I need to submit my PhD thesis for archiving (online and physical), and a copyright-related question dawned on me.

I used a figure from a book in my introduction. It is a very standard materials science schematic of crystal systems that is present in virtually every single materials science book in some shape or form, as it illustrates one of the founding principles of the subject. I couldn't manage to extract the image in good quality, so I actually redrew it myself. I rearranged it, relabelled it, and changed the schematic up a bit. I'm not even sure a reference and copyright notice would have been necessary at all at this point, to be fair. However, I did nevertheless request and obtain clearance from the Copyright Clearance Center with minor editing privileges, and I included the permission statement in the caption. I also stated I redrew, and relabelled the figure, and stated a modification I made to the schematic itself.

However, I now realised I missed stating a couple of additional modifications I made to the image.

Now, there are two things:

  • Will having a potentially unnecessary copyright permission statement be an issue? Or would it be better for me to remove it otherwise I might have issues (not sure what issues you can have for being overly cautious to be fair)?
  • If I leave the statement in, will the fact that I didn't state the additional modifications made be a problem (considering I probably didn't need the permission in the first place)?

2 Answers 2


You have gone way beyond what's required for fair use. Thanks for that. You have nothing to worry about.

  • Thank you, great to know.
    – ER130792
    Oct 3, 2022 at 7:55

I can only confirm Ethan Bolker's answer. Your cares for fair acknowledgement are very appreciated. For my own thesis, a simple statement in the caption ("Redrawn from John Doe et al., with authorization") was deemed sufficient by my committee (and they were on the "picky" side of the spectrum).

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