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NIHMS Glossary


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 not the Reviewer but an author or PI already associated with the record, the manuscript will display in the Available to Claim filter of your manuscript list. After clicking on the title to access the record, an Assign to Me button will be available for you to move the submission forward.


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. Assignment of a PMCID is not dependent on the embargo.

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.

Login Routes

NIHMS users (e.g., Submitters, Reviewers, PIs) can log in to the NIHMS system via multiple accounts, such as NIH, eRA Commons, My NCBI, and HHMI. If you think you may have logged in to the NIHMS system previously but are not sure by what account, you may request an email reminder via the NIHMS homepage. (Note: Creating multiple accounts in NIHMS can inhibit access to your submissions.)

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 list in eRA Commons. Please visit the My NCBI Help page or My Bibliography FAQ for more information.

My Manuscripts

My Manuscripts (sometimes referred to as your manuscript list) is the page from which you can submit, act on, or search for manuscripts associated with your account in the NIHMS system. Your manuscript list is filterable, with the default filter displaying manuscripts currently awaiting your attention.

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.

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.

Pending Reviewer

Someone who has been designated as a Reviewer by the Submitter but has not yet accessed the submission.

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, Web and PDF versions are generated for PubMed Central (PMC). These are the documents that will be sent 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 Final Approval step is complete.
  2. The article has been matched to a PubMed record for one of the following:

    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.

PI (Principal Investigator)

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 claiming a stalled record with which he or 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 or 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.


Status What it means
Submitter's Action Required Prior to File Upload The Submitter has initiated a submission but has not yet input title information.
Submitter's File(s) Required The Submitter has not yet completed the initial file upload or has received a request for missing or higher quality files following completion of the Initial Approval step.
Submitter's Initial Approval or Designation of Reviewer Required The Submitter has provided files but has neither approved the submission for processing nor assigned a Reviewer to approve the submission.
Reviewer's Initial Approval Required A notification that the manuscript is available for review has been sent to the Reviewer. He or she should log in, review the deposit, and sign off on the Submission Statement.
Reviewer's Approval of the Submission Statement Required The Reviewer has not yet agreed to the Submission Statement and needs to log in to review and sign off on it to move the submission forward.
Submitter's Action Required Following Reviewer's Rejection of Initial Submission The Reviewer has rejected the submission. The Submitter should log in to the system to make any necessary adjustments to the submission before sending it back to the Reviewer.
NIHMS Evaluation of Reviewer's Rejection of Initial Submission The Reviewer has rejected the submission. NIHMS staff is reviewing the reason for rejection and will act accordingly, either by removing the submission or contacting the Reviewer.
NIHMS Submission Review and File Preparation NIHMS staff is reviewing the deposit to ensure it meets submission requirements before continuing with conversion to archival XML format.
NLM Verification of Journal Information NIHMS staff is reviewing the associated journal’s status in the NLM Catalog. NLM’s catalogers may need to create a new record for the journal before processing can continue.
NIHMS Conversion to PMC-Ready Documents PMC-ready documents (Web and PDF) are being created from the deposited files, or updated, in archival XML format.
NIHMS Review of PMC-Ready Documents NIHMS staff compares the PMC-ready documents against the original submission to ensure no errors were introduced (see NIHMS Conversion) and that any requested corrections have been made.
Reviewer's File(s) Required 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. He or she should log in and supply the files required to update the material.
Reviewer's Final Approval Required A notification that the PMC-ready documents are available has been sent to the Reviewer. He or she should log in, review the PMC-formatted Web and PDF versions, and either approve them or request corrections.
NIHMS Revision of PMC-Ready Documents Following Reviewer's Rejection The Reviewer has requested corrections to the PMC-ready documents. NIHMS staff is addressing the correction request.
Pending Final Citation Data 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. If the manuscript was published in a non-MEDLINE-indexed journal, it will be listed in the Awaiting Citation Data filter of an associated person’s manuscript list. He or she may provide citation information by clicking on the Provide Citation button in the manuscript record.
Sent to PMC When a submission is queued to go into PMC, it is referred to as being "sent to PMC." This involves sending the PMC-ready documents to the database and any citation or embargo information to PubMed. The PMCID has not yet been assigned.
Under embargo in PMC (PMCID Assigned) PMC has received the manuscript and a PMCID has been assigned; however, the manuscript is not yet publicly available because it is under embargo.
Available in PMC PMC has received the manuscript, a PMCID has been assigned, and 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 therefore 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 or she may also serve as the Reviewer.

Ticket (Number)

A ticket number allows the NIHMS system to match a manuscript awaiting initial or final approval with a login session and can be activated either via a link provided in the review notification email sent to the Reviewer or when manually entered into the "Have a ticket number?" search field of the My Manuscripts page. A ticket number can only be activated once and is deactivated when the pending review is completed.

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.