The first step to requesting permissions is to find the copyright owner. Because authors sometimes transfer their copyrights to publishers during the publication process, the copyright owner is often the publisher and not the original creator. It is a good idea to visit the publisher site to locate information on permissions requesting. Some publishers have developed tools to help you locate the right person to ask for permissions. For example:
Many scholarly publishers use RightsLink, by the Copyright Clearance Center, to automate basic permissions requests from the article page. Permissions requests can also be made directly via the CCC Marketplace.
Once you've located the copyright owner, and if they do not have a proscribed method of accepting permissions requests (like RightsLink), you should remember to include as much information about your proposed use as possible in your request or use a template form:
Form suggested by USF General Counsel for use when requesting permissions from rights holders.
Figure Notes and Notes to the Reader
If, in your paper, you are including a figure, image, poem or other complete material for which the copyrights belong to someone else, you should include a figure note or a note to the reader in addition to obtaining permission for the use. A figure note should include the citation of the original publication as well as copyright notice and permissions information.
Figure notes usually appear directly under a figure. For example (APA style):
Figure #. Your figure title. From “Title of the article,” by W. Jones and R. Smith, 2007, Journal Title, 21, p. 122. Copyright 2007 by Copyright Holder. Reprinted with permission.
Figure #. Your figure title. From Title of Book (p. 103), by A.N. Author and C.O. Author, 1994, Place of Publication: Publisher. Copyright 1994 by the Name of Copyright Holder. Reprinted with permission.
If using a figure that was released with a creative commons license, the notes would include this information instead of the statement on copyright. For example:
Figure #. Your figure title. From “Title of the article,” by W. Jones and R. Smith, 2007, Journal Title, 21, p. 122. CC-BY-NC. Used with permission.
Figure note guidance from various citation styles regarding how to indicate images created with generative AI tools is still evolving. If using a generative AI tool to create images, it is best to be clear to your reader about the source of those images. For example:
AI generated images:
Figure #. Your figure title. Image AI generated by author using [tool].
Notes to Reader
If you are using one or more articles or papers that were previously published as portions of a new work, then you should precede them with a note to the reader that includes the full published citation, copyright status, and that the article is reprinted with permissions. For example (APA style):
This chapter was previously published as “Title of the article,” by W. Jones and R. Smith, 2007, Journal Title, 21, p. 122. Copyright 2007 by Copyright Holder. Reprinted with permission.
Video Tutorial on APA Style Central about using and properly notating copyrighted materials in APA style.
Using Your Published Materials in your ETD
Graduate students often publish articles in the course of obtaining their degree. The publication process may require a transfer of copyright. As an author wanting to reuse content in your ETD that you have published with a transfer of copyright, you will need to work within the author rights allowed by your publishing contract or request permissions from your publisher.
The Tampa library has created a companion guide with a growing directory of author rights specific to use in ETDs. Your publisher's policy may be found there: