AMS Copyright Policy

Authors should also see Copyright Information for copyright forms and other post-acceptance obligations.

American Meteorological Society Copyright Policy
(Accepted by the AMS Council 22 September 2010, updated 30 May 2017)

The American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) mission to disseminate knowledge in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences is best served by promoting wide access to AMS publications while ensuring that this dissemination preserves the integrity of the originally published works. The copyright to the materials published in AMS journals, monographs, and other publications is transferred from the author of the works to the AMS at the time it is accepted for publication allowing the AMS to act as the steward for the intellectual property contained in the published works. It also allows the AMS to protect the value of the materials in order to generate revenue for the AMS to support the peer-review publication process so crucial to the scholarly scientific endeavor.

1. General Copyright Information

The recipient of an AMS copyrighted work is not free to copy it and distribute the copy without obtaining prior permission from the AMS. This concept has been the foundation of copyright protection and continues to be the basic assumption of this policy. In addition, this policy repeatedly refers to two additional basic assumptions.

  1. Transmitting an AMS copyrighted work through a computer network is a form of copying.
  2. The AMS permits the use of links as a form of citation to its works.

This policy (and other related statements) will be reviewed from time to time and amended or revised as necessary based on the experiences gained under its use and/or changes in the law. The AMS Publications Commission plays a key role in helping to formulate AMS’s copyright policies. The AMS Council, however, must approve all such policies. This document supersedes all previous AMS copyright policies and any related statements.

2. Copyright notice

The AMS requires that any republication of an AMS copyrighted work contain a copyright notice. The AMS copyright notice must be displayed on the first page of any AMS copyrighted work that is published in print or on the first screen of a digitized work (such as a website). It is acceptable to place the string “© Copyright [date of publication] AMS” as a hypertext link to the full copyright notice.

AMS’s Full Copyright Notice

© Copyright [date of publication] American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. All AMS journals and monograph publications are registered with the Copyright Clearance Center ( Questions about permission to use materials for which AMS holds the copyright can also be directed to the AMS Permissions Officer at Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement, available on the AMS website (

3. Requirement for copyright transfer

As a condition of publishing a work with the AMS, an author must transfer copyright to the work to the AMS. This requirement may be waived for some materials. The copyright transfer (referred to as the assignment of copyright) becomes effective when an AMS editor or appropriate AMS staff member accepts the work for publication.

Once assignment of the copyright to AMS has occurred, authors must incorporate the AMS copyright notice (see Section 2) into any copy of the work made available to others. The AMS will maintain the accepted version as the definitive version of the published work, as amended through editorial processing for publication. In the event that the AMS makes the published work available electronically, authors who maintain personal electronic collections should implant a link to the definitive version maintained by the AMS and should distribute only links pointing to the AMS definitive version.

There are several different copyright transfer forms. Nearly all authors will use one of the “standard” copyright forms, and most will use the form that provides for the transfer of copyright to the AMS by the author(s). A separate form provides for authors to sign a statement that the work was created as part of their official duties as a United States government employee and is therefore precluded from copyright protection. An additional form is available on the AMS Web site for works subject to Crown Copyright. A number of government laboratories have special copyright policies for contractors who work at those laboratories, and the Authors’ Resource Center Web site contains a set of forms specific to each of those laboratories.

All authors must sign the appropriate copyright transfer form or statement that the work was created as part of the author’s duty as a United States Government employee or at the direction or control of any government department of any country. If there is more than one author of a work, all authors must sign an appropriate form. It is not sufficient for one author to sign on behalf of coauthors. Coauthors may all sign the same form or each sign a separate form.

The AMS and many other publishers have a policy that authors submit a work for consideration for publication to only one editor at a time. The authors must notify editors if a work is identical to or substantially the same as a work submitted to another publisher.

4. Permission for use of copyrighted works of others

An author who uses the material of another author or copyright owner, such as a graphical image, text, etc., is expected to obtain written permission from that author or copyright owner to include the material in the author’s work and provide a copy of that permission to the AMS. The permission must be broad enough to permit the AMS to distribute the material as contained in the work in any and all media now known or later developed. Note that some copyright holders provide a “blanket permission” similar to that of the AMS that allows use of figures, tables, and brief excerpts without written permission (see Section 2). No additional action is required of authors who make use of materials that fall under such blanket permission.

5. Citation to AMS works using links

The AMS permits citations to its works through the use of links, and encourages the widespread distribution of links to the definitive versions of AMS copyrighted works and does not require that authors obtain prior permission to include such links in their new works. Execution of a link to view a work is considered permissible under these policies. Redistributing a copy created by the execution of a link, however, requires permission from the AMS. In addition, entities or individuals may not upload copies of AMS copyrighted works to a server for distribution by links without the permission of the AMS.

The AMS considers it to be an infringement of its copyright if a series of links forms a pattern equivalent to the table of contents to an AMS publication or creates a compilation of AMS copyrighted works. To avoid misunderstandings, individuals should consult with the AMS before duplicating a substantial portion of an AMS copyrighted work with links.

6. Definitive copy of a work and Early Online Releases (EORs)

The AMS, in its role as steward, is obligated to ensure the work is permanently archived so that the published research record will always be available to future generations. This stewardship role requires that the AMS maintain the definitive published version of any work published in an AMS journal and give permission to copy only true representations of that definitive version. The definitive version is defined as the version that has been accepted by an editor, professionally edited, and provided to the community as the final published form in print and/or electronic form in one or more formats that can be used to render the content.

In seeking to provide new research results to the research community as quickly as possible, the AMS provides limited access to an Early Online Release (EOR) of an accepted manuscript for the period in which the accepted manuscript is being prepared for publication. As soon as the definitive published version is available, it replaces the EOR version so that only the definitive work can be accessed from that point forward. EORs are not intended to be used as replacements for the definitive published versions and, therefore, permission cannot be provided to post these almost-final versions on any non-AMS database or web site. (An exception to this policy can be made for a repository managed by a funding agency that requires the EOR version and will not allow it to be replaced by the definitive version. Even in those cases, every effort should be made to ensure that the publicly available version of the work is always the definitive published version.)

7. Distribution from non-AMS database or web site

Copies of an AMS copyrighted work may not be placed on a non-AMS database or web site without permission from the AMS unless provided for under this policy.

a. Distribution prior to submission

The posting of a draft manuscript on Internet servers, such as an “e-print server” or the author’s home page, provides an opportunity for increased communication among researchers. The AMS does not want to inhibit this avenue of scientific exchange. At the present time, and as long as certain requirements are met, the AMS treats such postings as informal publication and will not reject a manuscript that has been posted in this way on the basis of prior publication.

The AMS strongly recommends that authors choosing to post their work prior to submission post with it a notice similar to the one shown below.

Sample of Notice

This document is provided by the contributing author(s) as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a noncommercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the author(s) or by other copyright owners. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. This work may not be reposted without explicit permission of the copyright owner.

b. Distribution after submission but prior to editorial decision

An author who submits a work for consideration by an AMS editor should include the following notice on any copy of the work posted by the author:

This work has been submitted for publication. Copyright in this work may be transferred without further notice, and this version may no longer be accessible.

c. Distribution after editorial decision

For a work that was posted prior to the transfer of copyright to the AMS, permission is granted under this policy for the work to remain available online until publication by the AMS provided the following notice is included at the time the copyright assigned to the AMS:

Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.

An author shall remove the work no later than the first of the month following the issue of the AMS publication containing the work. Once the definitive version of the work is published by the AMS, entities or individuals operating databases of web sites may replace the removed copy of the work, at the discretion of the server operators, with an abstract from and/or a summary of the work, along with a full citation to the AMS publication that can contain a link to the definitive copy of the work that resides on the AMS server.

d. Open access institutional repositories

The AMS understands there is increasing demand for institutions to provide open access to the published research being produced by employees, such as faculty of that institution, and also that U.S. government policies may exist that apply to certain published research funded by particular U.S. government agencies and that require that the peer-reviewed manuscript be deposited in an appropriate repository of the applicable U.S. government agency. In recognition of this, in cases where such requirements are applicable to a particular journal article, the AMS grants permission to the author(s) to deposit the published AMS journal article in the repository of such author’s institution, and/or the appropriate U.S. funding agency repository (if applicable), provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The article lists the institution hosting the repository as either the author’s affiliation, or as an acknowledged U.S. agency funder of the work.
  • The copy provided to the repository is the final published PDF of the article. (An exception to this policy can be made for a repository managed by a funding agency that requires the EOR version and will not allow it to be replaced by the definitive version. Even in those cases, every effort should be made to ensure that the publicly available version of the work is always the definitive published version; see section 6.)
  • The repository does not provide access to the article until at least 12 months after the date of publication of the definitive version by AMS. Academic institutions that serve as the author’s institution can provide access six months after final publication.
  • The repository copy includes the AMS copyright notice.

8. Permissions granted to its authors by the AMS

The AMS grants its authors the following permissions: 

  • Permission to reuse any portion of the author’s work, without a fee, in future lectures, press releases, or works of the author's own, provided that the AMS citation and notice of the AMS copyright are included.
  • Permission to post a copy of the work on the author's personal homepage (that is, a Web page under the direct control of the author) on a non-AMS server for noncommercial distributions, provided the AMS copyright notice (see section 2) is attached to the personal copy and that it represents the definitive copy (see section 6).
  • Permission to have the work posted on open access institutional repositories under the conditions provided in section 7d.
  • Permission for the author’s employer to distribute copies of the work to other employees within the organization. The assignment of copyright to the AMS does not affect the right of the author to seek patent protection for any invention that may be disclosed in the work.

9. Republication

The AMS maintains a policy of not republishing works, whether copyrighted by the AMS or by others, except under limited conditions where an editor determines there is significant benefit in republication.

10. Edited collections

In most cases of conference proceedings and some other forms of collection, the collection as a whole is copyrighted by the AMS, while the authors may hold copyright to the individual components of the collection.

No collection in which the AMS is the sole or joint copyright holder may be posted for open distribution without prior permission from the AMS. Notice of permission must accompany the AMS copyright notice.

11. Permissions

All AMS journals and monograph publications are registered with the Copyright Clearance Center. Questions about permission to use materials for which AMS holds the copyright can also be directed to the AMS Permissions Officer at

12. Interpretation of coverage

The AMS copyright transfer form grants the AMS all rights in the work, including, without limitation, the right to publish the work in whole or in part in any and all media now known or later developed.