To satisfy US copyright laws, we MUST have a dated release of copyright.

During the process of submitting your manuscript, you cannot continue with the review process without ticking the box whereby you agree to relinquish copyrights to Tobacco Regulatory Science Group. Your submission will serve as the dated release of copyright and NO FURTHER ACTION is required. The agreement you will agree to or already agreed to is listed below.

“In consideration of Tobacco Regulatory Science Group taking action in reviewing and editing my(our) submitted manuscript, the author(s) hereby transfer(s), assign(s), or otherwise convey(s) copyright ownership to Tobacco Regulatory Science Group. The author(s) declare(s) that the manuscript contains no matter that is, to the best of the author(s) knowledge, libelous or unlawful, or that infringes upon any US copyright. In the event the manuscript is NOT accepted for publication, copyrights revert to the author(s).”

If additional questions arise, feel free to contact the Journal offices.

The Copyright Clearance Center has produced an excellent first of its kind Copyright Basics Video to help educate faculty, students, or anyone about the ins and outs of copyright law.

Illegal Sharing of Copyright Content

Unless an author has purchased Open Access for a specific manuscript, it is illegal to share that article on Social Science Networks (SSNs) such as ResearchGate and If you are unsure about your rights and responsibilities regarding copyrighted manuscripts, particularly about illegal sharing of copyrighted content, please read our Depository Policy.

It is the responsibility of authors to follow copyright laws. In 2017, Scientometrics estimated that 40% of publications in ResearchGate (which claims to host 10 million publications) infringe upon publisher copyrights.1 Kudos further estimates that 57% of authors share their publications via SSNs and 66% access other people’s work via SSNs.2 Our journal wants widespread dissemination of its publications; however, this distribution should be shared in a legal manner and not via a SSN unless it is done in a legal manner.

Authors who purchase Open Access (OA) for a specific manuscript retain copyrights for that particular article and are approved to post at SSNs or universities/organizations. Consequently, it is essential that authors understand the difference between OA and Free Access.

  1. Jamali HR. Copyright compliance and infringement in ResearchGate full-text journal articles. Scientometrics. 2017:1-14. doi:10.1007/s11192-017-2291-4
  2. Rapple C. Survey shows author sharing via scholarly collaboration networks is widespread, despite strong support for copyright.

Difference between Open Access (OA) and Free Access (FA)

OA is where the author, employer, or funding body contributes towards the publication in terms of costs. Moreover, with OA, the designation is irreversible, meaning your manuscript will be listed free of charge online for anyone to download. OA generally refers to “manuscripts freely available to the public via the Internet.” It allows anyone to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of article at any time, as the author retains the copyright, and said copyright is not turned over to the publisher. All of these actions are without financial, legal, or technical barriers, other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself. Authors in this case are allowed to post at SSNs or wherever they wish, as they own the copyrights to that particular article.

On the other hand, FA is a temporary method primarily used by numerous publishers to make articles free, and to assist the publisher in marketing a journal for a time-limited period. Publishers will temporarily designate for a specific period of time that an article, set of articles, or an entire issue is Free in the hopes in attracting subscribers or authors to their publication. After this period, the manuscript returns to “pay to view” status or remains free if the articles in question are aligned with an organization. In the FA scenario, authors are NOT allowed to submit to an SSN or place in a university or organization depository.

For additional background regarding OA and FA, see:

For additional information, contact our journal offices.