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To re-use copyrighted content in own work, you will need to acquire permission from the copyright holder. Here we show how to avoid charges and potential pitfalls for re-using content.
To re-use a copyrighted work permission of the copyright holder is required. This also applies to the author of the work when copyright has been transferred to the publisher. Crediting re-used content alone is not sufficient in case of copyrighted material.
Permission requests can be placed via the publisher. A link to the permission management platform is usually located right next to the original article. The exact location and designation can vary across journals and publishers.
Content published under a Creative Commons licence can be re-used without prior permission by the author, provided proper attribution of the original source. Further specifications on how content can be re-used may apply.
Handling of permissions will often be coordinated by a specialised license broker. Depending on nature of re-use and status of user, charges of 150$ - 1500+$ may apply.
For re-use in a scientific publication a limited quantity of content in an article or book is free of charge if both publishers (original and new journal) are members of the STM Association.
To obtain gratis permissions according to the STM guidelines, choose "publisher (STM signatory)" as requestor type, and select the journal where you intend to publish from the dropdown menu. Please note, depending on journal and publisher, the interface as shown above may be slightly different in layout and naming.
For a single journal article, the quantity limit for gratis permissions is:
After obtaining permission to reuse content, the original source must be properly acknowledged in the respective caption, including what was re-used (subject), how it was re-used (form), the permission of re-use and the original source.
The acknowledgement could for example look like this:
In this context, adapted means that the re-used object has been modified, e.g. using another colour scheme. Reproduced content has not been changed as compared to the original.
The original source must also be listed in the references of your article.
If the copyright for a published article no longer lies with the author(s), permission must also be obtained for the article to be included in a dissertation. This is done through the same rights management process on the publisher’s website. Usually, it is without any costs to the author.
In some cases, the publisher may have specific requirements, for example indicating their copyright or embargo periods. Such requirements are usually stated in the copyright agreements with the publisher. A comprehensive list of policies for embedding articles in theses across publishers available on GitHub.