Preprints, Proceedings, Copyright Conditions and Article Sharing Policy


Preprints are the collection of accepted papers produced prior to a meeting for distribution at the meeting, either in printed or electronic form. Preprints provide easy access for participants to papers before or during a meeting. Preprints are provided solely for meeting participants, included as part of the registration fee. Preprints are not a publication and should not have any mark that enables them to be cited as such.

Preprints may include discussion and dissemination contributions.

Discussion and dissemination category proposal

Conferences serve many purposes, among which: “discuss technical issues” and “publish research results” in the form of technical papers. To achieve these two goals, some conferences  accept submissions in the discussion and dissemination categories (see below for a description). Both discussion and dissemination contributions are clearly marked in the conference program.

Discussion contributions are submitted with the goal of being only presented at the conference, in order to get feedback and generate discussion with participants, without generating a publication (that means, they are not published at IFAC-PapersOnLine). For a (fast) reviewing process, a document with 1 to 4 pages is submitted, which gives a short overview of the concepts/ideas to be presented and indicates why the proposed topics are interesting to be discussed at the conference. If accepted, authors decide whether they want either the document with 1 to 4 pages or only an abstract to appear in the conference preprints, in order to make participants aware of the topics to be discussed. These documents are not included in the official conference proceedings published in IFAC-PapersOnLine.

Dissemination contributions are in conjunction to papers that are recently accepted by some IFAC Journal, whose contents can be discussed at IFAC conferences. As discussed by the Technical Board and Publication Board, the selection of dissemination papers is implemented with either one of the following procedures:

  • editors of IFAC Journals with topics related to a specific conference provide a list of provisionally accepted papers to the IPC Chair of the conference, who invites authors to present their work at the conference;
  • authors of accepted papers in an IFAC journal submit in PaperCept the PDF file of their manuscript and the proof that it was accepted by an IFAC journal.

The IPC Chair decides whether the contribution is included in the program for presentation. In that case, the title and abstract of the (journal) paper is listed in the conference preprints, so that participants can identify them and attend the presentations. Similar to the case of discussion papers, dissemination papers are not included in the official conference proceedings published in IFAC-PapersOnLine. They will not be subject to any review process.

Electronic Publications

Proceedings published following an IFAC event are exclusively electronic, and posted on the IFAC-PapersOnLine website.


Proceedings are the final collection of papers from an IFAC meeting. Proceedings are typically produced after the meeting. Proceedings are the only way in which papers from IFAC meetings are published.
Proceedings from all IFAC conferences are published by IFAC, in cooperation with the IFAC publisher, on the IFAC-PapersOnLine site and are citable via an ISSN and a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a unique industry-standard identifier assigned to every paper.

Copyright Conditions

(not valid for discussion or dissemination contributions)

“All publication material submitted for presentation at an IFAC-sponsored meeting (Congress, Symposium, Conference, Workshop) must be original and hence cannot be already published, nor can it be under review elsewhere. The authors take responsibility for the material that has been submitted. IFAC-sponsored conferences will abide by the highest standard of ethical behavior in the review process as explained on the Elsevier webpage (, and the authors will abide by the IFAC publication ethics guidelines (

Accepted papers that have been presented at an IFAC meeting will be published in the proceedings of the event using the open-access IFAC-PapersOnLine series hosted on ScienceDirect ( To this end, the author(s) must grant exclusive publishing rights to IFAC under a Creative Commons license when they submit the final version of the paper. The copyright belongs to the authors, who have the right to share the paper in the same terms allowed by the end user license, and retain all patent, trademark and other intellectual property rights (including research data).”

IFAC License Agreement

Subsequent derivative publication may be based on the already published IFAC conference article, but must in itself satisfy all the requirements of an original contribution to the literature, as prescribed by the journal to which the paper is submitted. A submission which simply constitutes only in minor modifications of the IFAC conference article is a form of self-plagiarism, which is not acceptable. At a minimum, the journal paper must explain the contribution of the conference paper, and describe the distinguishing additional contribution made in the journal paper. All submitted papers will undergo the normal review process of the corresponding journal.

Whenever a derivative journal publication does eventuate then this journal paper must contain an appropriate reference to the already published IFAC-PapersOnLine publication, preferably using the DOI attribute.

IFAC Article Sharing Policy

Authors may share their article in the following ways:

  • On the author’s personal website or their institution website
  • On institutional or funder websites if required
  • On
  • In the author’s own classroom use

This does not count as a prior publication.

Upon submission to an IFAC conference

Authors may share or post their submitted version of the article (also known as the pre-print) in the following ways:

  • On the author’s personal website or their institution’s website
  • On institutional or funder websites if required
  • On
  • For the author’s own classroom use

The following text should be included on the first page of the posted article: “This work has been submitted to IFAC for possible publication”.

Upon acceptance to an IFAC conference

If an author previously posted their submitted version of the article in any of the following locations, they can replace the submitted version with the accepted version.

  • Authors personal website or their institution website
  • Institutional or funder websites

The following text should be included on the first page of the posted article: “© 20XX the authors. This work has been accepted to IFAC for publication under a Creative Commons Licence CC-BY-NC-ND”.
When the article is published, the posted version should be updated with a full citation to the original IFAC-PapersOnline publication, including DOI.

Final published article

The authors may share the final published article on public non-commercial sites in the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license (

Additionally, the authors may use the article in a subsequent compilation of their work, or extend it to book length form, or include it in a thesis or dissertation, or otherwise to use or re-use portions or excerpts in other works, for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.
All copies of the article should link to the original publication in IFAC-PapersOnLine via its DOI and have a copyright statement and a reference to the CC-BY-NC-ND license.

Except for such uses, IFAC has the exclusive right to make or sub-license commercial use.