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Open Access Publishing

This guide provides information on identifying Open Access journals, making use of open repositories, and finding university-related discounts for Open Access publishing,

Using an Institutional Repository

Authors should consider making published works openly available using an institutional repository. Prism  is Northwestern Medicine’s institutional repository for making scholarly outputs openly available.

Examples of items accepted by the repository:

  • Research papers, published or unpublished
  • Conference papers and presentations, including lectures
  • Educational materials
  • Supplemental images
  • Open access books

Please note: If you are interested in depositing your published outputs into Prism, you must check if the publisher allows deposit in a repository, and if so, which version of the manuscript is allowed for deposit. See the Copyright and Licensing section for more information.  Or contact Prism for assistance.

PubMed Central and Public Access

PubMed Central (PMC) is a free repository of full text scholarly articles. In compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy, researchers are required to submit a copy of any manuscript that resulted from their NIH-funded research (from April 7, 2008 onward). 

Some publishers submit content to PMC simply to make their content openly available.  If your publisher does not participate in uploading content to PMC, or if your research was not NIH-funded, then your work will not be found in PMC.

If you want your work to be made available in an online repository, see the section on above on “Using an Institutional Repository” to learn more about Prism.

See our NIH Public Access Policy guide for more information on the logistics of submitting papers to the NIHMS system and maintaining compliance with the NIH’s Public Access Policy.

NOTE: In January 2023, National Institutes of Health (NIH) instituted a new Data Management and Sharing Policy that requires all researchers seeking NIH funding to describe how they will manage and share their data. The site, Home Page | Data Sharing (, includes sections on data management planning and options for sharing and selecting repositories.