Ensuring the researchers at the RCMI –grantee institutions comply with NIH’s Public Access Policy has prompted proactive measures from the RTRN. Efforts of the RTRN Administrative Coordinating Center, led Drs. Keosha Partlow and Lee Irons, and RCMI research librarians, led by Mrs. Tara Douglas-Williams (Morehouse School of Medicine), Mrs. Darlene Parker Kelly (Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science) and Dr. QuiñonesMaurás (University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus) have sought to increase awareness and implementation of the policy as it relates to all manuscripts and papers supported by NIH funding. The Public Access Policy applies to all papers that are peer-reviewed, are accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008, and that arise from direct funding of an NIH grant active in 2008 or later.

The researcher has several responsibilities to ensure compliance with the policy:

1. Authors should only publish papers in journals that are willing to cooperate with the policy

2. Authors must acknowledge the grant(s) that supported the research

3. Authors must deposit their papers on PubMed Central

4. Authors must cite properly, including the PMCID number at the end of the citation (demonstrating compliance)

There are four methods of depositing a paper or getting it deposited, depending on the journal. RTRN, in conjunction with the RCMI librarians, has identified possible issues facing the researchers’ implementation of the policy. Despite challenges such as not knowing exactly who should be responsible for depositing papers or understanding the difference between PMID numbers and PMCID numbers, the RCMI librarians, who have been trained on the use of My NCBI, are a great resource for acquiring a better understanding of the policy.

“RTRN serves as the mechanism for reaching a large number of RCMI investigators,” said RTRN Program Manager, Dr. Keosha Partlow. “Through our collaboration with the RCMI librarians, we will host a series of webinars for our researchers, principal investigators and program directors. Additionally, we will have relevant information linked to the RTRN website.”

RTRN has scheduled a series of webinars in an effort to educate different constituencies. The first webinar, held February 6, enabled RCMI librarians to discuss best practices and efforts to promote the policy across their sites.

A webinar to provide training for the Program Managers and Office of Sponsored Program staff is scheduled for Thursday, February 20, and will be followed by a third webinar on Thursday, March 6, for the entire RCMI research community as well as external partners. (Link to the RTRN Calendar for webinar information, http://cal.rtrn.net/cal/event/showEventMore.rdo)

For more information on the NIH Public Access Policy, see the NIH site publicaccess.nih.gov, or contact Dr. Lee Irons of the RTRN Administrative Coordinating Center via e-mail at lee.irons@rtrn.net.