Before signing a publication agreement, read the journal’s copyright release carefully and be sure it allows you to deposit your article in PMC.
"Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal." (suggested wording from the NIH FAQ and acceptable to SIU Legal Counsel):
Manuscripts can be deposited in one of four ways. The methods differ in who is responsible for the article deposit (publisher or author), what version of the paper is submitted (final published article or final peer-reviewed manuscript), and who approves the paper for processing and for PMC display.
Method A: Journal deposits published article for the author. Typically these journals deposit all their articles in PMC.
Method B: Publisher deposits published article upon request of author, usually for a fee.
Method C: Author deposits the final peer-reviewed manuscript through the NIH Manuscript Submission process.
Method D: Publisher deposits the final peer-reviewed manuscript and the author reviews and approves the submission.
To see if your journal supports Methods A, B, or D:
NIH Tutorials on the deposit process are available.
Before beginning the submission process, you or your delegate will need the following:
The NIHMS process will prepare a Web version from the files you deposit.
Log into the NIH Manuscript Submission System using:
a) The eRA Commons route if you are the author.
b) The myNCBI route if you are depositing on behalf of the author.
At this point, you are done with the submission process, but must still complete the approval step.
Setting the release period to PubMed Central is part of the submission process. The delay interval may be determined by your publisher’s requirement and can vary from immediately to 12 months.
If the publisher does not restrict the delay, you can make your article available “immediately.”
A PMCID number is assigned to each article when it is successfully submitted to PMC.
The PMCID will appear below the abstract in the PubMed entry.
If the paper is not yet published, you may use the NIHMS reference number (NIHMS ID) that was assigned to the article during the deposit process.
To determine if an article already has a PMCID (e.g., you’re not the first author or think the publisher may have submitted it, etc.):