If I list a book in my book's bibliography, do I need to take permission from the publisher of that book that I am listing? I will list title, author and publisher and year, but not the page numbers as i am looking here and there, small bits of info, to confirm. I am looking at various general, well established information on the subject matter (nothing specific to that book, but things that can also be found in many other sources). My book will be in certain subjects of engineering but lower than academic level. It will be introductory - intermediate level, displaying only general info on the subject.

  • 4
    What? No, why would you need a permission to cite something? Jan 1, 2022 at 9:27
  • 1
    (thinking out loud) If such permissions were needed for a bibliographic listing, then publishers would probably need a relatively large support staff devoted entirely to fielding the enormous number of permission requests made of their publications. Jan 1, 2022 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


No, for a bibliography you don't need permission. The information is public knowledge.

If you quote or paraphrase specific information from within the book you also need to cite that at the place where you use it. But that goes in the text itself, not the bibliography.

Generally, though, if the book you use is at the level of, say, an undergraduate text, then you can write about ideas from the book without citation as they are common knowledge in almost all cases. Using specific phrases, with proper quotation, however, requires citation.

So, if you only use the book for your own learning, and write those ideas in your own words, then no citation is needed, though it might be helpful to put such books in a bibliography for the benefit of readers who want to go beyond what you write.

And, don't give the impression that the ideas in the book are yours originally.

There are some exceptions for the need to quote and cite. Some things are known to be expressible in only one way. This is why, say, the definition of the derivative of a function is essentially identical in every beginning Calculus book, without quoting. This will be true for some things in engineering.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .