Once a paper is accepted by a journal's editor(s) it will be sent to the production department at Cambridge University Press to be prepared for publication. Efficiency, accuracy and quality are at the heart of this process. Authors will have access to a dedicated production editor, who will be available to answer questions and offer support as their article progresses through the steps towards publication.
Our processes are streamlined throughout, as we recognise the importance of making sure papers reach the academic community rapidly and with minimal fuss. However, at all stages we take care to offer an attentive service that matches the requirements of the material and does not make any compromises on quality.
Preparing for production
Many journals will ask their authors to prepare a final version of their manuscript according to that journal's particular style before beginning the production process. At this stage it is also important to ensure every element of the paper required by the journal is in place (e.g. the abstract, keywords, acknowledgements, author details, high resolution images, figure place markers, captions, supplementary material etc.). You may wish to consult some of our guides as you prepare your manuscript for production:
- How to write an effective abstract/select keywords
- Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide
- Supplementary material information
- Seeking permission to use copyrighted material
The production process
The exact production workflow for each journal will vary to match its specific requirements. We encourage authors to consult the journal's editor(s) for precise guidance on the process their paper will follow. The elements of a typical production cycle are outlined below:
A substantial number of Cambridge journals offer online publication ahead of print publication using the Cambridge FirstView model. Articles in these journals are generally published online within 2–3 weeks of receipt of your corrected proof. Articles are published in final form, paginated independently, fully citable with an assigned digital object identifier (DOI) and made available to the journal's subscribers. They are later allocated to an issue of the journal by the editorial office and repaginated accordingly.
Typically we work to a 6–8 week production schedule for FirstView articles, while the timetable for a journal operating an issue-based production workflow will depend on the scheduled publication dates of forthcoming issues.
Checking your article proof
Before publication, you will receive an email with a PDF of your proof. The email will include guidance on checking your article and returning your corrections. It may also include queries from the copyeditor, if these have not been addressed during the copyediting phase. Please note that this process is intended for the correction of typographical errors and is not an opportunity to make substantial changes to the text.
For the majority of journals, we ask that you mark your corrections electronically by annotating the PDF. Instructions for commenting on PDFs can be found here.
We generally require your corrections to be returned within 2 to 4 working days. Delays at this stage are one of the most common reasons for delayed publication.
Author publishing agreements
Before Cambridge can publish a journal article, or any other journal content type, we need a signed author publishing agreement. For most of our journals, this will be a licence to publish agreement, but for some it will be a transfer of copyright agreement. To find out which form a specific journal uses, please navigate to the journal’s homepage and click ‘Information’ > ‘Author Publishing Agreement’.
Upon acceptance of your paper, the corresponding author will be sent a link to the form(s) for the journal in which you are due to publish, as well as instructions for completion and return. In addition to defining copyright terms, this form will request a confirmation of the article's originality, the declaration of any conflicts of interest and assurance that permission has been granted for the publication of any third party material.
Please read the form carefully, as it explains the re-use terms surrounding which versions of your article you may post on your own website, departmental or institutional repositories, and subject-specific repositories like PubMed Central or ArXiV.
We have compiled a 'frequently asked questions' document to help authors with more detailed questions related to the production of their paper with Cambridge University Press. We would encourage authors to contact their journal's production editor directly with any specific queries not covered here.