Include PMCID in Citations
Anyone submitting an application, proposal or report to the NIH must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research.
Example: Three authors collaborate on a paper that falls under the public access policy. Author A has no NIH support, Author B worked on the paper using salary support from his mentor’s NIH award, and Author C used her NIH award to support the research reported in the paper. If any of the four scientists (the authors and Author B’s mentor) cite the paper when they apply for an NIH award, they must include the PMCID in the citation. However, when another scientist (anyone other than the three authors or Author B’s mentor) cites this paper in their NIH research application, they are not required to include the PMCID. In addition, when Author B’s mentor and Author C next report on the progress of their respective awards to NIH, they must cite the paper and include the PMCID.
How to Cite
A. For non-competing continuation awards, use My NCBI report papers
- Create a Commons linked My NCBI account. A video overview is available here.
- Collaborate with your colleagues to associate publications with NIH awards, and track public access compliance. A video overview is available here.
- Report your papers via the RPPR, or generate a PDF report for the publications section of the PHS 2590.
B. Everywhere else you wish to cite papers you author or arise from your funding, and are subject to the public access policy
- Include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) at the end of citations.
For papers published more than 3 months before an application, proposal and report is submitted:
List the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) at the end of the full journal citation for the paper in NIH applications, proposals and reports. A PMCID is the only way to demonstrate compliance for these papers.
For papers in press, or published within 3 months of when an application, proposal or report is submitted:
- When using Submission Method A or B, indicate "PMC Journal - In Process" or the PMCID at the end of the full citation.
- When using Submission Method C or D, provide a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) or PMCID at the end of the full citation. Note, NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that all steps of the NIHMS submission process are complete within three months of publication.
- Place the Literature Citations in the appropriate location.
The appropriate locations for literature citations vary depending on the application type. See the Guide Notice NOT-OD-08-119 for details.
The Difference Between a PMCID and a PMID
The PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) is different from the PubMed reference number (PMID). PubMed Central is an index of full-text papers, while PubMed is an index of abstracts. The PMCID links to full-text papers in PubMed Central, while the PMID links to abstracts in PubMed. PMIDs have nothing to do with the NIH Public Access Policy.
Examples of Citations
Sala-Torra O, Gundacker HM, Stirewalt DL, Ladne PA, Pogosova-Agadjanyan EL, Slovak ML, Willman CL, Heimfeld S, Boldt DH, Radich JP. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression and outcome in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood. 2007 April 1; 109(7): 3080–3083. PMCID: PMC1852221
Cerrato A, Parisi M, Santa Anna S, Missirlis F, Guru S, Agarwal S, Sturgill D, Talbot T, Spiegel A, Collins F, Chandrasekharappa S, Marx S, Oliver B. Genetic interactions between Drosophila melanogaster menin and Jun/Fos. Dev Biol. 2006 Oct 1; 298(1): 59-70. PMCID: PMC2291284
Examples, before the PMCID is available:
For Submission Methods A and B, use “PMC Journal - In Process”:
Example: Sala-Torra O, Gundacker HM, Stirewalt DL, Ladne PA, Pogosova-Agadjanyan EL, Slovak ML, Willman CL, Heimfeld S, Boldt DH, Radich JP. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression and outcome in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood. [a publication date within 3 months of when the application, proposal or report was submitted to NIH]. PMCID: PMC Journal - In Process
For Submission Methods C and D, use the NIHMSID:
Example: Cerrato A, Parisi M, Santa Anna S, Missirlis F, Guru S, Agarwal S, Sturgill D, Talbot T, Spiegel A, Collins F, Chandrasekharappa S, Marx S, Oliver B. Genetic interactions between Drosophila melanogaster menin and Jun/Fos. Dev Biol. In press. NIHMSID: NIHMS44135
Note: NIH expects NIH applications, proposals and reports to provide the most up-to-date information available on Public Access Policy compliance. The NIH Manuscript Submission reference number (NIHMSID) or "PMC Journal - In Process" should not be used once the PMCID is available. Previously submitted applications, proposals and reports need not be updated when the PMCID becomes available.
Locating the PMCID
The PMCID is posted in PubMed as soon as an article has been successfully processed by PMC, which usually occurs around the time of publication. The easiest way to find and track PMCIDs is to add the paper to My NCBI (See My NCBI and My Bibliography training materials at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/communications.htm for instructions). My NCBI will automatically add the PMCID to a citation as soon as it is available.
PMCIDs are listed in the lower right corner of the Abstract Plus view of PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed). If the paper is successfully processed but not yet publicly available on PMC, PubMed will also list the date the paper will become available. NIH provides other methods of obtaining PMCIDs (e.g. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/so08/so08_skill_kit_pmcid.html), as do several bibliography management software packages.
Determining if an NIHMSID is valid
NIHMSIDs will become invalid three months after a paper is published. The validity of an NIHMSID will be evident in: