An author may upload his/her article "in the form prior to submission to the IEEE" (i.e., not as modified per the review process), to arXiv. The IEEE PSPB Operations Manual ( does address this question. The relevant sections of the Manual, which contain important details, follow.

First, here are some definitions (from p. 83):

a. An author-submitted article is the version originally submitted by the author to an IEEE publication. An author includes a completed IEEE Copyright Form during submission of the article to an IEEE publication and thereby transfers the copyright of the article to IEEE.

b. An accepted article is a version which has been revised by the author to incorporate review suggestions, and which has been accepted by IEEE for publication.

c. The final, published version is the reviewed and accepted article, with copy-editing, proofreading and formatting added by IEEE.

d. E-prints are digital texts of research articles. Electronic preprint is a form of an e-print where an author posts a draft article on the author’s or another web site. For purposes of this definition, a preprint is assumed to be the article in the form prior to submission to the IEEE, at which point copyright is transferred to IEEE. Authors who have submitted articles for publication by the IEEE may be interested in posting various preprint versions of the same article on e-print servers operated by third parties. E-print servers provide authors rapid dissemination of new results, with the opportunity of receiving comments from the peer community and with the opportunity to have a time-stamp associated with the announcement of results.

The relevant policy (from Section (8.1.9, beginning on p. 82) is the following:

1. IEEE seeks to maximize the rights of its authors and their employers to post preprint versions of an article on the author’s personal web site, on a server operated by the author’s employer, or on a server operated by an approved not-for-profit third party as specified in 8.1.9.G.2 below.

2. IEEE allows its authors to follow mandates of agencies that fund the author’s research by posting accepted versions of their articles in the agencies’ publicly accessible repositories.

3. IEEE does not restrict the rights of authors to use their IEEE-copyrighted articles in their own teaching, training, or work responsibilities, or those of their institutions or employers. In any preprint version archived by the author after submission, IEEE requires that IEEE will be credited as copyright holder. Upon publication of the work, authors are asked to include the article’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

4. As indicated in Section 8.1.9.A.4 (above) and amplified in Sections 8.1.9.C through G below, IEEE’s policy for permitting posting of IEEE-copyrighted articles extends only to authors, their employers, approved third-party not-for-profit organizations, and IEEE organizational units. The IEEE Intellectual Property Rights Office maintains a list of not-for-profit third party servers where material submitted to the IEEE may be posted. [The only approved third-party server is arXiv.]


Before submitting an article to an IEEE publication, authors frequently post preprints of their articles to their own web site, their employer’s site, or to another server that invites constructive comment from colleagues and provides a publication time stamp. Upon submission of an article to IEEE, an author is required to transfer copyright in the article to IEEE, and the author must update any previously posted version of the article with a prominently displayed IEEE copyright notice (as shown in 8.1.9.B). Upon publication of an article by the IEEE, the author must replace any previously posted electronic versions of the article with either (1) the full citation to the IEEE work with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), or (2) the accepted version only with the DOI (not the IEEE-published version). IEEE shall make available to each author the preprint version of the article that the author can post and that includes the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), IEEE’s copyright notice, and a notice indicating the article has been accepted for publication by IEEE.

article sharing cycle