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OSA Publishing

Author & Reviewer Resource Center

Copyright, Permissions and Reprints

OSA asks all authors of articles for its journals, magazines, and books to sign a Transfer of Copyright. In doing so, an author transfers ownership of his or her article or book to OSA. Ownership of copyright gives OSA the right to publish the article and to defend against improper use (or even theft) of the article. It also permits OSA to mount the article online or to use the article in other forms, such as when a journal article becomes part of a content collection or another derivative product.

OSA needs copyright for an article because, as publisher, the society is in the best position to defend the article legally. In addition, transfer of copyright assures OSA that the work in question is entirely the author's own. Once again, the purpose of transfer of copyright is not to prevent the author from reuse of his or her own work, as long as this doesn't involve republication in a competing journal or other competing resource.

If you are planning to send a manuscript to one of OSA's peer-reviewed journals, you will be given the opportunity during submission to agree to our electronic transfer of copyright. You should print and send a hard copy of the below Transfer of Copyright form only if you are unwilling or unable to use the online option.

Author Posting Policy

Transfer of copyright does not prevent an author from subsequently reproducing his or her article. OSA's Copyright Transfer Agreement gives authors the right to publish the Author Accepted version of the article or chapter in a compilation of the author's own works or reproduce the article for teaching purposes on a short-term basis. The author may also post the Author Accepted version of the article on his or her own non-commercial personal website or a closed institutional repository (access to the repository is limited solely to the institutions' employees and direct affiliates (e.g., students, faculty), and the repository does not depend on payment for access, such as subscription or membership fees). In addition, we allow authors to post their manuscripts on the Cornell University Library's arXiv site prior to submission to OSA's journals.

Author(s) whose work was performed under a grant from a government funding agency are free to fulfill author deposit mandates from that funding agency providing that the mandate allows for a minimum 12 month embargo. If a CC BY license is purchased, see below, then no embargo applies and deposit may occur immediately.

If the author chooses to post the article on his or her own website, in a closed institutional repository or on the arXiv site, the following message must be displayed at some prominent place near the article and must include a working hyperlink to the online abstract in the OSA Journal:

    © XXXX [year] Optical Society of America.]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modifications of the content of this paper are prohibited.

Creative Commons Licensing

OSA is aware that some authors, as a condition of their funding, must publish their work under a Creative Commons license. We therefore offer a CC BY license for authors who indicate that their work is funded by agencies that we have confirmed have this requirement. Authors must enter their funder(s) during the manuscript submission process. At that point, if appropriate, the CC BY license option will be available to select for an additional fee.

Any subsequent reuse or distribution of content licensed under CC BY must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.

Questions regarding Creative Commons Licensing can be directed to copyright@osa.org.

NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy (http://publicaccess.nih.gov/) states that peer-reviewed manuscripts that received NIH funding and are accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008, should be deposited with PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. OSA acknowledges the NIH policy and the author's right to place eligible OSA journal articles in PubMed Central.

Biomedical Optics Express authors: Please note that OSA automatically submits all published articles to PMC. Optics Express authors: Please note that OSA automatically submits all NIH-funded articles to PMC.

  • How do I comply? Authors who are required to do so may submit the accepted version of their manuscript to PubMed Central through the NIH Manuscript Submission System. Authors should select method "C" as explained on the NIH Public Access information page.
  • What about copyright transfer? OSA's current Copyright Transfer Agreement in no way precludes deposit of OSA journal articles to PubMed Central (see http://www.osapublishing.org/submit/forms/copyxfer.pdf). Note that copyright to all material deposited in PubMed Central remains with the publisher or individual authors, whichever is applicable.


For OSA to consider a copyright permission request we require in writing by e-mail, fax, or mail:

  • a complete citation of the item to be reproduced, including figure numbers, etc.,
  • a clear explanation of the intended use of the item, and
  • the requestor's complete contact information.

Please direct further questions regarding copyright to copyright@osa.org.

Reprint Orders

Authors of articles in Applied Optics, Advances in Optics and Photonics, JOSA A, JOSA B, Optica, Optics Letters, and OPN may purchase reprints any time after the page proofs are completed. All reprint orders for OSA journals should be submitted directly to Sheridan Press using the Sheridan Electronic Order Center, https://caesar.sheridan.com/osa/eoc. The corresponding author can access the Sheridan site from the OSA publications payment system. Reprint orders may be submitted prior to publication or any time after publication. OSA staff will not have status information for reprint orders that are pending.

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