The content in journals published by IOP Publishing (IOP) is protected by copyright. This page offers advice and guidance on the copyright applying to these journals, including the protection afforded to subscription articles and the liberal reuse rights associated with gold open access articles.
What is copyright?
Copyright protection applies automatically to any original work as soon as it is written down or put into permanent or fixed form. For example, copyright protects pictures, photos, figures, text, graphs, and videos. There does not need to be a © symbol next to the work for it to be protected by copyright.
Copyright generally lasts for 70 years after the death of the author of the work (or the last remaining co-author’s death). Therefore, just because the work is old, does not mean that it is not protected by copyright.
During the submission process, authors are asked to complete a copyright form. IOP requires a copyright form to be signed for all articles, whether or not the article will be published under the subscription model or under the gold open access model. The copyright form must be filled in correctly, signed, dated and submitted to IOP (for most of our journals this is done via the Author Centre) before an article can be accepted.
What the copyright form asks for depends on how the article is being published. For subscription articles, the copyright form will transfer copyright in all original material in the article to IOP or its relevant publishing partner. For gold open access articles, the copyright form will grant IOP a non-exclusive licence and permission to publish the article under a suitable Creative Commons licence.
For further information on completing the copyright form, please see the Copyright FAQs page.
Copyright and permissions in relation to articles published under the subscription model
Articles published under the subscription model are fully protected by copyright.
In most cases, following acceptance of the article, IOP grants back to authors of articles published under the subscription model the rights set out in the applicable author rights policy.
Original content from subscription articles can only be used in accordance with the rights set out in the copyright form, and in the applicable author rights policy. All other uses by the authors require the express permission of IOP and/or its publishing partner(s).
All uses by persons, companies or organisations that are not the original authors of the article require the express permission of IOP and/or its publishing partner(s).
For information on how to request permission, see the permissions section.
Author rights under the subscription model
Information on the author rights applying to subscription articles published in IOP owned journals can be found here. Some journals published on behalf of our publishing partners follow different authors rights policies. For a simple guide showing which policy applies to which journal, please see the following Quick check guide: which author rights policy applies to each journal?
Copyright and permissions relating to articles published under the gold open access model
For articles published under the gold open access model, in the case of IOP owned journals, the authors retain the copyright in the article and grant IOP a non-exclusive licence to publish it. The position with other journals may vary and is set out in the applicable copyright form.
If an article has been published under the gold open access model, it should have a box with OPEN ACCESS on it at the top of the first page of the article and the licence type at the bottom of the first page of the article.
Most articles published under the gold open access model by IOP are published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. The CC BY licence allows readers and other users of the article to copy, redistribute, adapt, and build upon the article for any purpose, provided they give appropriate credit to the author(s).
For journals published in partnership with the Electrochemical Society, authors have the choice of publishing under either a CC BY licence or a CC BY-NC-ND licence.
Gold open access articles published prior to December 2012 were published under the CC BY-NC-SA licence.
Any questions should be addressed to email@example.com.
An initial response to a query will usually be provided within two working days.