Publication Rights FAQ
If you cannot find an answer to your question below, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance and information.
In the majority of cases the standard Transfer of Copyright agreement completed by the corresponding author will continue to be sufficient. However, copyright itself can be very complicated (see Copyright Policies FAQ for more details on APS policy on copyright). Not all researchers have the same rights to their work or the legal ability to transfer rights to another entity like the APS. Therefore, it is necessary for us to obtain specific Transfer of Copyright or Grant of Publication Rights agreements from the appropriate parties. The APS has created a new web-based application to simplify the process of identifying the appropriate rights groups for every paper, assigning an appropriate representative from the author list to each group, and introduce the correct publication rights forms for each representative to sign.
No. We only need a representative from each type of agreement (Transfer of Copyright or Grant of Publication Rights) to sign a form.
Isn't it possible for the corresponding author to fill out all the agreements on behalf of all coauthors?
No. We need a single representative from each group to sign the appropriate agreement. For example, a non-Government employee cannot sign a Grant of Publication Rights on behalf of a Government and a Government employee cannot transfer copyright.
Why can't US, UK, Australian, Canadian, or New Zealand government employees just sign the traditional APS Transfer of Copyright agreement?
Research conducted by employees of many Government agencies belong to the sponsoring Government. Therefore, the researchers do not have the legal right to transfer copyright to the APS. Instead, for US Government employees, the work is in the public domain and copyright does not hold. For UK, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand Government employees, the Crown or Government retains copyright and publishers are granted a license to publish the work.
How are UK, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand Government Grant of Publication Rights agreements different from the traditional APS Transfer of Copyright agreement?
The traditional APS Transfer of Copyright agreement transfers copyright from the author to APS, and then grants rights for reuse back to the author. The Grant of Publication Rights agreements with the UK, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand Governments grant APS certain publication and reuse rights - copyright is not transferred and is retained by the Government entity.
Is it possible to have a Government Grant of Publication Rights agreement and also a traditional APS Transfer of Copyright agreement on the same paper? How does this work?
Yes, it is. Every rights group involved in an article must bestow or transfer rights to their work to the APS. We ask the corresponding author to identify the rights groups and assign an appropriate representative for each group. In order to publish, distribute, redistribute, and archive the article, it is necessary for the APS to collect all of these rights either in the form of a transfer of copyright or a license to publish.
What happens if I chose the wrong kind of copyright for my manuscript, or I changed my mind? How can I start over?
The web-based application does have certain check points which allow you to go back and change your options. However, if you have completed the entire process it will be necessary for you to contact email@example.com to reset your options.
In some cases, employees have contractually granted all rights to their work associated with their employment to their employer. Thus, the employer becomes the rights holder and the employee cannot legally transfer copyright to the APS or any other publisher. Since the employer is the rights holder, APS needs to have an appropriately executed agreement which includes the signature of a legal representative of the employer. Therefore, as an author, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org and a proper agreement form will be sent to you. You can then fax it to (631) 591-4141 or send an electronic version to the appropriate journal mailbox.
I am unable to obtain the proper signature on the Transfer of Copyright agreement unless I have a hardcopy form. Is this available? If so, may I fax it to the APS Editorial Office?
If you need a hardcopy version of the Transfer of Copyright agreement please feel free to email email@example.com and a copy will be forwarded to you. We do accept fax copies to (631) 591-4141 or scanned copies via email to the appropriate journal mailbox.
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides several alternatives to the traditional copyright agreement, with the goal of maximizing ability to share and use published material legally. APS currently uses the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC-BY), the most permissive of the CC licenses, which not only allows copying, transmission, and distribution but also adaptation of articles, with proper attribution. This new alternative is in addition to traditional subscription-funded publication; authors may choose one or the other for their accepted papers.
Is it possible to redo the copyright agreement on a previously published article to convert it to a Creative Commons license?
No, we regret that this is not possible at this time.
Is it now required to have the Creative Commons license for PRST-AB and PRST-PER manuscripts? If so, why?
As of 15 February 2011, PRST-AB's and PRST-PER's entire archives and all future papers will be made available under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC-BY) licenses. The effect of these changes will be to convert PRST-AB and PRST-PER from free access journals to "gold" open access journals, representing an additional service to its authors and communities. CC-BY permits copying, transmission, and distribution of articles plus adaptation and reuse, as long as proper credit is given.