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NIH Issue Final Policy on Reporting Preprints in Grant Applications and Progress Reports

Go back To Policy Updates


On March 24, NIH issued a Notice stating that the agency will allow investigators to report preprints and other interim research products in grant applications and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) submitted on or after May 25, 2017. Highlights include:

  • Citation format: Citations for preprints and other interim research products must include the Digital Object Identifier [DOI], Object Type (e.g., preprint, protocol), document version, and date of citation/reference (as applicable)
  • Attribution: Per NIH award guidelines, preprints and interim research products resulting from NIH support should be publicly available, acknowledge funding, and declare competing interests. Authors are also expected to clearly state that the work referenced in preprints is not peer reviewed
  • Repositories: The Notice includes “best practices” for interim research repositories, including accessibility, interoperability, version tracking, links to final (peer reviewed) publications, and long-term preservation of works

The Notice also included a brief summary of the responses to the Request for Information issued in October 2016. Although NIH will be allowing the use of preprints and interim research products in grant applications and progress reports, several concerns that were raised in comments submitted by FASEB, such as the need for applicants/awardees to clearly denote preprints/interim research products as having not undergone peer review or the use of preprints/interim research products to get around application/reporting page limits, were included in the final policy.

Last updated: March 28, 2017 

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