Copyright policies of academic publishers

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This is a list of the different copyright policies of academic publishers. Traditionally, the author of an article was required to transfer the copyright to the journal publisher. Publishers claimed this was necessary in order to protect author's rights, and to coordinate permissions for reprints or other use. However, many authors, especially those active in the open access movement, found this unsatisfactory,[1] and have used their influence to effect a gradual move towards a license to publish instead. Under such a system, the publisher has permission to edit, print, and distribute the article commercially, but the author(s) retain the other rights themselves.

Even if they retain the copyright to an article, most journals allow certain rights to their authors. These rights usually include the ability to reuse parts of the paper in the author's future work, and allow the author to distribute a limited number of copies. In the print format, such copies are called reprints; in the electronic format, they are called postprints. Some publishers, for example the American Physical Society, also grant the author the right to post and update the article on the author's or employer's website and on free e-print servers, to grant permission to others to use or reuse figures, and even to reprint the article as long as no fee is charged.[2] The rise of open access journals, in which the author retains the copyright but sometimes needs to pay a publication charge, such as the Public Library of Science family of journals, is another recent response to copyright concerns.

American Institute of Physics[edit]

The American Institute of Physics requires the transfer of copyright from the authors, but allows the authors to post and update an article:[3]

  • files prepared and/or formatted by AIP (e.g. the published PDF) on the authors webpage, as long as no fee is charged, and a copyright notice, a link and a bibliographical citation are included;
  • author-prepared files only (i.e. not the published PDF) on free-access E-print servers.

"AIP Advances" authors may make their work available according to the terms of the Creative Commons 3.0 Unported License.

American Physical Society[edit]

The American Physical Society requires the transfer of copyright from the authors to the Society. It allows the authors to:[2]

  • Distribute preprints (author prepared files), on the authors website or on preprint servers.
  • Distribute other versions, including the final and further updates, on the authors website or on preprint servers, as long as they were prepared and formatted by the author (i.e. not the PDF prepared by APS).
  • Distribute the published version (i.e. the PDF prepared by APS), in the authors website as long as no fee is charged.

A citation and notice of the APS copyright must be included.

Nature Publishing Group[edit]

The Nature Publishing Group does not require the transfer of copyright from the authors. It allows the authors to:

  • to submit the author's version of the accepted paper (the unedited manuscript) to a funding body's archive, their institution's repositories, or their personal websites, for public release six months after publication.[4]

They state:[5]

Since 2003, ownership of copyright in in original research articles remains with the Authors*, and provided that, when reproducing the Contribution or extracts from it, the Authors acknowledge first and reference publication in the Journal, the Authors retain the following non-exclusive rights:

To reproduce the Contribution in whole or in part in any printed volume (book or thesis) of which they are the author(s). They and any academic institution where they work at the time may reproduce the Contribution for the purpose of course teaching. To reuse figures or tables created by them and contained in the Contribution in other works created by them. To post a copy of the Contribution as accepted for publication after peer review (in Word or Tex format) on the Author's own web site, or the Author's institutional repository, or the Author's funding body's archive, six months after publication of the printed or online edition of the Journal, provided that they also link to the Journal article on NPG's web site (eg through the DOI). NPG encourages the self-archiving of the accepted version of your manuscript in your funding agency's or institution's repository, six months after publication. This policy complements the recently announced policies of the US National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust and other research funding bodies around the world. NPG recognizes the efforts of funding bodies to increase access to the research they fund, and we strongly encourage authors to participate in such efforts.


World Scientific[edit]

World Scientific retains the copyright of all published material. It allows the authors to distribute:[6]

  • Preprints and author prepared postprints (i.e. including the peer reviewed changes) in the authors' personal or institutional websites, provided a copyright acknowledgment is included as well as the DOI (if it exists).

It does not allow the distribution of publisher prepared versions.

See also[edit]

References[edit]