Retaining Your Rights: Researchers submitting articles for publication after April 7, 2008 will need to insure that the terms of the publication agreement allow for the submission of the work to PubMed Central.
Here are some general background explanations on why you need to do this. • Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy - Copyright Considerations and Options by Michael W. Carroll (Feb. 2008)• Retaining Rights (from the ARL NIH Public Access Policy Guide for Research Universities) • Managing Copyright for NIH Public Access: Strategies to Ensure Compliance by Kevin L. Smith
1. Check Publisher's Policy
Before trying to re-write or amend your contract, you should check your publisher's policies towards NIH deposit at the Sherpa-Romeo Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving site.
For example, looking at the entry for Cell -Cambridge Ma- (ISSN: 0092-8674), Elsevier allows for archiving with NIH. The Sherpa Romeo site also provides a link to Elsevier's policy on NIH archiving.
2. Amend your Publication Contract
If it is clear that your publisher does not routinely permit submission of your article to PubMed Central, some specific language to alter your contract can be found at: Scholar's Copyright Addendum from Science Commons.
Duke University offers an alternative strategy where the author sends a submission letter to the publisher explaining that the article was written based on research fully or partially funded by NIH and therefore subject to the mandate. It offers the publisher three options on how they can handle the issue.
The third option is for the author to include the following language: "The Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal."