IEEE Electronic Copyright Form System Gains Momentum

Online tool now used by nearly every journal

16 April 2012

Almost all IEEE journals are now using the IEEE electronic Copyright Form (eCF) system. Launched in 2004, the system enables authors to transfer their copyrights to IEEE before their papers are published. The online form makes the process less time-consuming and labor-intensive for authors, and more efficient for publication editors.

Last year alone, the IEEE Intellectual Property Rights Office received more than 200 000 copyright forms through the eCF system, which is integrated with IEEE ScholarOne Manuscripts and other manuscript submission systems. The IPR Office manages the copyright process. More than 183 000 electronic copyright forms were submitted by authors in 2010 and some 750 000 since the inception of the eCF eight years ago.

But there are still many IEEE conferences that have yet to take advantage of the tool, according to Bill Hagen, manager of the IPR Office, in Piscataway, N.J.

“The Intellectual Property Rights Office encourages all publication volunteers to spread the word about the many benefits of using the eCF system to colleagues and volunteers who are involved with IEEE journals and conferences,” Hagen says.

IEEE volunteer editors can make it easier for authors to use the eCF by linking their publication’s manuscript submission website to the eCF system. To do that, they first need to register their site as a trusted source. Once the site is registered, authors can submit eCFs along with their manuscripts. Editors can also use an eCF reporting tool to download a spreadsheet that shows which authors have submitted their forms.

The eCF is also available in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.

For more information about the eCF, contact Hagen at or visit the IEEE IPR Office website.

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