May 17, 2022

NIH is Now Encouraging Investigators to Use Interim Research Products (Preprints) to Speed Dissemination, Enhance Rigor of Work

The NIH notice discussed below was published yesterday (March 24, 2016) and follows an October 2016 RFI about the use of interim research products.

From a Notice (NOT-OD-17-050) Posted on the the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants Website:

[Our Emphasis] The NIH encourages investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work.

This notice clarifies reporting instructions to allow investigators to cite their interim research products and claim them as products of NIH funding.


Interim Research Products are complete, public research products that are not final.

A common form is the preprint, which is a complete and public draft of a scientific document. Preprints are typically unreviewed manuscripts written in the style of a peer-reviewed journal article. Scientists issue preprints to speed dissemination, establish priority, obtain feedback, and offset publication bias.

Another common type of interim product is a preregistered protocol, where a scientist publicly declares key elements of their research protocol in advance. Preregistration can help scientists enhance the rigor of their work.


NIH intends to maximize impact of interim research products that are developed with NIH funds. Therefore, NIH expects awardees to ensure a high level of public access to NIH supported interim products. To facilitate text mining and other analysis of these products as data, the NIH expects standardized terms of use. NIH also expects awardees will adhere to other norms of responsible scientific communication.

Read the Complete Notice For Background and Guidance

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.