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Clearance of Extramural Publications and Presentations

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

This SOP has internal roles only.

Standard Operating Procedure Table of Contents

Purpose

To ensure that extramural employees have NIAID approval to 1) author papers and other documents and 2) give public presentations when those activities are part of their official duties.

Procedure

NIH policy requires institutes to approve publications and public presentations involving real or apparent conflicts of interest.

Extramural federal employees can have an apparent conflict of interest under the following circumstances:

  • They have close associations with awardees.
  • They have influence over funding decisions.
  • They show a pattern of publications with the same contractor or grantee.

Employees must receive NIAID's approval to publish and give public presentations when those activities are part of their official duties. An activity that is not part of an official duty may require approval from the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIAID Ethics Office (not an employee's supervisor).

Extramural contractors should consult the terms of their contract for guidance on publication clearance.

Other considerations

Influential scientific information that NIH issues to the public must go through peer review. A scientific journal's peer review fulfills this requirement.

For help determining whether a publication or presentation requires peer review, see the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIH Information Quality Intranet for Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, decision trees, and a list of exemptions.

For scientific manuscripts, extramural staff need to comply with NIH's public access policy and may not agree (in writing or verbally) to a publisher's terms. Read NIH Employee Procedures for Complying with NIH Public Access Policy before asking for NIAID's approval to publish.

NIAID Extramural Staff

To get approval for coauthoring a peer-reviewed scientific paper with an outside investigator, do the following:

  • Fill out the Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Publication Clearance Request Form.
  • Get your branch chief and division director to sign the form electronically.
    • Follow your division's procedures for additional signatures or internal clearances.
  • Send the clearance form and the following items to NIAID's extramural publication director:
    • Copy of the manuscript as PDF or Word document.
    • Bibliography of your publications for the past three years.
  • After you receive the signed publication clearance form, keep a record on file.

If a publisher asks you to sign a publication agreement, do the following:

  • Print out, fill in, and sign the NIH Publishing Agreement and Manuscript Cover Sheet (PDF).
  • Get signatures from each NIH employee author.
  • Affix the completed, signed cover sheet to the unsigned publisher’s agreement and return it to the publisher.
    • Do not sign any publishing agreements other than the NIH cover sheet.
    • By attaching the NIH cover sheet to the publisher's agreement, you accept all terms of the publisher's agreement that do not conflict with the terms specified in the NIH cover sheet.

For other writing or editing activities, do the following:

  • Letter to the editor. Send a copy to your division director, who will determine whether it contains any sensitive material. If it does, he or she must email a copy to the extramural publication director for clearance before you may send the letter.
  • Reviewing a manuscript, editing a textbook, or serving on a journal's editorial board. Get approval from your supervisor.
    • Consider the possibility of a conflict of interest if a coauthor is a current or likely grantee or a collaborator within your purview.
    • If an author plans to submit an application to NIH, do not review his or her manuscript within one year of the application. Ask your supervisor whether you should let more time pass between your manuscript review and the application.
  • Press releases and other media contacts. Get approval from your supervisor and then contact NIAID's Office of Communications and Government Relations.
  • Materials for Congress. Get approval from your supervisor and then contact NIAID's Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Management Branch.

For any item not mentioned above, submit a Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Publication Clearance Request Form to NIAIDPublicationClearance@niaid.nih.gov and wait for response.

For a public presentation, do the following:

  • Speech at a professional organization's event. Get approval from your supervisor, who should review your remarks.
  • Expert witness. Seek advice from the HHS Office of General Counsel; call 202-690-7741. If you receive permission to present, get approval from your supervisor.
  • Responses to media inquiries. Consult with in NIAID's Office of Communications and Government Relations. If approved, get approval from your supervisor.
  • Responses to congressional inquiries. Notify your supervisor and consult with staff in NIAID's Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Management Branch.

Extramural Publication Director

Review publication clearance requests.

  • If approved, sign the completed Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Publication Clearance Request Form and return it to the requestor.
  • If declined, respond with email explaining why you could not approve the request. Note any corrective actions.

Questions and Answers

Q. If my publication involves work I did before coming to NIAID, do I need to request clearance?

A. No. You do not need clearance if your publication involves work you did before you started working at NIAID.

Q. If I'm writing an article with other NIH staff that does not involve outside investigators, do I need to request clearance?

A. Yes. The basic principle is that your supervisor and management should be aware and approve of your publishing with others. A good rule of thumb is, when in doubt, fill out the form. Also keep in mind that other organizations have their own processes. For example, the Division of Intramural Research has a separate review process for all intramural publications.

Q. If a professional organization asks me to review a book in my area of scientific expertise, I know I need clearance for an outside activity, but do I also need publication clearance? What if the review gets published in an organization's magazine, e.g., ASM News?

A. You do not need publication clearance in either case.

Q. If I am publishing research I did from a previous job, do I have to submit a form?

A. No, not unless you have fiscal oversight of a grant or contract from that institution. If you would rather be covered by the form, you have the option to submit it.

Q. When may I agree to a publisher's terms?

A. Never. When publishers ask you to accept any terms, make clear that you are a government employee and send them the NIH Publishing Agreement and Manuscript Cover Sheet (PDF).

Q. I am not able to submit the publication clearance form electronically. How can I submit it without using the e-signature?

A. If you can't submit the publication clearance form electronically, print the form, follow your division’s procedures for additional signatures or internal clearances, and scan it as a PDF. Then email that PDF to NIAIDPublicationClearance@niaid.nih.gov . You should also send the hard copy to DEA Director Matthew Fenton.

Contacts

Extramural Publication Director—NIAIDPublicationClearance@niaid.nih.gov

Office of Communications and Government Relations—COGCORE@mail.nih.gov

Legislative Affairs and Correspondence Management Branch—NIAIDOCGRLeg@mail.nih.gov

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

Links

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Extramural Clearance of Publications at NIAID training

NIAID Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Cooperative Agreements Staff Portal

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIH Policy Manual 1184, Scientific and Professional Information Presented by NIH Employees: Review, Approval, and Distribution

NIH Ethics Program

NIH Public-Private Partnerships Conflicts of Interest

Last Updated November 14, 2012

Last Reviewed December 07, 2012