I would like to add a figure from an article published in Physical Review E to a Wikipedia article. I have already contacted the corresponding author for permission, but I am not sure how I should about requesting permission from the journal in which it is published.

In general, for the Physical Review-series journals, published by APS, how do I go about obtaining the appropriate legal and courteous permission to add published figures to relevant Wikipedia articles? Similarly, how do I properly go about adding figures to Wikipedia which are published solely on the arXiv?

1 Answer 1


The APS has a very detailed FAQ page about publication rights. It appears from this answer and this answer that if you have received permission to reuse part of a paper from the author(s), you do not need to seek further permission from APS. They will grant it automatically, so long as you are not using the actual journal-version PDF file.

As the author of an APS-published article, can I post my article or a portion of my article on a web resource like wikipedia or quantiki?

Sites like wikipedia and quantiki are strict about permissions and require that authors hold copyright to articles that they post there. In order to allow authors to comply with this requirement, APS permits authors to hold copyright to a “derived work” based on an article published in an APS journal as long as the work contains at least 10% new material not covered by APS's copyright and does not contain more than 50% of the text (including equations) of the original article. The APS will extend the author of a “derived work” the right to all papers published in APS journals.


As the author of an APS-published article, may I give permission to a colleague or third party to republish all or part of the article in a print publication?

Yes, as the author you may grant permission to third parties to republish print versions of the article provided the APS-published version (e.g., the PDF from the online journal, or a copy of the article from the print journal) is not used for this purpose. The article may not be published in another journal, and the third party may not charge a fee. The appropriate bibliographic citation and notice of the APS copyright must be included.

For arXiv preprints, you should also just need to contact the author.

  • Thank you. What copyright tags/options should I use when uploading the image in the Wikimedia Upload Wizard?
    – Emmy B
    Commented Jan 14 at 17:37

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