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Copyright, Trademarks, and Publications


Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection provided by law to the authors of "original works of authorship" such as formatted journal articles, software, and book chapters. Authorship by a United States government employee that is done as part of the employee's official duties is a work of the United States Government. Copyright may not be established in the United States for works of government employees (17 U.S.C. § 105).
The NIH Public Access Policy requires NIH authors to submit final, peer-reviewed journal manuscripts to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication but no later than 12 months after publication. NIH employees may not sign a journal's publishing agreement and instead required to use the "NIH Publishing Agreement & Manuscript Cover Sheet".


The identities of Public Health Service products and services may be valuable assets to consider protecting with a Federal trademark registration in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Slogans, names, logos, graphics (anything used to identify a product or a service) may benefit from trademark protection. If you would like to discuss the advisability of obtaining trademark protection for your program, consult the attorneys in the NIH Branch of the HHS Office of General Counsel at 301-496-6043 (


For Peer-Reviewed Publications (must comply with Public Access Policy), the procedure posted on the NIH Public Access website provides guidance and procedures for NIH employees and a link to the NIH Publishing Agreement & Manuscript Cover Sheet. For Non-peer-reviewed publications such as books and book chapters, the procedure posted on the NIH Intramural Research Sourcebook website summarizes guidance and procedures for NIH authors of books, chapters and other non-peer reviewed materials. There is also a link to the Cover Sheet  for use with non-peer-reviewed materials.
Monday, December 18, 2017