Dissemination of high quality information enhances the visibility and reputation of the Institute and its Member Groups. Consequently, Member Groups are encouraged to publish books, journals, conference proceedings, newsletters, and articles using a range of media including paper, web content, video, and audio. 

The guidance below applies to all publications by Member Groups except press releases, text communications (including emails) and reports for restricted circulation (e.g. consultation documents and papers for internal BCS use).

Initiating a new Publishing Activity

Proposals by Member Groups to publish academic journals should be submitted to the Academy of Computing Board, which is responsible for learned society publishing policy, via the Head of Publishing ( Any new initiative of this type is the responsibility of the Academy Board and not Membership Board or its committees.

For all other printed publications please submit proposals using the template available at to the Membership Board Policy Committee. The projected cost and income from these publications should be included in the Member Group’s annual plans and budget. Applications for start-up funding can be made if needed during a financial year.

Choosing a publisher

When a publisher is required the BCS Publishing Department ( can help choose the most appropriate publisher.

BCS has a solely owned trading company – BCS Learning and Development Ltd (BCS L&D) to handle publishing and in most cases, BCS L&D will be the most appropriate publisher. For some specialised publishing activities BCS L&D may not be appropriate and the Head of Publishing can advise.

If a Member Group chooses to not follow the BCS Publishing Department recommendation they will need to get authorisation from the Membership Board Policy Committee or Academy Board (as appropriate).

Contracting for publishing

Contracts for publishing must be negotiated in conjunction with, and signed by, the Head of Publishing on behalf of BCS. Member Groups cannot sign contracts, except as specified in Member Group Financial Guidelines.

Branding and style guide

Anything published by the Institute must follow the BCS publishing house style, and the brand guidelines.  Where the house style and branding guidelines cannot be followed a Member Group must agree any alternative with the BCS Publishing Department (

Where commercial publishers are used, their house style should be followed if required although the placement of the BCS logo must follow the branding guidelines.

Content of the publication

Plagiarism, i.e. taking the work or an idea from someone else and passing it off as one’s own and Libel i.e. publishing anything that damages a person’s reputation are unacceptable. If either is suspected in submitted or published material please refer to BCS Head of Publishing for guidance.

Permission to use material

Where information is to be posted on a website, for example slides used by a speaker, permission must be sought and received. If there is a complaint that the material is inappropriate due to copyright infringement, libel, plagiarism or discrimination, the material must immediately be removed from the website.

Where information is to be published, Member Groups must obtain written permission from the author to publish the material. A standard ‘licence to publish’ form is available at here. If an author has used third party material he / she must have permission from the copyright owner; a standard third party permission form is available from the BCS Publishing Department.

If the Institute is paying for the work, copyright assignment to the Institute is normally required. If in doubt, consult the Head of Publishing.


Each academic research journal will have an editor. The relevant Member Group can recommend an editor. The Academy of Computing Board or third party publisher will need to ratify the appointment. 

For journal editors, the Publisher (BCS Publishing Department or third party publisher as appropriate) will provide a contract outlining their responsibilities and terms of office.

Peer Review

All BCS publications should have an appropriate level of peer review to control the quality of the material. Guidance on peer review processes is available from the BCS Publishing Department. For all BCS publications the editor’s decision is final.

Sales and distribution

BCS has a global distribution and sales network for its publications through BCS L&D, including the allocation of Industry Standard Book Numbers (ISBN).

To simplify conformance to legal and business requirements linked to selling publications (for example, distance selling regulations) Member Groups wishing to sell publications must use BCS L&D unless there is a third party publisher.