Obtaining Permissions to Reproduce Materials

For any material (fragments of text, tables, figures, diagrams, graphics, photographs, etc.) that the author borrows from other works, permission must be obtained, which the author must submit to a journal together with a manuscript. The editors, in turn, must attach copies of these permissions to the manuscript sent to the publisher for publication.

Authors and editors should observe the following provisions.

  1. Permissions must be obtained from the copyright holder. The copyright holder is a person who has the exclusive right to the reproduced material. Most often, this is either the author (heir) of the reproduced materials or the publisher to whom exclusive rights have been transferred. The copyright holder is usually indicated by the copyright sign ©, but this is optional. The absence of the copyright sign does not mean that the material is available for free use. The copyright holder of articles in a journal (and the journal as a whole), as a rule, is not the author but rather the publisher of that journal, because in most cases the author grants exclusive rights to the publisher. If, when an article is published in a journal, the rights are reserved for the author (a copyright sign is present), permission can be obtained from the author, and if the author is deceased, then from his lawful heirs.

    Applicable law (of the country or countries in which the author and publisher operate) provides for exceptions where permissions are not legally required. We request you to familiarize yourself with these cases, as necessary. In the event of disputable situations, this question can be addressed to the publisher.

    A typical exception is when the reproduced material is a citation or part of an article published under an open license. In this case, the author using the reproduced material must familiarize himself/herself with the terms of citation or open license and make certain that he/she can actually use the materials with-out obtaining permission. It is important to understand that the public access to materials does not guarantee their free use without the permission of the copyright holder. This primarily applies to materials posted on the Internet. If the author of a manuscript is able to reliably establish that the material he/she borrows is distributed under the terms of an open license, for example, Creative Commons licenses, it is necessary to take a screenshot so that the date and indication of the type of license are visible. It suffices to take a picture on a phone, save the file unchanged, and submit it to the journal together with the manuscript. If in doubt, the editors should ask the author to provide them with a permission to reproduce materials.
  2. Permissions to reproduce material must be obtained in writing and retained in order to confirm the legality of using reproduced materials. Together with other confirmations (see above), copies of the obtained permissions must be attached to the manuscript and to copyright transfer agreement when submitting a manuscript to the journal. Typically, permission request forms are posted on the publishers’ websites. If there is no such form, then the request is made in any form with indi-cation of what specifically will be reproduced, to what extent, by whom, and for what purposes, with the indication of the author and source. One can use only material for which permission has been obtained (except for cases of free use) and in the manner specified in the permission. If the article is planned to be published in several languages, this must be indicated in the request. If the author plans to modify the reproduced material, this should be explicitly indicated in the request. Derivatives (including translation) of the reproduced material also require appropriate permission and cannot be made without copyright holder’s permission.
  3. If the reproduced material (figure, table, photograph, etc.) has a caption in the original publication, such caption must be provided to the editor in the original language of the publication so that there is no “double” translation. Accordingly, in all such cases, the caption should not be translated anew but given as it should be in English or other language of the original material. Citation of the original text fragments translated into other languages should be avoided as much as possible, as this is a perpetual source of errors.
  4. Credits and sources for reproduced materials are required in all cases (even for the case of free use). Each caption (see above) must be supplemented with the phrase:

    Adapted from <reference, preferably a number in the list of references + doi>. By courtesy of <copyright holder that gave permission to reproduce>.

    Such data should be given for all figures, photographs, tables, direct citations, and any other reproduced materials in the text. If there is open access to a material, then this should be indicated as follows:

    Adapted from <reference, preferably a number in the list of references + doi>. Distributed under <license type>.

    Possible distribution licenses can be found here.
  5. In some cases, the copyright holder, in his/her permission, indicates exactly how it is allowed to give a credit to a fragment of the work. This should be taken into account as indicated above. The use of reproduced materials otherwise than as granted in the permission is a violation of exclusive rights and entails responsibility provided for by the applicable law.
  6. After permission is obtained, it is necessary to make certain that the permission specifically states what (and how) is allowed to be used; that is, if it is unclear what exactly the permission covers, then it is considered that permission has not been received. Each permission must clearly indicate for which material (figure/fragment, etc.) permission has been granted and from where it is borrowed.
  7. In order to deal with obtained permissions, the editorial office and the publisher ask the authors to draw up an inventory in which for each figure or other reproduced fragment the following will be indicated:
    • description of fragment (e.g., Fig. 34);
    • source (number in the list of references);
    • copyright holder (author, publisher, …);
    • source from which it is known that the right to use it belongs to the copyright holder.
    Absence of the above permissions, properly executed, renders publication of the article illegal. Manuscripts containing reproduced material should not be considered by the editors unless the author has provided copies of permission. The publisher will not accept such manuscripts for publication.

Algorithm of an Author’s Work when Borrowing Materials from Other Sources

  1. Find out the conditions for distribution of the work from which the material is borrowed.
  2. Find the legal copyright holder of the reproduced material or evidence of its distribution under an open license.
  3. Obtain written permission from the copyright holder of the reproduced material or take a screenshot or a photograph proving the legality of use of the material under an open license.
  4. Make an inventory of reproduced materials.
  5. Send to the editors all permissions and inventory together with the manuscript and the copyright transfer agreement. Manuscripts without a copyright transfer agreement and permissions (if necessary) will not be considered for publication.