The Schwerdtfeger Library News - March 2006

By Jean Phillips, Librarian

Copyright Policies of Several Scientific Publishers and Their Requirements for Posting Electronic Copies of Articles


Most publishers require a transfer of copyright when a paper is submitted for publication and most authors currently do not negotiate to retain rights. Along with this transfer of copyright come some requirements on the text that must appear in an electronic copy posted on the author's web site. The language varies slightly from publisher to publisher, but the meaning is the same: it is a clear statement of ownership and where to go if you want to distribute or seek permission to use the work further.

Because scientific information is now generated and distributed electronically, most publishers recognize the necessity of posting digital copies of an article on an author's web site. Some publishers prefer that the author link to the original article on the publisher's site. All view electronic transmission as a means of copying. And all state that the recipient of a copyrighted work is not free to redistribute it. This language has always been central to United States Copyright Law. In any case, it's a good idea to check requirements before posting an article to a web site.

Below is a brief list of publishers most often used by SSEC authors and their conditions for posting an electronic copy of an article. Check the Library's web site for additional copyright information. There is excellent information about "controlling your copyright" available from the University's Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing.


AAAS: Science Magazine

Authors grant the AAAS exclusive rights to use and authorize use of their work, however, authors retain copyright as well as rights to particular uses of the work. These rights are listed in the conditions of acceptance and the license to publish and may be exercised by authors without any further permission from AAAS. Once the work has been published in Science and provided the its first appearance in Science is properly cited, authors may, among other things:

Post the accepted version on their personal web site on the condition that credit is given to the work’s appearance in the appropriate issue of Science and the reposted article includes a hyperlink to the work on the Science web site. Authors may provide access to the Science version of their article from their web site by taking advantage of the referrer linking service. Science provides one free referrer link per article, which enables free access to the article on Science Online, as well as the article’s corresponding links, Supporting Online Material, and Science PDF. Information on this service is emailed to the corresponding author a few days after the article has been published.

To qualify as a personal web site the site must be devoted to the author's research and owned by the author (or if the author's employer is a non-profit institution, owned by that institution).

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American Geophysical Union

The AGU requires the author to sign a copyright transfer agreement. Authors may place their articles or abstracts of their articles on their own web sites or their departmental web sites according to the guidelines listed below:

  • If the paper has been submitted for publication, but not accepted, AGU recommends that the author include the following statement if he or she places the paper on a Web site: "Submitted for publication in (journal title) ."
  • If the paper has been accepted for publication and copyright has been transferred to AGU, the author may place the paper on his/her own Web site with the following statement appearing on the first screen of the abstract or article:

    Accepted for publication in journal title (date of publication). Copyright [year] American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.

Note: Once the paper is in print, the AGU strongly recommends that the first sentence be changed to give the full bibliographic reference.

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American Meteorological Society (AMS)

Authors who publish with the AMS must transfer copyright to their work to the AMS. Immediately upon transfer of the copyright, authors must incorporate the AMS copyright notice into any copy of the work made available to others. The AMS will maintain the accepted version as the definitive version of the published work, as amended through editorial processing for publication. In the event that the AMS makes the published work available electronically, authors who maintain personal collections should implant a link to the definitive version maintained by the AMS and should distribute only links pointing to the AMS definitive version.

In the event that an author posts an electronic copy on his/her web site, the AMS requires that a notice of copyright be posted as well. The AMS copyright notice must be displayed on the first page of any AMS copyrighted work that is published in print or on the first screen of a digitized work (such as a web site). It is acceptable to place the string © Copyright (date of publication) AMS as a hypertext link to the full copyright notice.

AMS’s Full Copyright Notice: © Copyright (date of publication) American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS.

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Authors sign a transfer of copyright giving Elsevier exclusive distribution rights, for all media.

The author has the right to post the article on a secure network (not accessible to the public) within the employer's institution. If the author wishes to post the article, as published, on a public server, he/she must obtain written permission from Elsevier.

Elsevier does not require that authors remove from publicly accessible servers versions of their paper that differ from the version as published by Elsevier.

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

It is the formal policy of the IEEE to own the copyrights to all copyrightable material in its technical publications and to the individual contributions contained within, in order to protect the interests of the IEEE, its authors and their employers, and, at the same time, to facilitate the appropriate re-use of this material by others.

Authors may reproduce or authorize others to reproduce the work, material extracted verbatim from the work, or derivative works for the author’s personal use or for company use, provided that the source and the IEEE copyright notice are indicated. The following copyright notice must be displayed on the initial screen displaying IEEE-copyrighted material electronically:

©20xx IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.”

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International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE): Proceedings

The author assigns copyright ownership to the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), effective when the paper is accepted for publication by SPIE. This assignment gives SPIE the right to register copyright to the paper in its name as claimant and to publish the paper in any print or electronic medium.

The author retains the right to post a preprint or reprint of the paper on an internal or external server controlled exclusively by the author/ employer, provided that (a) such posting is noncommercial in nature and the paper is made available to users without a fee or charge; and (b) the following statement appears on the first page, or screen, of the paper as posted on the server:

Copyright xxxx (year) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. This paper was (will be) published in [add journal or proceedings bibliographic information] and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of SPIE. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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Nature Publishing Group: Nature

As of 14 February 2002 Nature Publishing Group no longer requires authors to sign away their copyright. Instead, they ask for an exclusive licence. In return, authors are free to reuse their papers in any of their future printed work, and have the right to post a copy of the published paper on their own not-for-profit web sites.The full Nature reference must be included on each page. Authors are not allowed to distribute electronically.

"As of January 2005, authors of original research papers published by Nature Publishing Group (NPG) will be encouraged to submit the author's version of the accepted, peer-reviewed manuscript to their relevant funding body's archive, for release six months after publication. In addition, authors will also be encouraged to archive their version of the manuscript in their institution's repositories (as well as on their personal web sites), also six months after the original publication."


Optical Society of America (OSA): Applied Optics

The author transfers full ownership to the Optical Society of America (OSA). This includes all rights, titles and interests including all copyrights and renewals and extensions of copyright relating to the work in question.

The author agrees to abide by this policy and the author agrees that all copies of the work, including an electronic copy on the author's personal web home page, shall include notice of the OSA copyright. Any posting of the work made after acceptance for publication must include and prominently display the correct bibliographic data and an OSA copyright notice (e.g. © 2001 Optical Society of America, Inc.).



The author transfers copyright to Springer when the article is accepted for publication.

An author may self-archive an author-created version of the article on his/her own website and the institution’s repository, including the final version; however the publisher’s PDF version ( posted on may not be posted. Further, the author may only post his/her version provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer’s website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: “The original publication is available at" and must include the appropriate DOI for the article.


Wiley Intersience (for International Journal of Climatology)

The author assigns all copyright to the Royal Meteorological Society.

Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution of the article (or any part of the article) requires a citation to the journal and credit to the Royal Meteorological Society as copyright owner and to Wiley as publisher as follows:

(Title of article, author, International Journal of climatology, Volume/Issue, Copyright © [year] the Royal Meteorological Society, first published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.)

Additionally, preprints, by agreement with the publisher, shall not be removed from a server once the formal version is published by Wiley. Instead, the author agrees to post the following:

"This is a preprint of an article published in [include complete citation information for the final version of the article as published in the print edition of the Journal]" and should provide an electronic link to the Journal's WWW site. The author agrees not to update the preprint or replace it with the published version of the article.

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