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I have to fill in copyright form for my PHD thesis submission. I have used some of the images already published in my IEEE/IET journal and conference papers. I signed copyright forms during the publication process of those papers.

Do these figures fall under the copyright act?

Can I confidently say that

My thesis does not contain ANY material of which Copyright belongs to third parties.

  • 2
    For the case of IEEE publications, you may find this information from their Author Center helpful: Avoid Infringement upon IEEE Copyright – steeldriver Aug 17 at 13:38
  • I have now found with IEEE and IET the following. IEEE and IET allow the reuse of one's images/figures/tables etc. in the thesis without any payment etc. Just us $\textcopyright 2019 IEEE$ or $\textcopyright 2019 IET$ etc. – Sjaffry Aug 24 at 8:14
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You will have to read the copyright transfer form that YOU have signed. Sometimes, there are several options on whether you keep the right to reuse your work. In my personal experience, you often have some limitations on how you can reuse your material. Sometimes, you will have to place a reference on where this paper has been published first.

However, this entirely depends on what you have signed.

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    Good answer. As an additional point, note that if there is a copyright transfer form with a provision for reuse, then OP can reuse the images, but the statement in the question "my thesis does not contain ANY material of which Copyright belongs to third parties" is still false. – Federico Poloni Aug 17 at 10:18
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For my thesis (7 years ago), I used many of my own figures from various journals. For each journal, I had to go to their website and fill in a web form (and/or send them an e-mail), asking for permission to use each specific figure. On the web form, there were various options regarding what you wanted to re-use the figure for, one of them was usually thesis/dissertation. The journal reviewed each request. All of mine were approved. They sent me a letter giving me permission to used that specific image in my thesis. I was required to add a note to the bottom of the caption saying something like "Reprinted with permission from [FULL CITATION]. Copyright [PUBLICATION YEAR], [JOURNAL]". This may be similar or completely different depending on where you've published. Check with your journals.

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    Indeed. One variation is that certain publishers don't even require permission. E.g. APS have the policy that "the author has the right to use the article or a portion of the article in a thesis or dissertation without requesting permission from APS, provided the bibliographic citation and the APS copyright credit line are given on the appropriate pages.". – Anyon Aug 16 at 13:38
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I have now found with IEEE and IET the following.

IEEE and IET allow the reuse of one's images/figures/tables etc. in the thesis without any payment etc. Just us $\textcopyright 2019 IEEE$ or $\textcopyright 2019 IET$ etc.

0

We can not say for sure without the contract you signed. But it is possible, that you may not use your own pictures as you want to use them.

You likely want to publish your thesis as CC-by so it is better to ask for a written permission to distribute the picture from your publication in any way you want.

Years ago, hardly any journal cared about copyright violations you described. Tools to monitor the spread of text and images get better.

Scientists have to expect that journals will demand some day the rights they were given.

This is one of the major reasons why scientists do the hard work establish real open access platforms like http://www.arxiv.org/.

You should be very careful.

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