The US rock band is one of nine acts vying for a place in the famed rock elite. Also in the running are The Stooges, Run DMC, Jeff Beck, Chic, Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, War and Bobby Womack.
The five leading nominees will enter the hall, which is based in Cleveland, in April 2009.
Artists can be considered for the honour 25 years after their first recording. More than 500 musicians, journalists and industry professionals vote on the induction.
Metallica's ninth studio release Death Magnetic maintained its place at the top of the UK album chart at the weekend.