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IOP Science

Reproducing third party materials in your ebook

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 is needed, please refer to this permissions FAQ.

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 on Creative Commons Licences; 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 on the STM Guidelines.

The Author 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.


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.


If you have any queries please visit our FAQ or contact us directly at