Online Tools Speed Up Assignment of Copyright

New electronic process for uploading and tracking forms

6 April 2009

IEEE has rolled out two new online tools to speed up the process of assigning copyright from authors who write for IEEE publications that don’t use an IEEE online manuscript submission system.

Authors are required to transfer their copyrights to IEEE before their papers can be published. Currently, IEEE handles more than 100 000 copyright forms a year through its electronic copyright form (eCF) system, which is used with IEEE’s Manuscript Central and other manuscript submission systems. But some publications rely on paper forms instead, which is both labor-intensive and slow. Authors must sign and submit the paper forms to their editors, who mail them to the IEEE offices in Piscataway, N.J.

SPEEDY RELEASE Basically the eCF upload tool presents authors with an electronic copyright release form to sign. But first, a publication’s editor uses the tool to download a spreadsheet in which the editor enters the authors’ names and contact information, along with a description of the paper. The spreadsheet is then uploaded to the tool site, which assigns each author an ID and password. That information, as well as instructions for downloading and completing the eCF, is then e-mailed to the authors.

The other aid, the eCF report tool, helps editors keep track of completed and outstanding eCFs. Using it, editors can download a spreadsheet that shows which authors have submitted their eCFs and which have not.

“We’ve had an in-house administrative tool for the IEEE staff to monitor which eCFs have come in for which publications, but the editors needed to ask Piscataway for that information. Now they can get the information themselves without going through us—which speeds up the publication process,” says Bill Hagen, manager, IEEE Intellectual Property Rights in Piscataway, which helped develop the two tools along with the IEEE Publishing Technology Group.

Editors must register to use either of the free tools at the eCF Administrative Tools Registration Form Web page  For more information contact Hagen or +1 732 562 3966.

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