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Author publishing agreement

Before Cambridge can publish a journal article (or any other journal content type) we need a signed licence to publish agreement. Under the agreement, certain rights are granted to the journal owner which allow publication of the article (although the original ownership of the copyright in the article remains unchanged).

If your article is accepted for publication, the corresponding author will receive an email from “Cambridge University Press via Ironclad” (* requesting them to complete an Information Request Form (IRF). Ironclad is our digital contract management platform and the information submitted via the IRF will determine the terms and conditions under which the article will be published. The IRF will also seek to confirm who will sign the agreement (it is usually, but not always, the corresponding author who will sign).

You should ascertain in advance:

- the requirements of your funders or institutions, who may have their own conditions for publications derived from their support;

- who owns the copyright – this is usually either the author(s) or their employer(s), which may in some cases be government (or non-governmental) entities for whom special copyright conditions apply;

- and who will cover the costs of publication.

If you are not sure who owns the copyright in the submitted work, it’s a good idea to check your employment contract or speak with your employer about copyright ownership of content you have produced during or for the course of your employment.

Authors should also ensure that they have all appropriate permissions for third-party material used in their article.

Once the IRF is completed, the signer will receive an email from HelloSign (*. HelloSign is the digital signature software that we use, in conjunction with Ironclad, to manage our publishing agreements.

Please note that an article cannot proceed to Cambridge Production without a completed agreement.

* Messages from Ironclad and HelloSign might get blocked by mail filtering software and it may be helpful to add them to your ‘safe sender’ list or equivalent (or ask your IT Department to do so). If your manuscript has been accepted and you have not received emails from these addresses concerning the author publishing agreement please contact

If you have any queries about the licensing terms and conditions, please contact

Frequently Asked Questions about the Ironclad/Hellosign process can be found here.

Open Access Articles

So that we have the necessary rights to publish your article, we ask you to grant a non-exclusive licence to publish. (We do not ask you to transfer your copyright to us.) A non-exclusive licence means that the rights needed to publish the paper are granted to the journal owner on a non-exclusive basis and the ownership of the copyright remains unchanged.

In open access there is a fundamental principle that content should not only be accessible but also be freely reusable for the good of research and humanity. We comply with this principle by asking you to select a Creative Commons licence. The CC licence you choose will determine how readers can use your article.