Copyright and authors’ rights
For most journals, authors (or their employers) retain copyright in their work. BMJ usually requires an exclusive licence that allows us to publish the article in the chosen journal and sublicence the rights. A non-exclusive licence is available where BMJ has agreed a CC BY licence shall apply or for authors that are unable to sign an exclusive licence, such as UK Crown employees and US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties.
We ask the submitting author to grant the exclusive licence (or non-exclusive licence for applicable authors) on behalf of all authors by reading and agreeing to the following statement at the point of submission:
“I [SUBMITTING AUTHOR NAME], the Submitting Author has the right to grant and does grant on behalf of all authors of the Work (as defined in the below author licence), an exclusive licence and/or a non-exclusive licence for contributions from authors who are: i) UK Crown employees; ii) where BMJ has agreed a CC BY licence shall apply, and/or iii) in accordance with the terms applicable for US Federal Government officers or employees acting as part of their official duties; on a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free basis to BMJ Publishing Group Ltd (“BMJ”) its licensees and where the relevant Journal is co-owned by BMJ to the co-owners of the Journal, to publish the Work in [JOURNAL NAME] and any other BMJ products and to exploit all rights, as set out in our licence [link].”
Author licences by journal
BMJ has a standard author licence for wholly owned and co-owned Journals. BMJ Journals that are published by BMJ on behalf of other organisations may have different licensing arrangements, so authors should check the individual journal’s licence below:
- BMJ Case Reports
- European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
- Family Medicine and Community Health
- General Psychiatry
- International Journal of Gynecological Cancer
- Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
- Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery
- Lupus Science & Medicine
- Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine
- Stroke and Vascular Neurology
- Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open
- World Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Authors’ rights and open access options
The BMJ Author Licence allows authors to use their articles for their own non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from BMJ – the only condition being that a full reference or link to the original is included. For further information on authors’ rights please visit BMJ policies on author self-archiving and permissions.
Please see this section for Open Access options.
National Institutes of Health employees
Manuscripts authored or co-authored by one or more National Institutes of Health (NIH) employees must be submitted with a completed and signed NIH Publishing Agreement and Manuscript Cover Sheet according to NIH’s Employee Procedures.
World Health Organisation employees
Manuscripts funded or authored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) are subject to different licence agreements:
- Research articles (i.e. reporting on primary research, including systematic reviews and meta-analysis) – when published in a BMJ open access or Transformative Journal, and an Article Processing Charge has been paid, this licence will need to be completed and signed: WHO BMJ Author Licence CC-BY 3.0. IGO. This licence allows reuse under CC-BY 3.0. IGO.
- Non research article – when published in a BMJ open access or Transformative Journal, and an Article Processing Charge has been paid, this licence will need to be completed and signed: WHO BMJ Author Licence CC-BY NC 3.0. IGO. This licence allows reuse under CC-BY NC 3.0. IGO.
The relevant agreement should include all author names, the Journal name and the mansucript ID and title. The agreement should be signed by the relevant WHO director or WHO grantee on behalf of all the authors of the article. A signed scanned copy should be sent to editorial contact of the journal.
Anything agreed to in the ScholarOne submission process which conflicts with the applicable licence, will be overridden by the relevant agreed licence between WHO and BMJ.
For all other WHO authored or funded articles, BMJ’s standard author licence(s) shall apply.
If you have any questions about using your published abstract as part of future articles please email email@example.com with the details.