It is the author’s responsibility to clear all copyright permissions and to pay any permission fees.
It is important that you begin clearing permissions as early as possible as it can often be a slow process. You need to make all reasonable efforts to track down the copyright owner and get them to reply. This may be complicated if rights have moved from one publisher to another but keep a record of all correspondence as proof that you have attempted to gain permission to use the material. Permissions should be cleared before the final version of your paper is submitted for publication, in order to avoid delays.
What requires permission?
Figures and Tables
You will need permission if you intend to use a direct copy of any photograph, line drawing or table that has been previously published in another source or you intend to adapt a line drawing or a table that has been previously published in another source. You do not need permission if you intend to use raw data to construct a figure illustration or table (although the source of the data must be credited).
Unless otherwise stated, you should apply to the publisher for permission to reproduce a photograph, however, in some instances copyright may reside with the photographer. The source of the photograph should be given in the figure caption and it is to this source that you should apply for permission. You will also need permission before using a photograph from a photo agency. You must be aware of the owner’s moral right of integrity in illustrations. This can be infringed by for example, cropping photographs or changing colours in artwork.
If you have taken a photograph of someone to use in an article, you must clear permission with that person to use their image, with specific reference to the context in which the image would be used.
Images from the Internet are subject to copyright and permission must be sought from the original copyright holder before using images from a website. Also note that images designed to be viewed online will not be of a sufficient quality to be reproduced in printed form. See our Guidelines on Graphics for more details.
What can authors use?
In the UK and European Union, if you are quoting for purposes of ‘criticism or review’ i.e. your text is clearly the primary text in all instances, or if you are reporting on current events, the ‘fair dealing’ rule enables you to quote more freely. Note that the 1988 UK Copyright Act does not actually specify how much copyright work can be reproduced without permission. Instead it refers to the concept of a ‘substantial’ part. As a guide, you are advised to seek permission to use extracts from copyright material if you wish to reproduce:
- a single extract of more than 400 words
- a series of extracts from one publication totalling more than 800 words, of which any one extract is more than 300 words
If you are in any doubt as to whether your use of material is covered by ‘Fair dealing’ you should seek permission.
If you have any queries about including an item in your article, please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can also find out more about copyright from the following websites.
(Note that Westburn does not accept any liability in relation to any site or the content of any site to which a link is made from this site).
- The Copyright Licensing Agency http://www.cla.co.uk/
- UK Intellectual Property Office https://www.gov.uk/topic/intellectual-property/copyright
- Office of Public Sector Information http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/crown-copyright/copyright-guidance/