Requesting Permission

To reproduce anything more than a short quote or extract, you will generally require permission from the copyright owner. This is usually the creator or publisher of the work.

Most publishers will require you to obtain permission to reproduce copyright works (e.g. diagrams, charts, photographs, images, journal articles or book chapters) in your thesis.

This table is a list of initial contacts for assistance with seeking permission:

Type of Work Inital Contact Point
Published book or journal article Publisher
Unpublished work Author
Artistic work (including photographs) Creator
Films, videos and TV programs Production Company
Music (scores and notated music) Publisher
Recorded music Record company

Request permission buttonIf the work you wish to reproduce has been published by one of the major publishers (e.g. Elsevier, Wiley, Springer), you will generally be directed to seek permission through the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC).

This is a relatively quick and simple process, usually resolved in minutes. Many publishers will permit you to include copies of your own work in your thesis gratis.

To seek permission via the CCC:

  1. Locate the publisher page for the publication containing the content you wish to reproduce.
  2. On that page you will usually find a permission link, which will direct you to the CCC's online permission request form.
  3. To request permission, follow the prompts on the form.

As part of the process, you may be asked to set up an account. This is also a relatively quick and simple process.

When submitting your thesis, ensure you include a copy of the licence agreement and acknowledge the work.

Copyright, publishing and theses: When is permission required? A 3 minute video explaining when you might need to seek permission for including previously published material in your thesis, followed by a demonstration of how to use the Copyright Clearance centre to get those permissions.

The MIT Libraries' Thesis content and article publishing page has a useful list of journal publisher policies, including:

policies regarding graduate students' reuse of their previously published articles in their theses
policies on accepting journal submissions that first appeared in an author's previously released thesis.

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