NIHMS Glossary

Claim Manuscript

If the current Reviewer is unable to perform necessary actions in NIHMS, another author or a PI with associated funding may take over Reviewer duties for the record, effectively claiming the manuscript. If you are already associated with the record, the "Claim Manuscript" button will be available to you. Selecting this button and agreeing to the resulting request language will send a notification of your request to the current Reviewer assigned to the manuscript. If the current Reviewer does not act within 1 week and your account is authorized to act as a Reviewer on the manuscript, you will be granted Reviewer duties on the record. Additional information related to Claim procedures is available in the NIHMS FAQ.

Conversion Process

The NIHMS conversion process involves review of the submitted files by NIHMS staff for quality and completeness, conversion of manuscript files to XML, and a quality-assurance review of the resulting PMC-ready documents. This process, which can take up to 8 weeks during peak periods, is intended to ensure that the submission complies with copyright laws and that the materials in PMC are accurate and complete. Once a manuscript has undergone the conversion process, the Reviewer on the record is sent a request to sign in to the NIHMS system, review the PMC-ready documents, and submit corrections (if needed). The final step is approval by the Reviewer of the material for PMC. (A complete list of steps in the NIHMS process is available in the NIHMS FAQ.)


The embargo is the time period, in months, that the publisher retains exclusive rights to distribute the article. The full text of an article will not be made available in PMC, even if the PMC-ready documents have been approved by the Reviewer, until after the embargo has ended. Note: Assignment of a PMCID is not dependent on the embargo. For more information, see the description for PMCID.

eRA Commons

The eRA Commons is an online interface where signing officials, principal investigators, trainees, and post-docs at institutions/organizations can access and share administrative information relating to NIH research grants. Extramural researchers who have eRA Commons accounts can use those credentials to access the NIHMS system as well. To obtain an eRA Commons account, or for assistance with an existing eRA Commons account, please contact the eRA Commons Help Desk at

Final Published Article

The journal's version of record, including all modifications from the peer-review process, copyediting and stylistic edits, and formatting changes. NIHMS will accept the final published article in lieu of the peer-reviewed, accepted manuscript, provided that the author has the right to submit this version.

My Bibliography

My Bibliography is a reference tool that helps you save your citations (journal articles, books/chapters, patents, presentations, and meetings) directly from PubMed or, if not found there, to manually enter citations using My Bibliography templates. My Bibliography provides a centralized place where citations are easily accessed, exported as a file, and made public to share with others. Grant PIs must use My Bibliography to manage their publications lists in eRA Commons. Please visit the My NCBI Help page or My Bibliography FAQ for more information.

NIHMS (NIH Manuscript Submission)

The NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system facilitates the submission process of peer-reviewed, accepted manuscripts for inclusion in PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH or participating funder’s public access policy. Complete files undergo a conversion process before being sent to PMC.

NIHMSID (NIH Manuscript Submission Identifier)

The NIHMSID is a preliminary article identifier that applies only to manuscripts deposited through the NIHMS system.

PDF Receipt

After the Submitter uploads the manuscript material, including all figures, tables, supplemental files, and so on (as applicable) to the NIHMS system, NIHMS generates a "receipt" for the uploaded files in PDF format. This PDF Receipt summarizes the information entered into the system and merges the manuscript's files into one viewable document for the Reviewer's approval.

Peer-Reviewed, Accepted Manuscript

Also referred to as the "Author Manuscript." This is the version of a peer-reviewed paper accepted for journal publication, including all modifications from the peer-review process. The NIH Public Access Policy is based on a law that requires investigators to submit "their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts" to PubMed Central at the time of acceptance for publication.

PMC-Participating Journal

A journal that has met PMC's scientific and technical standards and for which the publisher has agreed to deposit final article XML directly in PMC at the time of publication without author involvement. This is referred to as Submission Method A (click here for more information). Content from PMC-participating journals is not processed by NIHMS.

PMC-Ready Documents

After the manuscript content is converted to XML, a web version and PDF are generated for PubMed Central (PMC). These are the PMC documents that will be released to PMC following the approval of the Reviewer and any applicable embargo period.

PMCID (PubMed Central Identifier)

Each paper in PMC is assigned a unique identification number. A PMCID may be used by authors and awardees to demonstrate compliance with a funder’s public access policy.

A PMCID is assigned to an NIHMS submission when the following two criteria are met:

  1. The converted materials (i.e., the PMC-ready documents) have been approved by the Reviewer and
  2. The article has been matched to a PubMed record for one of the following:
      a. a final print publication date or
      b. an electronic publication date for a journal that is an electronic publication only or
      c. an electronic publication date for a journal in which PubMed has not received the final print publication date within 6 months of the electronic publication date.

PMID (PubMed Identifier)

Each citation record in PubMed is assigned a unique identification number. A PMID is not the same as a PMCID and cannot be used to demonstrate compliance with the NIH or another participating funder’s public access policy.

Principal Investigator (PI)

The PI is the awardee whose funding supports the work. An NIHMS record can be associated with multiple PIs. PIs are sometimes authors on the manuscript but not always. A PI may serve as the Reviewer, either by being assigned to the role or submitting a Claim request for a stalled record with which he/she is already associated.

Public Access Compliance Monitor (PACM)

The Public Access Compliance Monitor provides an institution with the current compliance status of all journal articles that are associated with the institution and fall under the NIH Public Access Policy. It is not a formal reporting or monitoring tool for NIH. Please see the PACM User Guide for more information.


PubMed is a citation and abstract database for biomedical literature, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher websites. For more information, see

PubMed Central (PMC)

PMC is the National Library of Medicine's full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, which gives the public access to papers at no cost. Papers collected under the NIH or participating funder's public access policy are archived in PMC. More information about PubMed Central is available on the PMC website.


The Reviewer on an NIHMS record is responsible for approving the initial deposit, signing off on the Submission Statement, and ensuring the PMC-ready documents are accurate and complete before approving them for release in PMC. The Reviewer is usually an author on the paper. If an author is not available to complete the approval steps, a PI can serve this role. Please note that although a Submitter can also serve as the Reviewer if he/she is an author or PI, a third party cannot approve an NIHMS manuscript for conversion or inclusion in PMC. An NIHMS record can have only one Reviewer. If the current Reviewer is unresponsive or cannot complete the required steps, another author or PI will need to be assigned to the role in order for the submission to progress.

Reviewer (Pending)

Someone who has been designated as a Reviewer by the Submitter but has not yet accepted Reviewer duties.

Routes/Options

NIHMS users (Submitters, Reviewers, PIs, Watchers) can sign in to NIHMS via multiple accounts, including NIH, eRA Commons, My NCBI, and HHMI. If you think you may have signed in to NIHMS previously but are not sure by what account, you may request an e-mail reminder via the NIHMS homepage. (Note: Creating multiple accounts in NIHMS can inhibit access to your submissions.)


An NIHMS submission goes through various stages of processing. The Status of a submission serves to indicate what action(s) are being taken or are needed. A complete list of statuses is as follows:

Status What it means
Awaiting file upload The Submitter has started a submission but not completed the file upload or has received a request following approval of the PDF Receipt for missing or higher quality files not provided at initial submission.
Awaiting Submitter or NIHMS staff action following PDF generation failure Generation of the PDF Receipt has failed due to data issues requiring intervention by the Submitter or NIHMS staff. An error message may be listed in the History of the record. If not otherwise contacted by NIHMS staff, the Submitter should either attempt to replace the file(s) per the error message or e-mail the Help Desk for assistance.
Awaiting submitter's action following PDF generation failure A notification that the PDF Receipt has failed to generate because of damaged or incompatible files has been sent to the Submitter. He/she should sign in and make the necessary adjustments to the submission.
Awaiting submitter's initial approval or designation of reviewer The Submitter has provided files but has neither approved the submission for processing nor assigned a Reviewer to approve the submission.
Awaiting reviewer's initial approval A notification that the PDF Receipt is available for review has been sent to the Reviewer. He/she should sign in, review the deposit, and sign off on the Submission Statement.
Awaiting submitter action following reviewer's rejection of deposited files The Reviewer has rejected the PDF Receipt. The Submitter should come into the system to make any necessary adjustments to the submission before sending it back to the Reviewer.
Undergoing NIHMS review of submission statement rejection The Reviewer has rejected the Submission Statement. NIHMS staff is reviewing the reason for rejection and will act accordingly, either by removing the submission or contacting the Reviewer.
Undergoing NIHMS review following reviewer's rejection for lack of funding The Reviewer has rejected the submission as not having been supported by NIH or a participating funder. NIHMS is reviewing the rejection and will either remove the submission or contact the Reviewer for additional information.
Undergoing NIHMS submission review and file preparation NIHMS staff is reviewing the deposit to ensure complete files were provided before starting XML conversion.
PMC-participating journal The submitted manuscript is in a PMC-participating journal. The publisher will supply the manuscript directly to PMC. The NIHMS submission has been blocked from further processing.
Undergoing NLM verification of journal information This status applies only to submissions from journals that are not already in the NLM Catalog. In these cases, NLM’s catalogers need to create a new record for the journal before processing can continue.
Undergoing conversion to PMC documents The deposited files are being tagged in XML to create PMC documents (HTML and PDF). NIHMS staff then compares the PMC documents against the original submission to ensure no errors were introduced (see Conversion Process).
Awaiting reviewer's final approval A notification that the PMC-ready documents are available has been sent to the Reviewer. He/she should sign in, review the PMC-formatted version, and either approve or request corrections.
Undergoing revision of PMC documents in response to requested corrections The Reviewer has requested corrections to the PMC-ready documents. NIHMS staff is addressing the correction request.
Awaiting files from reviewer


Awaiting files from submitter
A request for missing or higher quality files not caught during initial review or a request for files required to make a Reviewer-requested change to the PMC-ready documents has been sent to the Reviewer or Submitter (as applicable). He/she should sign in and supply the files required to update the material.
Awaiting final citation information This status applies only to records that do not have final citation information following the Reviewer's approval of the PMC-ready documents. Final citation information is required to determine the PMC release date. Anyone associated with an NIHMS submission can provide citation information by clicking on the "Provide Citation" button in the manuscript record.
Released to PMC


Released to PMC (under embargo)
When a submission is queued to go into PMC, it is referred to as being "released to PMC." This involves sending the PMC documents to the database and any citation information or embargo information to PubMed. A PMCID has been assigned; however, if an embargo has been set, the record will remain in this status with a parenthetical notation that it is under embargo.
Available in PMC PMC users can now access the full manuscript text.
Withdrawn from PMC The manuscript has been removed from PMC. This is rare and usually occurs because it has been determined that the manuscript does not fall within the scope of the NIH or participating funder's public access policy and should not have been submitted. The PMCID is no longer valid for compliance purposes.


A manuscript can be submitted to NIHMS by the author, the PI, the publisher, or other third party (e.g., assistant, librarian). In the case of third-party submissions, the Submitter must assign an author or PI to review the record. If the Submitter is the author or PI, he/she may also serve as the Reviewer.

Verified Author

A confirmed co-author who is associated with an NIHMS record but is not the designated Reviewer. Verified Authors can claim a stalled submission for which the current Reviewer does not take action.


A Watcher can only view the details of the NIHMS record with which he/she has been associated; he/she cannot take any action on the record. Watch requests can be submitted via the NIHMS system. Additional information related to Watch procedures is available in the description for Watch Manuscript, as well as the NIHMS FAQ.

Watch Manuscript

To monitor the status or “watch” a submission in NIHMS, you must be associated with the record. To locate a record, sign in to the NIHMS system and enter the related PMID or NIHMSID into the Search field available on your Manuscript List page. On the resulting page for the manuscript you would like to watch, click on the “Watch Manuscript” button to request access to the record. This will send a notification of your request to the current Reviewer assigned to the manuscript. If the Reviewer does not object, you will be granted access in 1 week. Note: To protect confidentiality, you will be asked to supply the manuscript and journal titles when requesting to watch records not yet matched to a PMID. Additional information related to Watch procedures is available in the NIHMS FAQ.