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How can I ask a journal to use my figures, knowing that the journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License?

If it is unnecessary, how can I do it properly?

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  • Not so sure your question aligns well with your title? It seems that the title captures the essence better? Oct 11, 2023 at 18:01
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    What did you agree to with the publisher when you published the paper?
    – Bryan Krause
    Oct 11, 2023 at 18:09

2 Answers 2

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Is it necessary? No

You can contact the editor. However, in the scenario you painted, that'll be mere formalities.

Your article was published under the CC-SA, the licensor already grants the licensee the right to use and modify.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

You are free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially.
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms. Under the following terms:

  • Attribution - You must give appropriate credit , provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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    Unless OP also gave away certain rights to the publisher (which they certainly may have), they do not even need to comply with all the CC-BY-SA terms because it's their own content, though academic standards would typically involve citation of published work, even by yourself (and especially when there are coauthors). To know what they can and can't do, we need more information.
    – Bryan Krause
    Oct 11, 2023 at 18:08
  • @BryanKrause ... Valid point there ... To know what they can and can't do, we need more information Oct 11, 2023 at 19:28
  • @BryanKrause, .... My co-author is the supervisor, and I want to translate them from English to French (figure produced by MATLAB). Oct 11, 2023 at 19:49
  • @semmyk-research My co-author is the supervisor, and I want to translate them from English to French (figure produced by MATLAB). Oct 11, 2023 at 19:49
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The general answer to the headline question is yes you need permission from the copyright holder even for your own work if you have given up copyright. But, in almost all cases the original creator will be given a license for certain uses that usually includes such things as reuse in a dissertation. Note, also, that copyright law differs around the world as do the policies of publishers. Again, in the general case, the author should check the license they were given when they signed over copyright.

However, in your case, you already have permission from the CC license you mention (CC-BY-SA), so you don't need to enquire further. But that license remains for your reuse and it should be so stated in your citation.

And, yes, you need to cite the earlier use along with the license.

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  • Thanks, how can i do it properly ??? Oct 11, 2023 at 19:50
  • Do what? The citation?
    – Buffy
    Oct 11, 2023 at 20:21
  • Yes, what about this for example Figure 1. Simulation results of the proposed controller, reprinted from [author name] ([year]). Oct 11, 2023 at 20:24
  • Not enough. You need the publication information and the license information. Journals usually have a preferred format for a citation and Creative Commons tells how to list their licenses.
    – Buffy
    Oct 11, 2023 at 20:27
  • Could you give example? Oct 11, 2023 at 20:38

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