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Publications, Copyright, and Trademarks

Researchers take notes to review publications


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 are required to use the "NIH Publishing Agreement & Manuscript Cover Sheet".

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.

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.


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.

If you would like to reproduce some or all of this content, see Reuse of NCI Information for guidance about copyright and permissions. In the case of permitted digital reproduction, please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source and link to the original NCI product using the original product's title; e.g., “Publications, Copyright, and Trademarks was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”