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Federal Agencies Public Access Policies: Citing PMCID

This guide is intended for use by the researchers at Rutgers University. It covers an overview and requirements of the policy, addressing copyright issues, submission methods, citing PMCID, and how to manage compliance.

Citing PMCID

Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to NIH must include the PMCID when citing applicable papers authored by them or resulting from their NIH-funded research. Otherwise, it is not considered to be in compliance with NIH Public Access Policy. Failure to comply could result in discontinuation of funding or no future funding.

For non-competing continuation awards, use My NCBI to report papers. Everywhere else you wish to cite papers that you author or which are subject to the public access policy, include PMCID at the end of citations

For papers published more than 3 months before an application, proposal and report is submitted, a PMCID is the only way to demonstrate compliance for these papers.
Use NIH style to cite. All the authors must be displayed in the reference.
When PMCID Not yet Available
  • Use “PMC Journal - in Process” for Method A & B
  • Use NIHMSID up to 3 months after publication date for Method C & D.

To locate / track PMCID


NIH Public Access Policy requires that anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to NIH must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research. Please do not confuse PMCID with PMID. PMCID is a unique reference number or identifier that is assigned to every full-text article that is accepted into PubMed Central (PMC). PMID is a unique identifier assigned to each citation as it is added to PubMed. It is distinctly different from PMCID and is used only for PubMed records. See the article attached below for more information on the differences between PMCID and PMID.


Health Sciences Information & Education / Research Services Librarian; ORCID:

Yingting Zhang's picture
Yingting Zhang
RWJ Library of the Health Sciences,
1 RWJ Place, PO Box 19, New Brunswick, NJ 08903; ORCiD:

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