I have written respectively co-written papers where we have added images to illustrate our contribution. The images are far from technical and show prototypes in the field of HCI. It is not uncommon to write follow-up papers, especially of latest braking publications.

A publisher has asked us if we had previously published any illustrations and if we had secured all copyrights for them. As we own the illustrations but have published them before in a copyrighted paper respectively article, would we be able to reuse them?

I have looked at some publisher's copyright statements but they mostly refer to the paper, not the images. Would the latter be considered part of the publication and, therefore, be implicitly also copyrighted by the publisher?


1 Answer 1


In the context of an academic publishing agreement, the "paper" almost certainly includes everything on the page including the images, but read the agreement carefully. If you handed over the copyright of your images, then you'll need to secure the right to reusing them from your original publisher. This is usually easy.

  • Thank you. I hope that with the current trend to publish more and more in an Open Access format (at least in Europe), copyright is less of an issue in the future.
    – Eric
    Jan 19, 2015 at 8:05
  • 1
    @EricTobias, open access doesn't mean that there is no copyright or that a publisher or author might not try to assert it. You still should get permission for reuse.
    – Bill Barth
    Jan 19, 2015 at 14:36
  • I agree but it will be less of an issue to obtain the copyright!
    – Eric
    Jan 19, 2015 at 15:25

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