The IEEE Intellectual Property Rights Office has revised its copyright form to reflect a new policy that limits authors to posting only the accepted versions of their papers on their personal and institutional websites.
Before the policy change, authors could place any version, including the published version, of their paper online. Now authors may not post the published version, which includes the copyediting, proofreading, and formatting performed by IEEE. Authors may, however, post the version that has been submitted to but not yet published by IEEE, as long as the paper displays the IEEE copyright notice. Once the paper is published, that accepted paper version may remain on the Web as long as it includes a full citation to the original IEEE publication and a link to the article in the IEEE Xplore digital library.
The policy applies only to papers published after 1 January 2011, the date the policy went into effect. Published versions of papers posted before that date do not need to be removed.
The revised IEEE Copyright Form also includes a new section, "Author Online Use," which details acceptable electronic uses of an article once the author has transferred copyright to IEEE and the article has been published by IEEE.
An extensive FAQ explains the policy change and clarifies the differences between the accepted and published versions of papers. More information about the policy can be found at the IEEE Intellectual Property Rights web page, as well as in Section 8.1.9 of the IEEE Publication Services and Products Board Operations Manual.
If you have any questions about the policy changes, contact the IEEE Intellectual Property Rights Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.