Our simple calculation reproduces and explains the behavior shown by a much more elaborate calculation that's been published in a physics journal. The supplementary information published with the paper contains a table of x, y, z coordinates of atoms from that calculation.

We'd like to compare our numbers to these numbers to these by comparing plots of both.

Do we need permission from the other paper's publisher or the paper's authors to publish our own plot using these numbers, assuming we already cite their source clearly?

I don't know if it matters or not, but there are only of order 100 numbers, a few digits each; something one can simply retype.

1 Answer 1


You are free to plot those published numbers (with credit, of course). Reproducing graphics from a publication would need permission.

  • Could you say why or under what circumstances? eg, numbers that are further analyzed is a fair use or numbers can't be copyrighted? Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 18:09
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    I can't speak to legal issues. My answer is about common practice. The point of publishing is to make ideas and data available to the public, in this case for the advancement of science. That's why you can use the data to learn more. That might even mean correcting their analysis. If you are really worried you could contact the editor of the journal where the data appears. Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 19:45
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    @DavidSmith It's always been common practice in the physical sciences since.. forever probably, and this is the answer that I expected. The whole point of making the raw data available should be for others to use it or build on it. But in recent years, shifts in what "academy" even means, and with the advent of electronic publishing and the "big business" models that publishers use, I just wanted to double check that what has been true for centuries hasn't gone by the wayside in these norm-breaking times.
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 0:14

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