What copyright form do I sign?
Each journal has a specific copyright form that authors must sign before an article can be accepted. This will be made available to you by the journal team after article submission.
Which section of IOP's copyright form is applicable to me?
This FAQ only applies to journals owned by IOP. Copyright forms for journals we publish on behalf of our publishing partners may vary.
Gold open access
If you have submitted the article to a gold open access journal (i.e. a journal that does not offer a subscription option), there will be no need to make a selection as to how you wish the article to be published, as there is no choice. However, you will still need to sign and date the copyright form. Please see our list of gold open access journals.
The Article will be published under a CC BY licence and will be free to read by everyone immediately on publication with no embargo period. By signing the copyright form, you will be responsible for ensuring that the Article Publication Charge is paid in full, unless otherwise agreed in writing with IOP.
Hybrid journals offer the option of publishing an article either under the subscription model or under the gold open access model. If you are publishing in a hybrid journal, you will receive a copyright form which allows you to pick which model you wish to publish your article under. In Part 4 of the copyright form, you should select the options that are relevant to your chosen publishing model.
Please familiarize yourself with the terms of the copyright form before submitting it. By submitting the copyright form, you are deemed to have accepted all of its terms.
If you still need help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which rights to publish option should I choose?
the basis upon which you are granting the right to publish the copyright in the Article (section C):
where the Article is published on a subscription basis, a standard transfer of copyright will apply (please select this box unless one of the other scenarios below applies), or
where the Article is published on a Gold Open Access basis, a licence to publish will be granted to IOP; or
under the laws relating to the US Government, or
Other – this should only be selected if you cannot agree to the terms of the agreement. By selecting this, we will still require you to either re-sign the agreement or another agreement before we can accept the Article.
The Submitting Author should also sign and date the bottom of the agreement.
If you still need help, please email email@example.com.
Who should sign the copyright form if the article has more than one author?
Only one author needs to sign the copyright form, as authorized agent and on behalf of all the authors in a representative capacity. The submitting author will be deemed to have obtained the consent of all their co-authors to the terms of the copyright form and to submitting the article to the journal.
My work falls under Crown copyright. Can I use the copyright form?
Yes. The copyright form is designed to accommodate the needs of Crown employees. IOP takes a licence to publish the content which is subject to Crown copyright. Therefore you should be able to submit the copyright form in the usual way. If there are any particular requirements not covered by the copyright form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All authors of the article are US Government employees and the article was carried out as part of our official duties or the article was created as part of a work made for hire by the US Government. Can I use the copyright form?
Where all the Named Authors of the Article are employees of the US Government, both an authorised signatory of the US Government (“US Government Signatory”) should sign the agreement and one of the Named Authors. In this instance, please email the relevant journal team.
Some but not all of the authors are US Government employees or part of a work made for hire. Can I use the copyright form?
Where one or more of the Named Authors are an employee of the US Government and one or more of the Named Authors do not work for the US Government, both an authorised signatory of the US Government (“US Government Signatory”) and one of the other authors should sign the agreement. In this instance, please email the relevant journal team who will provide you with the appropriate form.
Who should sign the agreement if the Article has more than one Named Author?
If there are several Named Authors, one author (the Submitting Author) should submit the agreement on behalf of the others in a representative capacity.
The Submitting Author must ensure that they have the authority of all Named Authors to enter into the agreement on their behalf.
I am affiliated to a university/institution, do I need an open access policy waiver from my institution or university’s open access policy?
All Named Authors who are affiliated to a university/institution, and who are publishing an Article on a subscription basis (i.e. not on a gold open access basis), must each obtain an open access policy waiver for the Article from their institution or university’s open access policy if it is incompatible with IOP green open access policy. Institutions/universities allow for such waivers in their policies. Each Named Author affiliated to a university/institution is responsible for checking whether their university or institution’s open access policy is incompatible with IOP green open access policy.
What are examples of open access policies which are incompatible with IOP's green open access policy?
Some examples are:
- If the policy requires the Final Published Version (rather than the Accepted Manuscript) to be deposited; or
- If the policy requires an open access or any form of Creative Commons licence to be attached to the Accepted Manuscript when depositing it in the repository which does not comply with its copyright status; or
- If the institution/university repository automatically attaches an open access or Creative Commons licence to the Accepted Manuscript which does not comply with its copyright status
The above list is intended to provide examples only. It is not a comprehensive list of how a policy could be incompatible with IOP’s green open access policy.
*Accepted Manuscripts of subscription articles published by IOP are either fully copyright protected or published under a CC BY-NC-ND licence. To check the copyright status of the Accepted Manuscript, refer to the cover sheet attached by IOP Publishing.
For more information on open access policy waivers, why they are required, which Named Authors they apply to and how to request a waiver, please refer to this guidance on requesting open access policy waivers.
What if I do not own the copyright of the article I have written?
If you, as the Named Author(s), do not own the copyright in the Article because, for example, it was prepared as part of your duties as employee(s), and/or as part of a “work for hire” arrangement, please:
warrant you have all the rights necessary to enter into the agreement on behalf of the Copyright Owner, by filling in the full name of the organisation/company who owns the copyright in the Copyright Owner box and entering your name and the date at the bottom of the agreement. (Please ensure that you have made the Copyright Owner aware of the terms of the agreement and that you have their authority to enter into the agreement on their behalf). If the Copyright Owner requires an authorised signatory to sign the agreement on their behalf, as well as the Named Author, please email the relevant journal team who will provide you with the appropriate form.
If you still need help, please contact email@example.com.
Do all journals require a transfer of copyright?
No. Where we are publishing an article on a gold open access basis then, for IOP journals, we require a non-exclusive licence of copyright instead. You will need to check the copyright form of the journal to which you have submitted, to familiarize yourself with its terms before submission. By submitting the copyright form, you are deemed to have accepted all of its terms.
Do all articles require a copyright form?
Yes. One of the authors must complete and submit the journal’s copyright form prior to acceptance. For articles published on a subscription basis, this generally transfers copyright in the article to IOP and/or its licensor(s) on acceptance of the article and for articles published on a gold open access basis in IOP journals, it gives IOP a non-exclusive licence to publish the article. It also confirms various things, including that the work is original and that it is based on valid research.
What happens to the copyright in my article if it is rejected?
The transfer or licence of copyright under the copyright form has no effect unless and until an article has been accepted for publication. On acceptance, the copyright in the article transfers to IOP and/or its licensors/a non-exclusive licence is granted to IOP and/or its licensors. If an article is rejected by IOP then the copyright remains with the original copyright holder (i.e. the authors or their institutions), no licence is granted and the copyright form has no effect.
Do you take a transfer of copyright for all content accompanying the subscription article?
No, we only take a transfer of copyright for the subscription article itself. This does not include any supplementary material or any video abstract you produce for the article, in which we generally take a non-exclusive licence. IOP does not take ownership of the underlying data or science. Please check the terms of the copyright form for full details.
Copyright FAQs: do the answers to these questions apply to all IOP journals?
No, not all. These FAQs apply to the majority of IOP-owned journals. Please see IOP’s list of journals to access the relevant journal’s webpage.
Some of our publishing partner journals may vary.
Any questions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An initial response to a query will usually be provided within two working days.