Permissions FAQ

How do I request permission to reuse content published by IOP?

Please see this page for details on the permissions request process

Do I need permission to reuse IOP material for which I was the original author/co-author?

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

Can I use my article as part of my thesis/dissertation after it has been published with IOP?

When you transfer the copyright in your article to IOP, we grant back to you certain rights, including the right to include all or part of the Final Published Version of the article within any thesis or dissertation. Please note you may need to obtain separate permission for any third party content you include within your article. Please include citation details, “© IOP Publishing. Reproduced with permission.  All rights reserved”. The only restriction is that if, at a later date, you want to share your thesis/dissertation online, permission to include the Final Published Version of the article within the online version of your thesis/dissertation will need to be sought from IOP. Alternatively, you may choose to replace the article in the online version of your thesis/dissertation with either a Preprint or the Accepted Manuscript version (if the embargo period has passed), provided you comply with our Preprint or Author Rights: Accepted Manuscript policy, as relevant.

What are the different versions of my article and how can I use them?

  • Author’s Original/Preprint is the version of the article before peer review or editing, as submitted by an author to the journal.
  • Accepted Manuscript is the version of the article accepted for publication, including all changes made as a result of the peer review process, and which may also include the addition to the article by IOP Publishing of a header, an article ID, a cover sheet and/or an ‘Accepted Manuscript’ watermark, but excluding any other editing, typesetting or other changes made by IOP Publishing and/or its licensors’.
  • Final Published Version is ‘the peer reviewed, edited, formatted and typeset version of the article, including any tagging, indexing and other enhancements published by IOP Publishing and/or its licensors’.
  • Version of Record is ‘the Final Published Version, including any post publication corrections or enhancements and any other changes made by IOP Publishing and/or its licensors’.

For information on permitted reuse for each of these versions, please refer to our Author Rights Policy

May I reuse supplementary material forming part of the article?

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. This includes reuse of a video abstract, 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.

Can I use IOP published content for lecture and classroom purposes?

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 organisation (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.

Do I need permission to adapt an IOP figure?

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 recognisable. 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.

How do I gain permission to use content from IOP conference series?

The content in IOP Publishing’s Conference Series journals are all published on a gold open access basis. From around Dec 2012, all of our conference series articles are published under a CC BY Licence. For further information on this, please see CC Licences. Older conference series articles 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@ioppublishing.org to request permission if you wish to reuse any content from the article.

Can I reuse IOP Published content in a new work to be published by IOP?

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 or in a partner journal for which IOP handles permissions 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, you must contact the partner to request permission.

What are Green/Gold Open Access articles and where can I reuse them?

Please see our Guide to open access for more information.

What are the STM Permissions guidelines and do they affect permissions?

Please see our guide page on STM Guidelines for more information.

What copyright form should I fill in?

Each journal has a specific copyright form that authors must sign before an article can be accepted. This will be made available to you by the journal team after article submission.

Can I reuse subscription content in my article if it is going to be published Open Access?

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 CC BY licence.

How do I request permission from third parties?

Information on how to request permission can usually be found on the website of each publisher. You may be able to gain the permission of the publisher via the ‘CCC Republication Service’ (many publishers now use this service, most having a direct link to this service from the article you wish to use content from). Otherwise you should contact the publisher directly. Depending on the publisher’s policy, you may also need the permission of the author. See this page for further information.

Do I still need to obtain permission to reuse content if…?

  • The content is very old? Copyright lasts until 70 years after the author’s death (or the last remaining co-author if more than one person created the content). Therefore, content is protected by copyright for a substantial amount of time. Permission is required if the content is protected by copyright.
  • I found it online? Free to view is not the same as free to reuse. Somebody created it, so it will be protected by copyright in most cases. 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. The only exceptions are works in the public domain, and content explicitly made available under a licence allowing for commercial reuse.
  • I redrew/adapted the content? Copyright protects against copying. Unless it is so different it is unrecognisable, you do need permission for adapting a figure.
  • I was the original creator of the published content? If it has already been published in a previous paper by a different publisher, that publisher probably owns the copyright and so you will need permission from them (unless that publisher’s author rights policy allows authors to reuse their own content).
  • It has not been published before? 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.
  • It is properly referenced? Properly referencing the reused content ensures you are not plagiarising it, however it does not affect the need to obtain permission. Copyright protects against copying, regardless of proper attribution.
  • There is no © sign next to the content? The © sign is just a way of showing who the copyright belongs to. Copyright exists automatically. Therefore, there does not need to be a © sign for the content to be protected by copyright. Permission will be required.
  • It is ‘open access’? There are lots of different types of open access licences. You will need permission unless the licence under which the content was made available allows commercial reuse. Refer to this page for further details. You also need to ensure that the specific material you wish to reuse is original to the open access article. Figures that are credited to another source are still likely to require permission.
  • It is a graph/table of data? Reuse of a graphical/pictorial representation of data, e.g. a graph/table, does need permission (as someone has put effort into creating it). However, reuse of raw data does not generally need permission, provided you have plotted it into a different graph/table. You should however cite the source of the data.
  • It is ‘fair use’? The US concept of fair use (which allows certain uses of content without permission) does not apply to IOP Publishing as we have to comply with UK copyright legislation.
  • It was published by a signatory to the STM Permissions Guidelines? If the STM Signatory Publisher from which you wish to use figures/text extracts is listed in the first, ‘Automatic process’ column of the STM Permissions Guidelines, then you do not need permission if the amount of figures/text you want to use is within the quota allowed by the STM Permissions Guidelines. Otherwise, if the STM Signatory Publisher from which you wish to use figures/text extracts is listed in the second ‘Notification required’ column of the STM Permissions Guidelines, then use within the quota allowed by the STM Permissions Guidelines will be permitted free of charge, but permission must be obtained from the STM Signatory Publisher. See our guide to the STM Guidelines here.
  • It was published by IOP or one of its partners? 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, or in a partner journal for which IOP handles permissions, 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, you must contact the partner to request permission.