Step # !: Anticipate compliance BEFORE submitting/shopping for a journal
Before shopping for a journal to publish results of any NIH funded research: Keep in mind that prior to submitting a manuscript related even in part to any of your NIH award, you or the PI or institution must consider compliance with the terms and conditions of the NIH Public Access Policy. You must therefore ascertain that the journal either:
A. Automatically deposits all NIH funded peer-reviewed articles in PubMed Central or,
B. Will arrange with the author to submit the published article to PubMed Central or,
C. Allows you, the author to deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central by means of the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS)
Either way the publisher must agree to provide a copy of the accepted manuscript to the PubMed Central database for archiving upon acceptance for publication, to be made publically available in digital format no later than 12-months after the official date of publication.
Know your publisher's copyright transfer policies: Check the SHERPA/RoMEO site for a summary of permissions by publisher
Step two: When your manuscript is accepted
BEFORE any rights are transferred to a publication, you the author should avoid signing any agreements with publishers that do not allow the author to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.