Q: Can I sign the copyright transfer form after receiving a publication date from the journal?

Detailed Question -

My paper has passed peer review and got accepted. I am waiting for the publication date. Meanwhile, I have received a notification about copyright transfer that says: "Please go to journal website and download the copyright transfer form, get it signed and send back to editorial board." I want to know how much time I have to send this form? Can I provide it after I get to know publication date?

1 Answer to this question

It is better not to delay the submission of the copyright transfer form. It’s a fairly common practice for journals to request the form to be signed and submitted by authors after the manuscript has been accepted for publication, and in some cases, even at the time of initial submission. This is usally done as an indicator of the authors’ willingness to transfer the copyright if the manuscript is published. In the latter case, the form is rendered null and void if the manuscript is rejected.

It is likely that the journal is waiting to receive your signed copyright transfer form before they commit to a publication date. So it’s best that you sign and submit it as soon as possible. Since your manuscript has been accepted, you can be sure that it will be scheduled for publication shortly.