License Signing Guide

Need help with license signing? Our PDF guide walks you through it.

Learn about licensing and copyright

Wiley journal authors can use their article in a number of ways, including in publications of their own work and course packs in their institution. Author re-use rights vary between journals. Please refer to the copyright form you have signed or are required to sign to review the applicable re-use rights.



Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) or Exclusive Licenses

It is a legal requirement for Wiley to receive either a signed Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA) or an Exclusive License Agreement (ELA) before publication of your contribution can proceed. Signed forms are required for all contribution types (apart from letters and correspondence). Wiley has adopted the CTA for all Wiley-owned journals. For society-owned journals, the societies for whom we publish decide which versions of the forms they require. This policy also facilitates international protection against infringement, libel or plagiarism; enables the most efficient processing of publishing licensing and permissions in order that the contribution be made available to the fullest extent both directly and through intermediaries, and in both print and electronic form; and enables Wiley to maintain the integrity of a contribution once refereed and accepted for publication by facilitating centralized management of all media forms including linking, reference validation and distribution.

In the majority of cases, your article must be accepted first, then you should receive information related to the specific license signing process for the journal to which you have submitted your work, including the contact to whom you should return the signed form (usually the Wiley Production Editor for that individual journal).

Sample copyright forms are provided via the following links. These forms contain additional information on contributor rights retained concerning self-archiving:

These agreements supersede prior versions. Authors who signed agreement forms prior to January 1, 2014 will still be able to archive their articles as outlined in Wiley's Self-Archiving Policy.

You must sign in the space indicated depending on whether you own the copyright in your work, the copyright is owned by your employer, or whether you are a government employee. It is essential to check that the CTA or ELA (the Agreement) has been completed, signed and dated correctly before your contribution can be published. Ideally, all authors should sign the Agreement, with additional signatures attached separately if necessary. However, if it is not possible to obtain a physical signature from all authors, you must have their agreement in writing to enable you to enter into the Agreement on their behalf. Wiley will accept faxes, as well as scanned copies of the signed original forms via e-mail.

When signing "Contributor Representations," you confirm that:

  • The contribution is your own work
  • All individuals identified as contributors have actually contributed to the article
  • All individuals who contributed are listed
  • You have informed your fellow contributors of the terms of the Agreement and obtained their permission in writing to enter into it on their behalf
  • The contribution is submitted only to the specified journal and has not been published before
  • You have obtained written permission from the copyright owners to reproduce any material owned by third parties, and that you have included appropriate acknowledgement within the text of your contribution
  • That the contribution contains no libelous or unlawful statements, does not infringe upon the rights or the privacy of others, and does not contain any material or instructions that might cause harm or injury

The Contributor or, if applicable, the Contributor's Employer, retains all proprietary rights other than copyright, such as patent rights, in any process, procedure or article of manufacture described in the contribution. Contributors may re-use unmodified abstracts for any non-commercial purpose. For online use of the abstract, Wiley encourages but does not require linking back to the final published contribution. Contributors may use the articles in teaching duties and in other works such as theses. Contributors may re-use figures, tables, data sets, artwork, and selected text up to 250 words from their contributions without seeking permission, provided the following conditions are met:

  • Full and accurate credit must be given to the contribution
  • Modifications to the figures, tables and data must be noted. Otherwise, no changes may be made
  • The reuse may not be made for direct commercial purposes, or for financial consideration to the Contributor
  • Re-use rights shall not be interpreted to permit dual publication in violation of journal ethical practices. Additional re-use rights are set forth in the actual copyright Agreement

Copyright Transfer Agreements (CTA) for Abstracts

The rules regarding abstracts are as follows:

Conference abstracts: We do not require a signed Agreement to publish abstracts of material submitted for poster sessions and presentations at conferences or meetings. The right to publish such material is presumed

Abstracts specifically created for abstract publications: If you have written an abstract of a previously published article for publication in another journal (e.g. a reviews-type journal), we do require you to sign an Agreement

Reproduction of existing abstracts: If you wish to include verbatim abstracts from previously published articles, you do not need written permission from the publisher of those articles, although the source should be cited. Abstracts are covered by copyright and are not in the public domain but there is an exception in UK law which permits the copying and publication of scientific and technical abstracts accompanying published periodical articles

Copyright Transfer Agreements (CTA) for Translations

Example: You have published an article in Spanish. You have translated the article yourself or by employing a translator and want to submit the English translation to a Wiley journal for re-publication. In order to make the translation, you must first approach the Spanish journal for permission to translate the article for republication. The translation itself would then be held under separate copyright by you or the translator. You would then be able to sign the English journal’s Copyright Transfer Agreement for the translation, rather than the original article. The translation must include a full bibliographic reference to the original publication and you must have obtained permission from the original copyright holder to make the translation.

Government Employees

US Government Employees - A contribution prepared by a US federal government employee as part of the employee's official duties, or which is an official US government publication, is called a "US Government work," and is in the public domain in the United States. If the contribution was not prepared as part of the employee's duties or is not an official US government publication, it is not a US Government work. In the case of a contribution prepared under US government contract or grant, the US government may reproduce, without charge, all or portions of the contribution and may authorize others to do so, for official US government purposes only, if the US government contract or grant so requires.

UK Government Employees - The rights in a contribution prepared by an employee of a UK government department, agency or other Crown body as part of his/her official duties, or which is an official government publication, belong to the Crown. Authors must ensure they comply with departmental regulations and submit the appropriate authorization to publish.

Members of the Military - Work carried out by government employees or military personnel may require a statement to the effect that the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the military or government agency for which they work. Please ensure that you check with the appropriate authorities and include the necessary statement within the body of your contribution.

Government Employees Requiring a Separate License Agreement - If you are employed by one of the government agencies below, please download a copy of the relevant license agreement:

Government Employee Forms

For Authors Whose Employers Hold Copyright

Where work is carried out by an author in their capacity as an employee of a company, copyright will be owned by the company. An authorized signatory of the company must therefore sign the Agreement. If you are an employee of Amgen, please download a copy of the company addendum from the link below and return your signed license agreement along with the addendum:

Amgen Addendum (PDF)

Obtaining Permission to Reproduce Material

Fair use or fair dealing (depending on the country whose laws apply) allows use of a copyrighted work for the purposes of criticism or review. This extends to quotations that form part of book reviews and other critical material. Permission to quote is not required in such instances, provided the extracts are not substantial and are genuinely required for the purposes of review or criticism. For works of shorter length, such as songs, permission to re-use shorter extracts may be required. All sources must be credited – title and author at minimum – in order for fair dealing to apply.

Additional guidelines on permissions:

Author seeks permission to reproduce material which that author has previously published: The corresponding author is responsible for obtaining written permission to reproduce the material "in print and other media" from the publisher of the original source, and for supplying Wiley with that permission. A RightsLink facility for requesting permission from Wiley journals is available on each journal's website. The corresponding author is also responsible for completing and returning to the editorial office or the publisher the journal-specific copyright transfer form, and any financial disclosure forms that might be required for a particular journal. These forms are usually found on each journal's website. Forms may also be available from the journal's editorial office.

Author retains copyright: If you, the author, have retained the copyright, it is still likely that the first journal will have required an exclusive license to publish, which means that you are not in a position to authorize another journal to republish. As a general rule, it is essential to obtain written permission from the original publisher or society to reproduce the relevant material if this is not made clear in the Agreement or license you signed for that publisher or society. It will always be necessary to seek permission to re-publish unless the license you have signed is clearly for non-exclusive rights only.

Copyright rests with the original publisher: Where the previous publisher owns the copyright, the copyright line on the re-published contribution should refer to the previous publisher. In these cases, the copyright line that will appear on the published contribution will be e.g., © 2013 Oxford University Press.

Copyright is owned by a third party: If content has been previously published, and a third party is the copyright holder or exclusive licensee of rights in that material, you must seek and obtain permission for re-use, and credit the material in accordance with the permission grant. This applies whether you have written the material yourself or whether it has been written by a third party. Permission is generally not required for brief and insubstantial extracts of text or references to other works, provided that these are properly attributed. In all cases, you should be aware that duplicate publication can constitute an infringement and/or an ethical violation if it is not made clear that the material has been published before.

Securing permission to reproduce figures/tables from an already published contribution: You must ensure that you have received permission from the copyright holder or exclusive licensee to reproduce in the contribution all material not owned by you, and that you have provided full acknowledgement of the source. In most cases, the original publisher's Rights Department or the journal editorial office will advise you of the exact form of words required. This usually includes a full bibliographic reference to the original publication and an acknowledgement that the material is reproduced with permission from the rights owner. Wiley is a signatory to an agreement signed by the majority of scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishers whereby participating publishers do not make reciprocal charges for the reproduction of copyright material. These guidelines extend to re-use of a small number of figures and tables from journal articles without seeking permission and a number of large STM publishers have signed up to this. For further information, please see the Permission Guidelines from the International Association of STM Publishers.

Permission to reproduce material from a website: To secure permission to use material from a website, we recommend seeking permission from the original source. If the website does not provide an original source and/or the source is unknown to you, then you should seek permission from the website staff to reuse the material. If the website has posted material without seeking permission from the copyright holder and/or the source is unknown, then you are taking a risk in including the material in your work. As a last resort, the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) can be contacted to trace the copyright holder.

Securing copyright for interviews: If the record of an informal conversation you held with a particular interviewee appears in a contribution, there is no issue regarding copyright. However, copyright may rest with the interviewee in cases of formal interviews where you record the subject's conversation on a tape recorder or verbatim. It is therefore necessary for the interviewee to sign the Agreement. In some cases, copyright in interviews is shared jointly between interviewer and interviewee where the conversation being recorded represents a mutual exchange between the two. In such cases both parties should sign the Agreement.

Learn more about Wiley's policies on Handling Retractions and Expressions of Concern and Dual Publication, Plagiarism and Defamation.