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Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are answered on this page. If you have other questions, feel free to contact us

Who can use PASS?

PASS is designed to be used by any organization needing to meet public access policy requirements. The Eclipse Foundation intends to deploy a public multi-tenant instance for general use. In addition, the PASS open source project is designed to be deployable by any organization that wants to run their own instance. Currently, while PASS is under active development, The Eclipse Foundation has a demo instance deployed at

What Open or Public Access policies can PASS support?

PASS supports existing workflows for federal funding agencies’ public access policy submission into PubMed Central (PMC) - used by NIH and the other funding agencies listed below:

Full integration

Programmatic submission from PASS to NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) and submission status updates

  • NIH - National Institutes of Health
Deposit integration

Programmatic submission from PASS to NIHMS without submission status updates

  • ACL - Administration for Community Living
  • AHRQ - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • ASPR – Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
  • CDC – Centers for Disease Control
  • VA – Department of Veteran Affairs
  • FDA - Food and Drug Administration
  • HHMI- Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • NASA -National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Linked web portal

While programmatic integration is not currently possible, PASS does provide a link to these agencies’ submission portal and provides a list of relevant metadata to aid with submission process

  • ED – Department of Education
  • USAID – US Agency for International Development

What should I expect after submitting through PASS?

Each submission may go through a different process for each repository. The PASS team will continue to work with funding agencies to improve integration with their repositories, and bring PASS users more convenient features and streamlined workflows. The current processes are described below:

PubMed Central (PMC)

Within a few hours of submitting your manuscript files to PubMed Central through PASS, you will be contacted by the National Institutes of Health Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS) to approve the processing of the submission. At that point your submission will be assigned a NIHMSID, which can be used to demonstrate public access policy compliance while your submission is being processed.

NIHMS staff will review the submission for completeness and accuracy. If any additional information is required, NIHMS will contact you to request changes. If no further information is required, the submission will be formatted for PMC publication.

Once the processing stage is complete, you will be contacted again by NIHMS for final approval of the documents before publication in PMC. A PMCID will be assigned once the final approval has been received and the manuscript is matched to a PubMed record with complete citation information. The manuscript will then be made publicly available in PMC following the publisher-required embargo period, where applicable.

For submissions citing an NIH grant for which you are or were the principal investigator (PI), PASS will be able to retrieve and display submissions, NIHMSID, and PMCID as they become available.

You can read more about the NIHMS process in the NIHMS Help booklet on the NIH website.


Manuscripts submitted to JScholarship will be assigned an ID and link within several hours, which will be visible through PASS. The manuscript will also be publicly accessible within hours, or following any publisher-required embargo period, where applicable. Content within JScholarship is harvested and indexed by search engines such as Google.

Department of Education's ERIC Repository

PASS does not automatically create or track submissions to ERIC, but it does identify manuscripts that are subject to the ED public access policy and provides a link to ERIC submission portal.

US Agency for International Development's DEC Repository

PASS does not automatically create or track submissions to DEC, but it does identify manuscripts that are subject to the USAID public access policy and provides a link to USAID submission portal.

Will the publisher automatically submit my article to PubMed Central?

Whether articles are automatically submitted to PubMed Central by a publisher varies depending on the journal. Each journal falls into one of the following categories:

  1. The publisher can automatically submit the manuscript to PubMed Central on your behalf. A list of journals that provide this service can be found here. In this instance, nothing needs to be done through PASS.
  2. The publisher offers a service to submit the manuscript, but you need to make a special arrangement for them to do this and they may charge a processing fee.
  3. The publisher does not offer any service, and you must make your own arrangements to deposit the article. This would previously be done through the NIH Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS).

When there is a fee or you must make your own arrangements, PASS can be used to submit the article to PubMed Central directly without fee. For more information on the various submission paths used by journals, visit the NIH public access website.

What information about NIH submissions is pre-loaded into PASS?

Records of prior NIH submissions displayed in PASS go back to January 2013. Each night, updated Submission information is loaded into PASS from the NIH Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS). This information contains the public access compliance status of articles associated with NIH grants. If you are a PI on an NIH grant and have articles that are associated with those grants in PubMed, you may see the following on your Submissions page:

  • Information about completed or in-progress Submissions, some of which may have been initiated outside of PASS. No action is required for these Submissions.
  • Information about manuscripts that have not yet been received by NIH for deposit into PubMed Central. These will appear in PASS as "requiring a manuscript" and can be completed through PASS to deposit the manuscript into compliance.

The information for these submissions comes directly from NIH.

How do I negotiate a copyright agreement for my publication to comply with Public/Open Access Policies?

Many journals make allowances for self-archiving and compliance with access policies implemented by a funder or institution. You can look up many publishers’ policies for copyright and self-archiving on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. If a journal does not allow open sharing of your article, you may be able to negotiate with them to make an exception.

What if I can’t find my author’s accepted manuscript, and how does Unpaywall help?

Once you are in PASS and on the file upload screen, you may receive a notice that PASS has found an open access copy of your research. PASS will retrieve existing open access copies of your manuscript that you can choose rather than uploading your own copy. You must either select the manuscript found or upload your own version of the file to proceed, but please do not do both.

PASS integrates with the UnPaywall API and uses your article’s DOI to search for an existing open access version.

What is an author’s accepted manuscript, and how do I know whether I can submit this version?

An author’s accepted manuscript is the peer-reviewed version of the manuscript, accepted for publication by the journal.

Check SHERPA/RoMEO to determine whether you can submit the author’s accepted manuscript or the publisher’s PDF to open access repositories.