Publishing your material using other's work

You may need to use work of others such as text, graphs, tables and illustrations in your own work for publication. To do this you need to ensure that you have the necessary permission.

When you are publishing your work, the publisher will require you to sign an undertaking that you have obtained all relevant permissions to use work of others in your own work.

If you can not locate a permission or licence statement for the material you want to use, try details of the author, publisher or sponsoring body to contact. You should make the request to use the material as early as possible as it can take some time to track down the owner and receive a reply.

Points to note

Insubstantial portions

Insubstantial portions such as quotes may be used and published without the need to gain permission from the copyright owner. This can be as much as a few sentences from a book or journal article. You must always acknowledge the creator & source. If a substantial amount is used, permission should be sought.

When copyright has expired

Material is in the Public Domain when the copyright period has expired, generally the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years, ie. if the creator died after 1 January 1955 their works are still protected by copyright. Works in the Public Domain, may be reproduced without having to gain permission, you must identify the creator & source.

Creative Commons licence

Materials licensed under a Creative Commons (or another open access) licence may be used according to the licence conditions.

Websites

All material on the internet is protected by copyright. Most sites allow you to print a copy for your personal, private, non-commercial use. Unless the site states otherwise you can not include this material in your publication without permission when making it available to the public. Where possible you can provide links.

Obtaining permission

When you have identified the copyright owner, write to them to ask for permission to use the material, its details and how you intend to use it, and include a copy of the material.

Obtain permission in writing - email is fine, and keep copies of permissions gained. Ensure that the copyright owner knows if you intend to make the work open access.

Here is a link to a sample letter that you can use to draft your permission letter.

Unable to obtain permission

In situations where you cannot obtain permission you may need to rethink your use of other's work. You need to:

  • remove the copyright material, or
  • delay publication until you have all necessary permissions, or
  • find an alternative source

Contact

Send an email to CSU Copyright