Dr. Janna Wehrle

About Dr. Janna Wehrle

Janna manages both experimental and computational projects studying how proteins fold, survive stress, form complex cellular machines and are removed from cells—and what happens when these processes go awry.

FAQs on Public Access Policy Compliance and Publication Reporting in Progress Reports

Following on from my earlier post, Progress Reports and the Public Access Policy, I’d like to share answers to a few of the questions program directors/principal investigators (PDs/PIs) have asked about compliance procedures.

I didn’t submit my paper to PubMed Central until recently and my progress report is due. They tell me it may take 6 weeks to complete the process. What should I do?

Respond promptly when the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) requests that you approve the version to be posted so your PMCID can be issued as quickly as possible. Also, check with your sponsored projects or research administration office about procedures during a possible gap in funding.

The public access policy requires papers to be submitted to the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication. Because so many PDs/PIs are still catching up on submitting their publications, PubMed Central processing times are much longer than the usual 2 weeks. As NIH announced in February, noncompeting continuation awards will not be made until publications arising from that grant are in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

The law mandating the Public Access compliance requirement is based on the use of grant funds for published research. When in doubt about publication-grant associations, contact your NIH program official (PO).

Should I report ALL my grant’s publications in my annual progress report?

No. Just report the publications arising from this grant’s funding during the single grant year you’re reporting.

Even if they have only recently been added to your NCBI My Bibliography, don’t include publications from previous grant years. You should still make sure the earlier publications have PMCIDs, because it’s the law and a legal term and condition of your NIH award. In addition, you’ll need PMCIDs for competing renewal applications and NIH biosketches.

I inadvertently assigned a publication to my RPPR that describes work not funded by the grant being reported. What can I do?

If you realize this BEFORE the RPPR (or PHS 2590) is submitted to NIH by your sponsored projects or research administration office, you can remove the link in the My Bibliography Award View display by unchecking the box. (Yet another reason to run the Public Access Compliance report early: Making corrections is easy!)

A lock icon Lock icon indicates that a publication-grant connection has already been recorded. A yellow lock means the paper was linked to the award in the NIHMS. To undo this association, you’ll need to contact the NIHMS Help Desk. A gray lock means the paper has already been officially reported to NIH as arising from the award. To undo that association, you’ll have to officially amend the report that triggered the lock. Please contact the NIH PO for the grant. If your PO approves the correction, ask him or her to e-mail PublicAccess@mail.nih.gov to execute the change.

I thought the journal’s publisher would submit my paper for me. Why is the citation marked “noncompliant”?

The NIH Public Access Web site describes the four submission methods (A, B, C and D) and lists for each method what the publisher will do, what an author must do and what a designee can help with. Different publishers, and even different journals from the same publisher, follow different practices. The key is for you and any other authors to understand which method you and your publisher have agreed to. Perhaps the most common issues are:

  • An author expects a Method B publisher to complete the entire compliance process without having made a specific arrangement with the publisher.
  • An author (or designee) submits the final, peer-reviewed manuscript directly to the NIHMS (Method C) or a Method D publisher submits the manuscript, but one of the authors does not follow through to:
    • Authorize the NIHMS to process the manuscript to PMC format (a quick return e-mail), and
    • Approve the formatted version to be posted on PubMed Central.

All authors should agree on who will do the various steps. And it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan.

My paper was published as an open access article. Why do I need a PMCID?

Journals and publishers are free to change their access policies at any time or to remove papers that have been posted. NIH is required by law to assure that papers describing work funded by our grants are and remain available to the public through PubMed Central.

What if I have other questions?

Contact your PO, e-mail PublicAccess@mail.nih.gov and/or visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site.

Progress Reports and the Public Access Policy

As NIH announced in February, it will delay the processing of noncompeting continuation awards with budget start dates of July 1, 2013, and beyond if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Whether your award requires progress reporting in the new RPPR format (all SNAP-eligible and fellowship awards) or still uses the PHS 2590 progress report (you know who you are…), you must use My NCBI’s My Bibliography feature to identify and associate publications with the correct grant number(s). Changes to My Bibliography have improved the workflow and communication between PIs and non-PI authors, so it’s now easier for you to track compliance of all papers arising from your awards, even those for which you’re not an author. This YouTube video Exit icon provides a step-by-step demonstration of the whole process.

The RPPR module in the eRA Commons will automatically create the “C.1 Publications” list for your RPPR progress report, complete with NIH Public Access Compliance indicators, based on the grant affiliations in your My Bibliography account. For PHS 2590 progress reports, you will need to run the My Bibliography compliance report yourself, print the file and add it to your PHS 2590.

You can run the Public Access Compliance report in My Bibliography at any time, so there’s no need to wait ’til your progress report is due to check that all your publications are compliant and are affiliated with the correct grants.

Guidance on Submitting JIT Information

Over the years, NIH has tried various approaches to make sure advisory council and institute or center (IC) staff members have all the information they need about applications being considered for funding. In March 2012, NIH announced the latest procedures for submission of this “just-in-time” (JIT) information:

  1. All JIT information must be submitted via the NIH Commons.
  2. The JIT function button will be activated for all scored applications, just in case it’s needed. This is neither an indication that you should submit JIT information nor an indication of your application’s likelihood of funding.
  3. If your application has an impact score between 1 and 40, you will receive an automated e-mail, which only tells you to follow the JIT guidelines of the application’s corresponding NIH IC. Receiving this message does not necessarily indicate that you will need to submit JIT information, as noted in the NIGMS guidelines below.

You can find guidelines for most NIGMS applications on the Summary Statement and JIT Actions for Applicants Web page and in the relevant section of the funding opportunity announcement you’re responding to. Our current guidance is:

If your application, with the exception of T32 or R25 applications, received a percentile ranking between 1 and 20, or if a percentile ranking is not specified and the priority score is between 10 and 30, please submit Other Support information within 2 weeks of the availability of the Summary Statement. In addition, if your research involves vertebrate animals or human subjects, you must submit information as described in the above referenced Actions on Applications after Initial Review sheet for instructions on completing this information.

Should there be changes to this guidance, they will be reflected on the Web page, so I encourage you to check it each time you receive a summary statement. We’ve also posted JIT details for Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity grants, fellowships and SCORE grants. If your application’s grant mechanism isn’t covered, please consult the program contact listed on your summary statement for instructions.

In the future, we plan to cover what goes in the “Other Support” document and why we ask for it.

NIH-Funded Research on Center Stage at Celebration of Science Event

Video Highlights from A Celebration of ScienceMost of us—whether we’re making discoveries or funding them—spend our time focused on driving science forward. Occasionally we have the opportunity to revel in the advances that have been made and see firsthand how they change lives. That’s what happened here at NIH a few weekends ago, and it was an absolute delight.

FasterCures and the Milken Institute organized A Celebration of Science Exit icon, a 3-day event in the Washington, D.C., area to reaffirm the importance of biomedical research. It brought together more than 1,000 scientists, patients, policymakers, businesspeople, artists and others who have made discoveries in, have been affected by or simply wanted to know more about biomedical research. The group came to NIH on a Saturday to hear about cutting-edge research, people whose lives have changed for the better because of biomedical advances, and the economic impacts of NIH investments.

Research funded by NIGMS was featured in a presentation by Susan Lindquist of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, who talked about her work related to protein folding and misfolding. Although introducing these concepts to a mostly nonscientific audience was no easy task, she had the audience roaring with laughter when she showed protein folding in a test tube as a few synchronized swimmers in an Olympic-sized pool and then protein folding in a real cell interior as a crowded wave pool in Tokyo . . . on a VERY hot day. Her presentation also highlighted two features common among NIGMS’ basic research portfolios:

  • Using model organisms (in her case, yeast) to make discoveries about quite complex human diseases, and
  • Finding that the same fundamental cellular processes work (or don’t work) in diseases we think of as very different (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease and cancer).

These are just a few highlights of the exciting and inspiring day at NIH. For more, watch this 10-minute overview or the entire NIH morning session and afternoon session.

One-Stop Shop for Info on NIH-Funded Research

Screenshot of NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool Expenditures and Results (NIH RePORTER)Trying to figure out if your latest idea for a project is already being widely supported by NIH?

Looking for a local collaborator who has the research expertise you need?

Searching for research results on a particular disease or medication?

Want more details about NIH-funded research than you can find in the prepared reports on the NIH RePORT Web site?

RePORTER (RePORT Expenditures and Results) is now ready to help! It replaces the CRISP funded research report tool, which NIH will retire this September after a long and distinguished career.

The new site brings together data from many different sources and lets you search and sort it in new ways. You can still do simple searches by investigator, organization and terms (keywords), but you can also, for example, search just Recovery Act-funded grants or by NIH spending category. The results give you more detailed information about the projects, including funding levels, links to related research papers, resulting patents and other helpful information.

Because you can specify a variety of search terms and topics, you can use RePORTER to generate your own reports.

RePORTER includes information about NIH-supported research at institutions in the United States and throughout the world, as well as NIH intramural research.

Spend a few minutes on the site, and you’ll find it’s easy to use. That said, RePORTER is still very new and growing, so some features—like the “Term Search” field that currently doesn’t support complex, compound queries—will likely improve.

But even as the site moves from version 1.0 beta to full release in the fall, it’s already an incredibly convenient one-stop shopping venue for information about NIH-funded research. Come on by!

If you have comments about RePORTER, use the e-mail link at the bottom of each page to send your feedback.