EP publishing policy


This sets out the procedure for publication of results of experiments carried out at CERN in refereed journals and/or as preprints in repositories. It complies with CERN rules concerning publication of CERN Scientific Documents (Operational Circular No 6).

Publications covered

The publications covered by this procedure are all experimental physics papers that describe work carried out, at least in part:

  • by one or more persons signing the document as CERN Authors; or,
  • using the experimental facilities of CERN, even if none of its authors are CERN authors.

For technical papers, on detector development or test-beam results, submission of a CERN-EP preprint is optional.
Conference proceedings are not usually considered for CERN-EP preprints.


At least one week before submission, the responsible for submission will notify the Director of Research and Computing (DRC) and the EP Department Head (DH) of the intent to publish.

This is done by posting the current version of the paper and requesting approval using CDS. This procedure is already implemented for most LHC experiments (currently ATLAS, CMS, LHCb) in their own publication system. All other experiments/groups should follow the procedure described here.


Within one week of receipt of the notification, the DH or the DRC will respond with their decision. In special circumstances, the responsible for submission may request a decision within two working days ("rapid approval").

The decision can be:

  • approval for publication;
  • further internal refereeing of the paper;
  • holding of the publication to permit consultation with the Collaboration management.

If no decision is communicated within the applicable delay, the responsible for submission may proceed to publish without further internal refereeing. For large Collaborations with a thorough internal review procedure, further internal refereeing is not normally anticipated.


Upon approval for publication, the paper will be submitted as a preprint. The preprint number is automatically assigned by CDS at the time of submission. To ensure consistency between publicly available versions, the preprint is to be updated in all the repositories concerned after refereeing by the journal.

Open Access

Consistent with the stated position of the Collaborations and the General Conditions applicable to Experiments at CERN, every effort will be made to publish papers under Open Access conditions, as defined by the SCOAP3 initiative. As at the date of this document, the Creative Commons Attribution ("cc by") license meets these conditions.


Papers will mention "Copyright CERN, for the benefit of the Collaboration". CERN will strive to exercise its copyright in such a way as to permit the widest possible dissemination and use of the paper. Every reasonable effort will be made to avoid transfer of copyright to a third party.

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