I wrote an Elsevier article (open-access, CC-BY 4.0) that contains a third party figure from a Springer subscription book. At the time, I obtained a license for re-using the Springer figure in a journal article via the RightsLink service.

Now I want to embed the Elsevier article in its final published version ("Version of Record") in my dissertation (i.e. a typical stapler thesis). The thesis will be uploaded to an institutional repository. For this, I am pretty sure that I need an additional license for re-using the Springer figure, but is "reuse in a dissertation/thesis" the correct option when filling in the RightsLink form? It may seem obvious, but I wonder if the fact that I am embedding the final published version of the Elsevier article "as is" makes any difference or creates any special case?

1 Answer 1


You definitely will need additional [licensing-permission] to reuse the third-party figure, though reuse in a thesis is typically easier to obtain than publication in subscription publication.

'Reuse in a dissertation/thesis' would be the correct selection, but you want you be sure that your supporting information/letter of permission includes permission to use the figure in a dissertation that will be "published online in an institutional repository". Often, there are different standards when publishing online, and publishers are often more lenient when it comes to university repos vs other venues. As long as your licensing-permission clearly provides for that, you should be good to go.

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