This section provides an overview of the copyright and permissions policies of the AACR journals with guidance on published article reuse by authors and others. The final typeset version of every published article is freely available to all readers 12 months after publication. Alternatively, authors may choose to pay an AuthorChoice fee to make their article freely available immediately. The AACR also assists authors in fulfilling funder Open Access mandates by depositing the accepted version of their article in a designated public repository within the required time period.
Copyright and Permissions
As a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the United States, the AACR adheres to U.S. copyright law (PL 94-553), which became effective January 1, 1978. The law stipulates that copyright for works is vested in the author from the moment of creation and remains the property of the author until legally transferred. Authors who wish to publish articles and other material in AACR journals must formally transfer copyright to AACR. The copyright transfer form must be signed by all authors before AACR can proceed with publication.
After the editor has made an initial decision about the potential suitability of a manuscript for publication (i.e., requesting revisions for or provisionally accepting it), all authors on the manuscript will receive an email requesting that they complete an online copyright transfer agreement through the SmartSubmit system. If an author is unable to complete the copyright transfer agreement online, the Copyright Transfer Form (PDF) can be downloaded, signed, and returned via the email address or fax number noted on the form. The AACR journals will not publish a manuscript unless forms have been properly completed and returned by ALL authors.
NOTE: If using the writable PDF form linked to above, authors must either include a handwritten signature (either by signing the electronic document using a stylus or by printing and scanning a hand-signed document) or they will need to validate the document with a digital signature (an electronic signature used to authenticate the identity of the signer of a document).
In conveying copyright, it is understood that the authors have not published this material elsewhere, either in whole or in part (except in abbreviated form as a preliminary communication or abstract) and that they have neither concluded previous negotiations nor initiated pending negotiations for copyright of this material.
The duly authorized agent of a commercial firm or commissioning organization must sign the AACR copyright transfer form if the author prepared the article as part of his or her official duties as an employee.
The U.S. government has determined that it has a nonexclusive right to publish or republish material developed from work performed by federal employees. Because the federal government does not recognize private copyright for work performed by its employees as part of their official duties, the journal will accept manuscripts from government laboratories without copyright transfer, provided that the authors abide by the same provisions required of other authors.
- Reproduce parts of their article, including figures and tables, in books, reviews, or subsequent research articles they write;
- Use parts of their article in presentations, including figures downloaded into PowerPoint, which can be done directly from the journal's website;
- Post the accepted version of their article (after revisions resulting from peer review, but before editing and formatting) on their institutional website, if this is required by their institution. The version on the institutional repository must contain a link to the final, published version of the article on the AACR journal website so that any subsequent corrections to the published record will continue to be available to the broadest readership. The posted version may be released publicly (made open to anyone) 12 months after its publication in the journal;
- Submit a copy of the article to a doctoral candidate's university in support of a doctoral thesis or dissertation.
Article Reuse by Others
Third parties or individuals who are seeking permission to copy, reproduce, or republish content from an AACR journal and who are not the author of that content may use the Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink® service to request permission to reuse identified content. Please see Third Party Permission and Reprints for detailed instructions on how to submit a request.
Free Access and Article Archiving
All content in AACR journals is made free (open) to anyone to read or use (subject to the conditions listed above) 12 months after its original online publication in an AACR journal. In addition, the AACR provides many countries in the developing world with immediate free access to all AACR journals through the HINARI program. Select content will sometimes be made freely available immediately upon publication. Patients or caregivers who need access to an article that is not already freely available may do so at very low cost through patientACCESS®.
The AACR can assist authors in meeting their funders' archiving mandates. Authors of articles published in AACR journals can elect to have the AACR deposit their accepted manuscripts to PubMed Central (PMC) or Europe PMC, thereby meeting the archiving and release date requirements of the following funding agencies:
- National Institutes of Health – 12 months post-publication
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute – 12 months post-publication
- Cancer Research UK – 6 months post-publication
- Wellcome Trust – 6 months post-publication
- Medical Research Council – 6 months post-publication
When an author submits a manuscript to an AACR journal, he or she will be asked to indicate whether any manuscript authors are employed by or funded by any of the agencies listed above and whether they would like AACR to deposit their accepted manuscript on their behalf if it is accepted for publication. Alternatively, the author can choose to take responsibility for archiving their accepted manuscript themselves.
If the author chooses to have the AACR deposit the manuscript for them, the accepted version of the manuscript will be uploaded to the repository upon acceptance, with a release date as noted above. (See the following section for information about the AuthorChoice option, which allows for even earlier release.) Authors will be contacted by the repository for approval of the submission.
Please note that, while the AACR will make repository deposits for authors upon request at the time of manuscript acceptance, it is the author's responsibility to follow up with the repository to ensure that the content is received and released within the funder's specified timeframe. Please note also that the article PMCID number is assigned and provided by NIHMS and Europe PMC and that the AACR journals are unable to assign or provide these numbers to authors. Authors who have questions about their PMCID number should contact the corresponding repository directly at www.nihms.nih.gov or europepmc.org.
In addition to providing free access to all published articles 12 months after publication, the AACR journals also provide an option for authors to pay an AuthorChoice fee to make their accepted articles freely available online immediately upon publication. This includes OnlineFirst and final typeset article versions. Authors may choose this option during submission of a new or revised manuscript. Details on fees are provided in the Publication Fees section below.