About our licence to publish
In order to publish material the Royal Society of Chemistry must acquire the necessary legal rights from the author(s) of that material. In general, we must obtain from the original author(s) the right to publish the material in all formats, in all media (including specifically print and electronic), with the right to sublicense those rights.
For all articles published in our journals, we require the author to accept a 'licence to publish'. This licence is normally requested on submission of the article. By signing this licence the author (who is either the copyright owner or who is authorised to sign on behalf of the copyright owner, for example his/her employer) grants to the Royal Society of Chemistry
the exclusive right and licence throughout the world to edit, adapt, translate, reproduce and publish the manuscript in all formats, in all media and by all means (whether now existing or in future devised).
The Royal Society of Chemistry thus acquires an exclusive licence to publish and all practical rights to the manuscript, except the copyright. The copyright of the manuscript remains with the copyright owner. The copyright owner also retains certain rights regarding the sharing and deposition of their article and the re-use of the published material. For short items in journals (news items, etc) we take a non-exclusive licence in the form of a brief 'terms and conditions for acceptance' document.
What is copyright?
Copyright is an intellectual property right chiefly concerned with original written works and the typographical arrangement of published works. Copyright owners have the exclusive right to copy their work and to issue copies of their work to the public, and it is an infringement for anyone else to do so without the copyright owner's permission.
Much of what the Royal Society of Chemistry publishes is work written by third parties (the copyright owner), and it is important that we obtain the proper authority and rights to publish this material. We may do this by obtaining a licence to publish (with the copyright owner retaining copyright), or by taking assignment of copyright to the Royal Society of Chemistry. We must also ensure that the material we publish does not infringe the copyright of others. The Royal Society of Chemistry must acquire the legal rights it needs to publish material and the rights it needs to manage and protect the material it publishes.
The Royal Society of Chemistry must respect the copyright of others, and it must be sure that it has the proper authority to use material that has already been published elsewhere and is owned by someone else (for example, reusing material in our own publications).