Answered By: Lauren Collister
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2017     Views: 1

Hi Cynthia,

Thank you for your question. If you are requesting re-use of a figure from a journal article, navigate to the article's page at the journal's website (this is the page where you can see the abstract and download the PDF of the article). You should see a link that says something like "Get rights and content" or "Request permission" - click this link. If you don't see a link like this, scroll down in this message for more guidance. 

You will be taken to a form to fill out called Rightslink. There are some boxes where you can input your information. Make sure to say that you are reusing the item in a thesis or dissertation.

When you click "Quick Price" it should give you a price of $0 because it is a dissertation. Then you can click "Continue" to get the license you need. Save this license as proof that you obtained permission. 

If you don't see a "get rights and content" link on the article or you are using a figure from a book or an edited volume, then you need to navigate the publisher's website. Look for a link on the journal or book's homepage that says "copyright" or "rights and permission" or something like this. That should take you to an informational page with either an automatic form to fill out or an e-mail address to send your request. Here is an example of this kind of page from the publisher John Benjamins. If you need it, we have some sample text on the ETD Copyright website that you can use in an e-mail (make sure to include the information that this is a thesis or a dissertation, and that it will be distributed by ProQuest). 

Finally, if the publisher attempts to charge you a fee for this use, do not pay it. Try to find a phone number for a human being and explain that you are a student using the figure in your dissertation and that it is a nonprofit use, and that you will credit and link back to the original publication appropriately. If they still try to charge you, contact our office and we will discuss some options available to you. 

Best wishes,



Lauren B. Collister

Scholarly Communications Librarian

Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing

University Library System

University of Pittsburgh


Twitter: @parnopaeus

ORCID: 0000-0001-5767-8486

Phone: (412) 648-3155





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