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Using RefWorks for NIH Public Access Compliant Citations

NIH Public Access Policy requires that individuals cite the PMCID number for any articles cited in a progress report, new applications, or renewals. When a cited paper does not yet have a PMCID, the NIHMSID may be used instead, temporarily.

This policy applies to all papers that are authored or co- authored by the individual submitting a paper to NIHMS or arose from a NIH award.

RefWorks currently imports PMCID numbers into the PMCID field. The National Institutes for Health output style will format citations with PMCID numbers appropriately. However, some modifications are necessary to cite articles for which the PMCID number has not been assigned.

If a PMCID has not yet been assigned for an article deposited to PubMed Central by a publisher without author involvement (see Public Access Policy FAQ for more information), enter "PMC Journal - In Process" into the PMCID field in RefWorks.

If an article has an NIHMSID and no PMCID, follow the steps below to modify RefWorks to include the NIHMSID number.

For more information about this policy, view the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access website.


Adding & Using the NIHMSID Field in RefWorks

a. Set Up the NIHMSID Field in RefWorks

b. Add the "NIH-Output with NIHMSID" output style to your Output Style Favorites. This will format NIHMSID's into your bibliography

c. Add the NIHMSID to a record, manually

d. Add "National Institutes for Health" output style to your Output Style Favorites. This style will format PMCID's into your bibliography.

*You will need to complete these steps for every RefWorks account you hold.



a. Set Up the NIHMSID Field in RefWorks

1. Log in to your RefWorks account.

2. Select Tools, then Customize.

Screencapture RefWorks Customize Tools

3. Under the User Field Options, enter NIHMSID in User Field 4.

Screencapture Add PMCID Field

4. Click Save.


b. Add the "NIH-Output with NIHMSID" output style to your Output Style Favorites. This will format NIHMSID's into your bibliography

1. Click the Bibliography tab.

Screencapture Select Bibliography

2. Click on the Output Style drop-down menu and select Access Output Style Manager.

Screencapture Select Output Style

3. Select the "NIH-Output with NIHMSID" output style.

4. Click on the Add to Favorites button.

Screencapture Select NIH-PMCID

5. Click on the "Back to Reference list" link.

Screencapture Back to Previous

c. Add the NIHMSID to a record, manually

1. Import PubMed records into RefWorks.

2. View a record with no PMCID and select Edit.

Screencapture Edit Record

3. Copy the NIHMSID from the Notes field.

Screencapture Refworks Notes Field

4. Paste the NIHMSID into the custom NIHMSID field.

Screencapture Refworks PMCID and NIHMSID Fields

5. Click the Save Reference button at the bottom of the page.

Screencapture Refworks Save Record

d. Add "National Institutes for Health" output style to your Output Style Favorites. This style will format PMCID's into your bibliography.

1. Click the Bibliography tab.

2. Click the "Output Style drop-down menu" and select "Access Output Style Manager".

3. Select the "NIH-National Institutes for Health" output style.

4. Click "Add to Favorites" button.

5. Click "Back to Reference list" link.


*Complete steps for all records with NIHMSIDs and no PMCIDs. When a PMCID becomes available, include the PMCID in the record and remove the NIHMSID.

*