I have a schematic diagram that I created and have used in a published peer-reviewed conference paper. It is not part of the method or the results for the paper, just an explanatory diagram giving context, explaining teh terminology used in the text. I want to use the same diagram in a journal paper on a similar subject. Do I need to 1) reference the original conference paper in the article caption? 2) seek copyright permission from the conference organisers?

3 Answers 3


You should check with the original publication and the submission journal. Technically you are re-using copyrighted material so it seems little to no trouble to ask and get the correct answer rather than go ahead and correct a later misunderstanding. The journal, for instance, might care to know that they are publishing material copyrighted elsewhere.


If you are using an exact figure, then you need to provide the reference. However, I don't see any copyright issue in the given scenario.

  • 2
    I do see a copyright issue -- if the copyright of the conference paper is owned by anyone else than the author. This would commonly be the case if the conference proceedings are published by a commercial publisher or professional society; i.e., in almost all cases. Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 5:46
  • Yes if the image is the same you ask for copyright. As the image is your you can modify it as you like but conveying the same information
    – Alchimista
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 11:39

It depends on whether you assigned copyright to the conference organizers (by signing or agreeing to such at submission time).

If you assigned copyright then the copyright lies with them and you probably need their permission (fair use provisions may apply in some jurisdictions).

If you did not assign copyright then it is still yours, and you can do what you like with it.


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