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Copyright Policy


Before ASCE publishes any work, it must be accompanied by a valid, signed Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA). The particular form depends on the material, as noted below. Modifying, amending, or deleting any text on the CTA will render the CTA invalid.

It makes no difference whether the work will be published in print, on the Internet, or on any other electronic medium, such as a CD.

Copyright transfer is handled differently in the following situations:

  • Single or joint authors of ASCE Press books transfer copyright as part of their publishing agreement.
  • Certain items appearing in the front or back of ASCE journals—such as awards, announcements, editorials, editors’ notes, errata, and papers of interest—do not require signed CTAs when authored by a journal editor. Any author not affiliated with the Journal’s Editorial Board must submit a signed CTA. .
  • Authors of papers for conference proceedings that are submitted through the ASCE online submission system transfer copyright as part of the online submission process.

Who should sign the Copyright Transfer Agreement?

  • If you are the only author and none of the following exceptions apply, you must sign the form.
  • If there is more than one author and none of the exceptions apply, ANY author can sign the form. For books and journals, the corresponding author does not need to be the author who signs. For Civil Engineering magazine, the corresponding author must sign.


  • If the work was done as a work for hire, then a representative of the company or organization that contracted for the work should sign the form.
  • If ALL the authors are employed by the U.S. government*, then any one of the authors should sign the form in the special section for U.S. government employees.
  • If SOME of the authors are employed by the U.S. government* and some are not, then any one of the authors who does not work for the U.S. government should sign the form.
  • If some of the authors work for the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia, then Crown Copyright applies and a Crown Copyright form should be submitted.

* “Employed by the U.S. government” means that the author receives a U.S. Treasury paycheck. Contractors and researchers working in government facilities are not directly employed by the U.S. government and therefore should sign the regular part of the CTA form.