My colleague and I are planning to submit a manuscript to an academic journal.

As per the journal's policy, the publisher retains the copyright for all content. However, the journal is happy to accept an author's prior self-published content if it was published non-commercially under one of the CC licenses.

Prior to acceptance/final publication by the journal, with the goal of retain the author's individual copyright over them (i.e. not squander copyright to the journal's publisher), my colleague would like to self-publish some figures (used in the manuscript) as standalone images under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license.

What are the suitable avenues/repositories for self-publishing of these figures?


I have yet to use either myself, but here are two sites to look into. Both allow publishing images/figures, and can assign them DOIs.

  • Zenodo seems like a good option, associated with CERN and the OpenAIRE project, and open to all fields. It also supports a wide range of licenses. Indeed, when uploading a figure under Open Access, there is a search field to pick a license. One choice is "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives", but it's not clear if this is the 4.0 version or not, as other licenses have 4.0 as part of their name (e.g. "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0)".

  • Figshare is the more well known option, but it has only limited options when it comes to licensing. When I try uploading a figure on a personal account, the only Creative Commons license available is CC BY 4.0. An institutional user can also use the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license, however.

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