
  •  If the paper is in press or published within 3 months of the application, proposal, or report submission, PMCID may be used.  Alternate acceptable documentation:
    •  "PMC Journal – In Process" – for final published articles being submitted by the journal or publisher
    • NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) – for final peer-reviewed manuscripts submitted by the author

Note that:

  • When the article is submitted by the journal publisher, it will not receive a NIHMSID, but will first have the "PMC Journal - In Process" status and then a permanent PMCID.
  • When the article is submitted by the author, it will receive a temporary NIHMSID that will later be replaced by a permanent PMCID.

Either the NIHMSID or the PMCID are acceptable for proof of policy compliance within the first 3 months after publication. After that, the PMCID must be used. The PMCID always supersedes the NIHMSID.

Compliance status will be displayed in the "Manage Bibliography" view of "MyBibliography" within MyNCBI. You can add or revise compliance status there. Additionally, grant awards can be linked to citations there as well and lists of citation by grant award can be generated.

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