Publisher Policies: Thesis content and article publishing

Journal publishers normally acquire the copyright to scholarly articles through a publication agreement with the author. Their policies then determine what authors can do with their work.

The table below summarizes publisher policies regarding graduate students’ reuse of their previously published articles in their theses, and policies on accepting journal submissions that first appeared in an author’s previously released thesis.

Please contact Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Program Manager for Scholarly Publishing & Licensing ( / 617.253.8483) if you need information that does not yet appear in the table.

PublisherReuse of author's previously published article in author's thesisSubmission of new article by author that first appeared as part of author's thesis
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)ALLOWS, with these special requirements for theses made available electronically (as MIT's are):
"the accepted version of the paper before Science's copy editing and production of the Work should be used and a link to the Work on the Science website included."
ALLOWS. According to the AAAS, in general, publication in a thesis, including through an open nonprofit website, does not constitute prior publication.
American Chemical SocietyALLOWS, with these special requirements:
Author should secure written confirmation (via letter or email) from the respective ACS journal editor(s) to avoid potential conflicts with journal prior publication/embargo policies. Appropriate citation of the Published Work must be made. If the thesis or dissertation to be published is in electronic format, a direct link to the Published Work must also be included using the ACS Articles on Request.

See also: Policy on Theses and Dissertations
Policy varies by journal.
An important clarification as of April 2014 has been provided by the ACS regarding submission of thesis material to ACS journals: Each ACS journal has a specific policy on prior publication that is determined by the respective ACS Editor-in-Chief. Authors should consult these policies and/or contact the appropriate journal editorial office to ensure they understand the policy before submitting material for consideration.
American Geophysical UnionALLOWS, with these special requirements:
"permissible as long as proper attribution is made to the published article."
Permissible as long as institution requires theses to be deposited in the institution's electronic repository, as is the case at MIT.
American Institute of Aeronautics and AstronauticsALLOWS if author has selected option B on the publication agreement, retaining copyright.

If author has selected option A, "they must request permission to reprint material from this previously published work to include it in their thesis."
"Although the prior publication of material in a thesis or dissertation is part of a work’s publication history that needs to be acknowledged, it does not disqualify material from being presented at conferences or published in AIAA’s journals."
American Institute of PhysicsALLOWS
American Physical SocietyALLOWSALLOWS
American Society for Clinical InvestigationALLOWSDOES NOT ALLOW.
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)ALLOWSALLOWS
Must use final published version of the article and link via DOI to the publication on ScienceDirect.
ALLOWS. Elsevier does not count theses as a prior publication, per Elsevier.
IEEEALLOWS, with this special requirement:
Requires copyright notice.
Policy unclear and is being researched.
Institute of PhysicsALLOWSALLOWS
National Academy of SciencesALLOWSALLOWS. Should mention at time of submission
SpringerALLOWS. In addition, a special agreement with Springer for MIT authors allows for reuse for scholarly and educational purposes.Policy varies by journal but according to Springer: "there are no overriding ethical issues as long as the dual publication is transparent and cross referenced. Transparency is key, though a few journals might reject such an article for the reason of non-originality."
Taylor & FrancisALLOWS, with this requirement: "provided that acknowledgement to prior publication in the relevant Taylor & Francis journal is made explicit."Policy unclear and is being researched.
WileyALLOWS, subject to any individual journal guidelines to the contrary.
Earlier version should be fully acknowledged. And "the more the author revises the material to suit the format, readership, and mission of the journal, the more likely the paper will be accepted."

If an article is co-authored with a member of the MIT faculty, the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy is likely to apply to the article, which allows for the extension of additional rights to graduate student authors through MIT for reuse. Please contact for more information.