I've purchased a bundle of infographic element sets (templates for charts, graphs etc) which are licensed for personal and commercial use.

Would it be generally acceptable to use a template I've purchased to display data in an academic paper/poster, and would I need to reference the original source of the template?

Many thanks.

  • 5
    "licensed for personal and commercial use" sounds like they are explicitly meant to be republished once you have acquired a license, but more information about these licenses might be necessary. Also, it could be relevant who has purchased the license - you, or your institution? In the former case, it is not necessarily guaranteed that you are allowed to represent your institution with these graphics, or for your institution to publish the paper/poster files on their website. – O. R. Mapper Oct 14 '15 at 9:42
  • @O.R.Mapper we can consider this as an answer... – Greg Oct 14 '15 at 16:51
  • @O.R.Mapper I purchased the graphics myself, and yes they're intended for republishing. Since I'm only an undergraduate I think it's highly unlikely that the university would publish the paper/poster, thank you for the help! – user2839573 Oct 15 '15 at 12:21

There's two aspects to that: Licensing and academic ethics.

Regarding licensing, you write that you have a license that covers personal and commercial use. Probably commercial use will include academic (i.e., professional) use, but make sure that your license permits you to reuse these elements in a publication. For a poster I don't think it will be a problem. For a research paper, you typically need to transfer copyright to the publisher, which you can't for these elements. So that will need special consideration.

Regarding academic ethics, the way to answer this question is to think about the scientific contribution that is being made with these elements. Does the creator of these elements contribute in any way to the scientific content of your publication? If yes, you should give an attribution, if not, an attribution is not required.

It's not clear to me how much science did go into constructing these elements, but think of the following extreme case: When writing a paper, you obviously use graphic elements, which are the font of the letters, to convey your message. But typically, you don't attribute the creator of the font, because there's no contribution to the scientific content. It's really just the medium you are using to communicate your results, and you don't need to attribute that.

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