obtaining copyright permission for published works

Authors submitting articles to IUCr Journals are required to obtain permission for and acknowledge the source of any excerpts from other published works. You will need to allow several weeks for such requests, so permission should be sought as early as possible.

FAQs

Do I need permission if I want to reproduce a quote/extract from a published work?

Permission is generally not required for short quotes/extracts for the purposes of scholarly review/comment ('fair dealing'), as long as the original quote/extract is reproduced accurately and the source material is fully cited.

There are no specific guidelines as to what constitutes a 'short' extract as opposed to a substantial extract, and this is judged on a case by case basis. If in doubt, it is always advisable to seek permission from the copyright holder.

Works in the 'public domain' are not protected by copyright and you do not need permission to reproduce them.

Do I need permission if I want to reproduce a figure or table from a published work?

Permission to reproduce a figure is required, and you will need to contact the copyright holder to obtain this. In most cases you should contact the publisher as, although they may not be the copyright holder, they will have the right to grant permission requests. Usually the permission request will stipulate that a certain credit line be included.

Similarly, if you wish to reproduce an entire table you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder. However, if you wish to use some data/information from a table in your own work (for example, in combination with your own data in a new table), then you do not need to seek permission from the copyright holder but you must properly cite the original work.

What if I am the author of the published work? Do I still need to obtain permission?

If you are the author of the work that contains material you wish to reproduce, you need to check whether you are the copyright holder of that work. If not, then you will need to seek permission from the publisher.

Please note that authors of articles published in IUCr journals do not need to request permission from the IUCr to re-use that material in a future work as long as the original IUCr journal reference is cited in full.

Do you have a template/standard letter that I can use to apply for permission?

The following sample wording may be used in a letter to request permission:

Dear [copyright holder]

I am preparing an article [give title] for publication in [journal title] and would like to request permission to use the material detailed below in my work.

Page number of text; figure/table number and page number
Full bibliographic reference of original source material

A credit line acknowledging the original source will be included.

If you are not the copyright holder for this material, then I would appreciate it if you could let me know who I should contact.

Yours faithfully

If the permission request is granted, will there be a charge?

If you are applying to re-use your own work in a new work, then usually a publisher will allow this free of charge (note that authors of articles published in IUCr journals will not be charged for re-use of excerpts).

In other circumstances, it very much depends on the amount of material you wish to re-use and on the particular publisher whether there will be a charge. Generally speaking, there is no charge to re-use small amounts of material but there may be a charge for re-using more substantial pieces of material.

How do I find out who is the copyright holder?

In order to determine the copyright holder, you should contact the publisher in the first instance. While the publisher may not be the copyright holder, it will usually have the right to grant permission requests. If this is not the case, then the publisher may be able to provide contact details for the copyright holder.

What if I can't determine who is the copyright holder?

You must make every effort to contact the copyright holder, and you must keep copies of correspondence as this is proof of your effort to trace the copyright holder. Works for which the copyright owner cannot be determined are called 'orphan works'. Some publishers have signed up to an agreement whereby such works may be reproduced as long as the the user can show they have made every effort to trace the copyright owner and that the original author/source is fully credited; it is possible that, in the future if the copyright owner is identified, a royalty fee may be due.

What about material from websites?

If you wish to reproduce information/images from a website, you should obtain permission from the copyright holder. Details of the copyright holder are usually given on the website; sometimes material on a website is not original to that website and has been borrowed from elsewhere. In this case, you will need to contact the copyright holder of the original work. Credit should always be given to the original source.

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