The fate of one of my papers

Robin Thomas

On May 26, 2005 one of my coauthors submitted the paper "The circular chromatic index of flower snarks" coauthored by M. Ghebleh, D. Kral, S. Norine and R. Thomas to the J. Graph Theory for possible publication. On March 8, 2006 we were informed that the paper has been accepted. The message from the Managing Editor says "...we are pleased to inform you that we will publish your article, subject to the minor changes suggested by the referees", and yet J. Wiley and Sons, the publisher, refused to publish the paper. What happened?

What is at issue here is the copyright to the paper. The copyright law gives authors certain protections and recognizes them as the creators and owners of the work. Publishers have been routinely asking authors to transfer the copyright to the publisher, and yet there is no valid reason for them to insist on the transfer. Therefore, I have stopped signing the copyright transfer agreements on the grounds that (1) it is not necessary for publication, and (2) I have have created the work and therefore should be entitled to own it. Many publishers are accommodating, but Wiley apparently is not. They refused to publish our article. Luckily, there is a choice when it comes to publishing, and so you may want to select your journal carefully before you submit.