The Policy implements Division G, Title II, Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) which states:
SEC. 218.The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.
PubMed Central is an archive of full-text biomedical journal papers available online without a fee. Papers on PubMed Central contain links to other scientific databases such as GenBank (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Genbank/) and PubChem (http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/). Papers collected under the Public Access Policy are archived on PubMed Central. More information about PubMed Central is available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/faq.html.
Once posted to PubMed Central, results of NIH-funded research become more prominent, integrated and accessible, making it easier for all scientists to pursue NIH’s research priority areas competitively. PubMed Central materials are integrated with large NIH research data bases such as Genbank and PubChem, which helps accelerate scientific discovery. Clinicians, patients, educators, and students can better reap the benefits of papers arising from NIH funding by accessing them on PubMed Central at no charge. Finally, the Policy allows NIH to monitor, mine, and develop its portfolio of taxpayer funded research more effectively, and archive its results in perpetuity.