Last Updated November 26, 2017

Permissions FAQs

Getting permission to publish text of figures in your IOP article

STM Publishers provide information on their websites on how to request permission. Most STM Publishers use CCC’s Rightslink software to grant permission, and often have a link from the article page through to the Rightslink software so that users can request permission to reuse content from a specific article.

These useful flowcharts provide an overview of:

 Yes. Please refer to this handy guide produced to help authors request permission via the Republication Service.

Use our helpful permissions request form (PDF) to help you submit permissions requests to other publishers who do not use Rightslink/CCC or similar services.

Possibly. You may quote brief chunks of text without permission. There is no set amount or word limit which may be used. It is assessed on a qualitative not a quantitative basis. If in doubt, permission will be required. You must always ensure that you have cited the prior publication the text was taken from.

If you are publishing with an STM Signatory Publisher, the STM Permissions Guidelines allow small amounts of text to be used from another STM Signatory Publisher free of charge. However, permission may still be required. Refer to the STM Permissions Guidelines section for more information.

Yes, it is likely that you will need permission. You must seek the permission of the copyright owner to include it within the article. The copyright owner is usually the publisher of the publication from which the figure was taken, although this should be checked as sometimes authors retain ownership of the copyright in the articles.

Yes. Generally, adapted figures require the permission of the copyright owner of the original figure. You do not require permission if the figure you have created is so different from the original that it is no longer recognizable. This is judged on a qualitative not a quantitative basis. Therefore, even if you have only used one small part of the original figure, you will probably still require permission. Changing the font, colour or size of the figure, or only using part of it, still requires permission.

No, if the licence the gold open access article was published under allows commercial reuse (you should check the full terms of the gold open access licence) and the figure is original to that article (e.g. is not referenced as being reused from elsewhere and is not labelled with a copyright notice). In general, permission will still be needed for use of material published under any licence incorporating the non-commercial ‘NC’ terms, as IOP is considered a commercial entity for these purposes. You can refer to this useful table for gold open access licences you should be able to use content from without requiring permission.

You must still ensure that you have cited the article the figure was taken from and the gold open access licence the figure was published under. Check the terms of the specific licence for full licence terms and attribution requirements. (See FAQ below: How should I cite material which I am reusing under a Creative Commons licence? for tips on labelling and citation guidelines.)

Yes. Even if you are the creator of the figure(s) taken from the previous publication, if you transferred ownership of the copyright or exclusively licensed the copyright to the publisher as part of the article publication process, then you will need to obtain permission. In those circumstances, it is likely that the copyright is controlled by the publisher. A few publishers allow authors to reuse content from previously published articles without permission. You should check the permissions/reuse policy of the particular publisher before doing so.

Possibly. If the figure(s) are unpublished, the copyright is likely to be owned by the person who created them, whose permission will be required.

If you created the figure(s) which have not been published before, and did not create them as part of your employment, then you should not need permission. However, you need to check the terms of any contract you may have with any third party relating to the creation of any works which include the figure.

Yes. Just because there is no © symbol next to the figure or photograph does not mean that permission is not required. Figures/photographs made available on the internet are available to view but are not available to reuse automatically without permission, unless legitimately made available:

  • In the public domain (i.e. all copyright protection has been expressly excluded by the copyright owner or has expired), or
  • On a gold open access basis by the copyright owner under an open access licence, which allows for commercial reuse (see our table) for a useful reference of which open access licences allow commercial reuse).

Permission should always be requested from the copyright owner of any figure or photograph taken from the internet before it is used elsewhere (this might be the website owner or someone else if it is user-generated content posted by a user of the website). You should supply full details of the planned reuse when sending your request to the copyright owner.

You will need to request permission because subscription articles are generally fully protected by copyright. When seeking permission, you should make it clear that the article will be published under the gold open access model (under the CC BY licence). If permission is granted, take care to include a © notice in the figure caption or adjacent to the content (in the form requested by the copyright owner in their permission). This ensures that it is clear to readers of the article that the figure/content is not included in the gold open access reuse CC BY licence.

If you wish to include material in your typescript where the copyright is held by others, you must seek permission to do so from the copyright owner. This includes text, illustrations, images, charts, tables, photographs, videos, or other material owned by somebody else. This can also include your own previously published content if you transferred copyright to your previous publisher.

It is the author’s responsibility to obtain written permission to reproduce any copyright material which is not owned by the author and to pay any permissions fees.

For handy tips on when permission in needed, please refer to this page.

In certain limited circumstances, obtaining permissions may not be needed. This includes:

  • public domain works which are no longer protected by copyright – this only applies to extremely old works where the copyright has expired (copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the author or the last remaining co-author);
  • open access content – this only applies to content published under an open access licence which allows commercial reuse. For more information on which open access licences automatically allow commercial reuse and which licences you can use content from without needing permission, please refer to this handy guide; or
  • original figures or tables created by the author which you still own the copyright to.

If a figure is adapted from a previously published source or from a figure owned by somebody else, it is likely that you will still need to obtain permission for its use, and in any case it is only courteous to do so.

If in any doubt about the necessity to obtain permission, always do so.

IOP is a signatory to the STM Permissions Guidelines. The STM Permissions Guidelines are an agreement between STM Signatory Publishers allowing reuse of small numbers of figures and small amounts of text of one signatory publisher in a journal article or ebook, published by another STM Signatory Publisher, free of charge. For more information on how the Guidelines apply and why this is useful for authors wishing to use figures or small amounts of text from other STM Signatory Publishers, please refer to this further information.

The Handbook provides much additional information regarding copyright and permissions and should be read in full. Obtaining permissions is often a simple process.

We ask all authors to supply a Permissions Clearance Form with copies of all permissions at submission stage. Any correspondence relating to the granting of permission should be submitted with the typescript. 

Permission to reproduce any copyright materials owned by a third party must be obtained before the book can be produced (this is because copyright holders often request specific wordings as acknowledgement). It is therefore in your own interest to obtain all permissions at an early stage.

Difficulties

If the copyright owner cannot be located, does not answer or does not grant permission you will need to replace the figure. Please contact your editor in such situations. If you have any questions or difficulties in securing permissions please promptly speak to your editor.

The content in IOP Publishing’s Conference Series journals are all published on a gold open access basis.

All of our conference series articles are currently published under a CC BY licence. For further information on what the CC BY licence allows, please refer to this page.

Older conference series articles (published from around prior to November 2012), were not published under a CC BY licence.

You should check the licence on the article itself prior to use. If the article was not published under a CC BY licence or the article does not state what licence the article was published under, please contact permissions@iop.org to request permission if you wish to reuse any content from the article.

The most important consideration is that the licence type, licence terms, attribution and details of the source material are clearly communicated to the reader. The specific attribution requirements vary by licence, therefore you will need to check the particular Creative Commons licence for full instructions.

Getting permission to reuse IOP content

Please refer to the main permissions section.

The article will be protected by copyright and is generally only available to subscribers of the journal. There is generally no fee for publication on this basis, although some of our journals charge article page charges.

All IOP authors may include original figure(s) and text from articles they have written, within the quota outlined in the , in new works created or co-created by them, provided that they notify IOP of their intended use. Where there are co-authors, they should be informed. Use which is not covered by the STM Permissions Guidelines, or which exceeds the STM Permissions Guidelines quotas, will require IOP’s permission. You must always ensure that you have cited the publication from which the figure(s)/text was taken.

If you have published articles in a journal owned by IOP (see this list) or in another journal for which IOP handles permissions (see this list), you may include original figure(s) from these articles in new works created or co-created by you in another article accepted to be published by IOP. Where there are co-authors, they should be informed. You must always ensure that you have cited the prior publication from which the figures were taken.

However, if IOP does not accept the article, and you wish to submit the article to another journal not published by IOP, you must obtain express permission from IOP to reuse any figures.

If you have published under the subscription model with one of our partner journals who handle their own permissions (see this list), you must contact the partner to request permission.

If you have published articles in a journal owned by IOP (see this list) or in another journal for which IOP handles permissions (see this list), you may include original figure(s) from these articles in new works created or co-created by you in another article accepted to be published by IOP. Where there are co-authors, they should be informed. You must always ensure that you have cited the prior publication from which the figures were taken.

However, if IOP does not accept the article, and you wish to submit the article to another journal not published by IOP, you must obtain express permission from IOP to reuse any figures.

If you have published under the subscription model with one of our partner journals who handle their own permissions (see this list), you must contact the partner to request permission.

If you are submitting an article to be published by IOP, you may include original figure(s) from articles published in a journal owned by IOP (see this list) or in a partner journal for which IOP handles permissions (see this list) in new works created or co-created by you. You must always ensure that you have cited the prior publication from which the figures were taken.

However, if IOP does not accept the article, and you wish to submit the article to another journal not published by IOP, you must obtain express permission from IOP to reuse any figures.

If you wish to use figures published under the subscription model by one of our partner journals who handle their own permissions (see this list), you must contact the partner to request permission.

Yes. Please refer to the permissions section for how to request permission to use content from each of our journals.

If your institution is an IOP subscriber, use of this kind may be included in your licence; please check with your librarian. Non-subscribers may be permitted to do this under the terms of a licence from a local reproduction rights organization (RRO). In the UK, this will be the CLA and in the US, the CCC. Pay-per-use permission for photocopying and electronic use is available via the CCC.

Please refer to the permissions section for how to request permission. Please provide full details of your proposed reuse, including which article you wish to republish, where the article will appear, in what format, to whom it will be available, if it will be published by another publisher, including the name of that publisher, and whether a charge will be made for the new publication. Please send as much background information for the request as you can and we will consider and respond to your enquiry.

The article will be made available under a specific Creative Commons licence. This means that the article is free to view and certain rights are granted to authors and third parties under the specific Creative Commons licence. An article publication charge (APC) applies for publication on this basis.

All gold open access articles published by IOP from circa 2013 onwards are, unless stated otherwise, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. This means that the article will be freely available for anyone to view and full reuse by third parties is permitted for any purpose.

Most gold open access articles published by IOP prior to 2013 are, unless stated otherwise, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) licence. This means that the article will be freely available for anyone to view and reuse for non-commercial purposes, provided that they distribute the content under the same licence.

No. Anyone may reuse any original content, such as figures or text, from gold open access CC BY articles in any way they wish, so long as they include attribution to the author(s), the journal citation and notice of the CC BY licence. For full licence terms and attribution requirements, please refer to the CC BY licence on the Creative Commons website.

Please note that you will need to obtain the permission of the copyright owner(s) to reuse any third party material included within the article as this may not be subject to the CC BY licence.

Yes, you will need to obtain permission of the copyright owners if you wish to reuse the figure(s)/text for commercial purposes. Anyone may reuse any original content, such as figures or text, from gold open access CC BY-NC-SA articles, provided it is for non-commercial purposes, they include attribution to the authors, the journal citation and notice of the CC BY-NC-SA licence and they distribute the content under the same licence. Publishing in a journal article is deemed to be commercial use. Therefore, you will need to obtain permission to use any CC BY-NC-SA content in an article you submit to us. For full licence terms and attribution requirements, please refer to the CC BY-NC-SA licence on the Creative Commons website.

Please note that you will need to obtain the permission of the copyright owner(s) to reuse any third party material included within the article as this may not be subject to the CC BY-NC-SA licence.

Upon transfer of copyright, IOP and/or the copyright owner grants back to authors a number of rights. These include the right to include the Final Published Version of the article in your research thesis or dissertation. Please include citation details and, for online use, a link to the Version of Record. IOP’s permission will be required for commercial use of an article published as part of your thesis. IOP does not allow ProQuest to publish or sell the article as part of your dissertation.

Yes. You may reuse supplementary data. Raw data are not subject to copyright. Therefore, you can reuse the data in other publications or pieces of work, provided that you cite its source. However, pictorial or graphical representations of the data, such as figures or graphs, are protected by copyright. Therefore, you would need to request permission from IOP (or the copyright owner, if not IOP) to reuse the particular figure/graph.

Yes. Authors retain copyright in any supplementary material, granting IOP a non-exclusive licence to reproduce it. You may reuse supplementary material to which you own the rights.

As the author you retain copyright in your video abstract, granting IOP a non-exclusive licence to reproduce it. You can reuse it or post it wherever you want, provided you own the rights to it, although you may need to obtain separate permission from the copyright owner for any third party content you included within it. The video abstract should reference the article, and, wherever possible, should provide a link back to the Version of Record of the article to which it relates.

Permissions queries

Any questions should be addressed to permissions@iop.org.

We aim to provide an initial response to queries within two working days.