Copyright assignment for work presented at conferences

Q. Dear Editorial Office,

I would like to get your advice on the following: my project was accepted for presentation at a scientific meeting. Part of the requirements for attending this meeting and presenting there is to submit a 4-page paper. Since in a few weeks I will submit my data to your journal, I do not want to jeopardize my chances of publishing in a Nature journal. Enclosed is the Copyright Transfer that the the meeting organizers have requested me to sign. I would appreciate if you can check it out and let me know if there is any potential conflict which may prohibit my project from any future publication in your journal. The data I will present is only part of the entire data I plan of submitting to your journal.

A. We have looked at the document you sent. To speak at the meeting you do not need to sign it: the document only relates to publication of the paper that the conference organisers may wish to publish themselves after the meeting. You can present the data at the conference, but not publish them in the form of a paper, if you wish to submit them to a Nature journal afterwards. This particular agreement requires that the conference organization be acknowledged as having published the work first, in any subsequent publication. This is not appropriate for publication of the data in a Nature journal.

As a general point, Nature journals encourage scientists to present their research at meetings, and it is perfectly acceptable for them to publish the abstract(s) of their talk(s) in conference proceedings, and subsequently submit a paper containing this work to a Nature journal. Details of our policy are available on the Author and Referees’ website.


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