As a general rule, permission should be sought from the rights holder to reproduce any substantial part of a copyrighted work. This includes any text, illustrations, charts, tables, photographs, or other material from previously published sources. Obtaining permission to re-use content published by Elsevier is simple. Follow the guide below for a quick and easy route to permission.
For further guidelines about obtaining permission, please review our Frequently Asked Questions below:
As a general rule, written permission must be obtained from the rightsholder in order to re-use any copyrighted material. Typically the rightsholder of published material is the publisher unless it is explicitly indicated otherwise. Copyrighted material can include figures, illustrations, charts, tables, photographs, and text excerpts. Re-use of any borrowed material must be properly acknowledged, even if it is determined that written permission is not necessary.
Elsevier publishes not only subscription content but also open access content available under a user license that determines how readers can re-use the content. We recommend readers check the license details found under the DOI and funding body information.
For further guidance regarding when permission may and may not be necessary, please contact the Permissions Helpdesk.
Written permission may not need to be obtained in certain circumstances, such as the following:
- Public domain works are not protected by copyright and may be reproduced without permission, subject to proper acknowledgement. This includes works for which copyright has expired (for example, any US work published prior to 1923), works that are not copyrightable by law (for example, works prepared by US government employees as part of their official duties), and works expressly released into the public domain by their creators. (Permission would however be required to re-use the final formatted, edited, published version of a public domain journal article, for example, as this version is owned by the publisher.)
- Open access content published under a CC-BY user license, as well as open access content published under other types of user licenses depending on the nature of your proposed re-use (for example, commercial vs. nonprofit use), may not require written permission, subject to proper acknowledgement. Permissions vary depending on the license type, and we recommend that readers check the license details carefully before re-using the material.
- Creating an original figure or table from data or factual information that was not previously in figure or table format typically does not require permission, subject to proper acknowledgement of the source(s) of the data.
Permission must be obtained from the rightsholder of the material. In most cases this will mean contacting the publisher of the material. The publisher typically has the exclusive right to grant the permission whether or not copyright is owned by the publisher. If the rightsholder requires that the credit line be in a specific format, this must be followed exactly, e.g.:
Suitable acknowledgement to the source must be made, either as a footnote or in a reference list at the end of your publication, as follows:
"Reprinted from Publication title, Vol /edition number, Author(s), Title of article / title of
chapter, Pages No., Copyright (Year), with permission from Elsevier [OR APPLICABLE SOCIETY COPYRIGHT OWNER]."
Photographs or illustrations of fine art objects (sculptures, paintings, etc.) are frequently subject to copyright, and permission may need to be obtained from the holder of the reproduction rights in the photograph (usually the photographer, the publisher, or the museum that owns the object). Permission may need to be obtained from both the rightsholder of the art object itself (if still protected by copyright) as well as the photographer of the art object.
The Artists Rights Society in the US and its sister societies outside the US, including DACS in the UK and VG Bild-Kunst in Germany, represent the intellectual property rights of many well-known artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andy Warhol. For more information, please visit the website or the website of their umbrella organization, CISAC.
Probably. Most material on the Internet is protected by copyright whether or not a copyright notice is displayed. Some material posted on websites may not be original to the website itself and permission will therefore need to be requested from the rightsholder of the original source, once the rightsholder can be identified. If the material is original to the website, permission should be obtained directly from the website which will own copyright to the content on their site.
When requesting permission to re-use material in your forthcoming Elsevier journal article or book chapter, you may be able to use our permission request form which asks that the rightsholder grant to Elsevier the following rights: this and all subsequent editions, revisions, versions, derivative works, translations, ancillaries, adaptations, supplementary materials, and custom editions; all languages; all formats and media now known or hereafter developed; worldwide distribution in perpetuity.
We often cannot include material where these rights have been restricted. In these cases you will need to obtain alternate material. Please use original, unpublished figures, tables, and other content, or at minimum content that is original to Elsevier and its imprints, whenever possible
Elsevier imprints are available here.
Permission to reproduce material from another publisher in an Elsevier product can typically be obtained via RightsLink’s automated permission-granting service, which can be located on the individual journal article or book chapter page on the publisher’s website. Where RightsLink or other Copyright Clearance Center services are not available, we provide a permission request form for Elsevier authors to use. For further instructions on how to complete the permission request form, please refer to this example.
RightsLink is the Copyright Clearance Center's automated permission-granting service, which is used by Elsevier along with many other STM publishers such as Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis, and Wolters Kluwer. With RightsLink, customers can request permission 24/7 for select content from the individual journal article or book chapter page on the publisher’s website. Please refer to the "Permissions for content on Science Direct" for further information about how RightsLinks are managed on Elsevier platforms.
Where rights have reverted to an author or transferred to another publisher, it may be difficult to locate the correct rightsholder contact. However, you must make every effort to do so. You should keep records of all correspondence as proof of your attempts to obtain permission. It can never be assumed that a non-response authorizes you to use the material. If a rightsholder does not respond after multiple attempts to contact them or if the copyright holder of a material cannot be ascertained, it would be best to remove their material and replace it with alternate material in order to avoid further risk or delay.
STM also maintains a list of STM publisher imprints you can use to help determine who the publisher of a particular imprint is. To try to locate an author's contact details, you can also contact organizations such as The Society of Authors, WATCH, the Authors' Registry, and the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society who may be able to provide assistance; search the Copyright Clearance Center's Rights Licensing Database; or visit the Permissions Helpdesk
An RRO is a national organization licensed to handle certain types of permissions on behalf of publishers or other rights owners. RROs can provide you with permission in the form of a license to make copies of material in several formats such as printing, photocopying, scanning, digital copying, and electronic storage. Click here for further information.
If you want to make multiple photocopies of articles or chapters please contact the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) or the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) for a license subscription. RightsLink can also provide a license on an individual basis.
Yes, Elsevier is a signatory to the STM (International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers) Permissions Guidelines, last updated March 2015. The Guidelines encourage the granting of permission by one STM signatory publisher to another to re-use limited amounts of material from published works in subsequent publications. Permission will be granted by one signatory publisher to another free of charge to:
- Use up to three figures (including tables) from a journal article or book chapter, but:
- not more than five figures from a whole book or journal issue/edition;
- not more than six figures from an annual journal volume;
- not more than three figures from works published by a single publisher for an article;
- not more than three figures from works published by a single publisher for a book chapter; and in total not more than thirty figures from a single publisher for republication in a book, including a multi-volume book.
- Single text extracts of less than 400 words from a journal article or book chapter, but:
- not more than a total of 800 words from a whole book or journal issue/edition.
Permission automatically includes re-use for electronic versions of the work as well as for subsequent editions and translations, except as outlined on the STM website. When granting permissions, STM publishers will not request a complimentary copy of the new work except in limited circumstances. For further information please visit the STM website or visit the Permissions Helpdesk.
Some STM signatory publishers, including Elsevier, do not require written notification for re-use of material that falls within these limits outlined above by other STM signatory publishers, which means that permission is automatically granted subject to the borrowing publisher’s proper acknowledgement of the original source of the material. The updated list of STM publishers who have opted out of notifications for permission requests within the specified limits is available on the STM website.
Academic researchers at subscribing institutions can text mine subscribed content on ScienceDirect for non-commercial purposes, via the ScienceDirect APIs. For more information please see our text and data mining policy
Yes. Authors can include their articles in full or in part in a thesis or dissertation for non-commercial purposes.
An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Elsevier does not view the following uses of a work as prior publication: publication in the form of an abstract; publication as an academic thesis; publication as an electronic preprint. Please note that Cell Press, The Lancet, and some society-owned titles have different policies on prior publication. For further information go to: Policies and Ethics for Journal Authors (Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication).
If the amount of material you are using falls with the limits set out in the STM permissions guidelines permission is automatically granted and you are not required to request permission in writing. Please ensure you acknowledge the original source of the Elsevier material.
Permission to reuse material from Elsevier journals can be obtained directly via RightsLink on a per-article basis as outlined here.
If the article is available in ScienceDirect, RightsLink links are available on each article page by clicking on the title of the relevant article and following the “Get rights and content” link
If the article is not available on ScienceDirect, you can submit your request via our online form.
- If the amount of material you are using falls within the limits set out in the STM permissions guidelines, permission is automatically granted, and you are not required to request permission in writing. Please ensure you acknowledge the original source of the Elsevier material.
- If the material is available on ScienceDirect, permission to reuse Elsevier book content can be obtained directly via RightsLink per-chapter basis as outlined here. RightsLink links are available on each article page by clicking on the title of the relevant article or chapter and following the “Get rights and content” link. If the relevant Elsevier book is not available on ScienceDirect, you can submit your request via our online form.
- If the material is available on ClinicalKey, permission can be obtained directly via RightsLink. RightsLink links are available on each chapter page by clicking on the relevant title of each chapter containing images you wish to reuse and then clicking on the “Get rights and content” link found in the right-hand column beneath the thumbnail image of the book cover.
- If the amount of material you will be reusing falls within the limits set out in the STM permissions guidelines, permission is automatically granted. Please ensure you acknowledge the original source of the Elsevier material.
- If the request does NOT fall within limits set out in the STM permissions guidelines, please submit the permission request form reserved for requesting permission to use Elsevier material that is not available on Science Direct.
As an Elsevier journal author, you have the right to Include the article in a thesis or dissertation (provided that this is not to be published commercially) whether in full or in part, subject to proper acknowledgment; see the Copyright page for more information. No written permission from Elsevier is necessary.
This right extends to the posting of your thesis to your university’s repository provided that if you include the published journal article, it is embedded in your thesis and not separately downloadable.
Figures and illustrations may be altered/adapted minimally to serve your work. Any other abbreviations, additions, deletions and/or any other alterations shall be made only with prior written authorization of Elsevier. (Please visit the Permissions Support Center) No modifications can be made to any Lancet figures/tables which must be reproduced in full.
No modifications should be made to Lancet material which must be reproduced in its original form as published in the Lancet journal.
NIH-funded authors and NIH employees are required to deposit to PubMed Central (PMC), or have submitted on their behalf, their Accepted Manuscript, to appear on PMC no later than 12 months after final publication.
As a service to our authors, where the author has identified themselves as being NIH funded or an NIH employee, Elsevier will deposit the accepted manuscript to PMC on behalf of the author, to be made publicly available after 12 months.
To confirm that deposit of your manuscript to PMC is in process, please contact Elsevier Researcher Support.
Our preferred acknowledgement wording will be included in your permissions license:
Example: “This article/chapter was published in Publication title, Vol number, Author(s), Title of article, Page Nos, Copyright Elsevier (or appropriate Society name) (Year).”
Elsevier book authors and contributors have the right to post a summary of their contribution on their personal or institutional website.
Under our sharing policy, Elsevier journal authors may post the preprint or accepted manuscript version of their article, but not the final published journal article, to their institutional repository. The article won’t be made public until after the embargo period.
You may include a link to the article as it appears on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect website via the DOI.
For more information on the various ways in which Elsevier journal authors may share their research, please visit our Sharing policy page.
Authors can post the accepted manuscript version of their article to their personal website immediately, to their institutional repository and other non-commercial hosting platforms subject to the journal-specific embargo date. For a complete list of Elsevier journals and their embargo dates, please view this list.
Authors retain the right to distribute copies (including through e-mail) to known research colleagues for their personal use (but not for Commercial Use). Read more here.
Authors of newly-published articles will also receive a Share Link upon publication of their articles which provides free full-text access for 50 days and can be shared via email and social networks. For more information about Share Link, please visit this page.
Yes, you can post your preprint, which is your own write up of your results and analysis, anywhere at any time.
If you have posted your preprint on ArXiv, which is a non-commercial preprint server, you can also immediately update this version with your accepted manuscript. In all cases, posted manuscripts should link back to the final published article on ScienceDirect and should have a non-commercial, non-derivative user license attached (CC BY-NC-ND).
You are always able to share the preprint version, abstract or a link to your article. For authors who have published their article open access under a commercial license (CC BY) you can also post your final article. We recognize the importance of sharing research and have a wide range of ways you can share your article throughout the research publishing process, including posting to your institutional repository. You can find our sharing guidelines here.
We suggest researchers check the list of organizations who endorse the STM "Voluntary principles for article sharing on scholarly collaboration networks'" to check what publishers, commercial platforms and other organizations are working to facilitate sharing.
Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where we wish to include case details or other personal information or images of patients or any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Elsevier upon request and only upon request. You can find the patient consent form here.
Particular care should be taken where children are concerned (in particular where a child has special needs or learning disabilities), where an individual's head or face appears, or where reference is made to an individual's name or other personal details. For more information please review Elsevier's policy on the use of images or personal information of patients or other individuals.
Elsevier journal authors retain the right to use or re-use portions or excerpts in other works, subject to proper acknowledgement; see here. As this is a retained right, no written permission is necessary for Elsevier journal authors to reuse figures/tables/excerpts from their prior articles in their forthcoming book chapters, provided that the material is not credited to any third party and that the original source is properly acknowledged.
Elsevier book authors retain the right to Use excerpts* or a summary in a single chapter in a book (*Excerpts should not exceed ten percent (10%) of the work), provided that the material in question is not credited to any third party and that the original source is properly acknowledged; see here for more information. No written permission is therefore necessary for Elsevier book authors to reuse up to 10% of their prior contributions in their forthcoming book chapters; however, this policy does not apply to Elsevier book contributors, who will need to obtain permission even within the 10% limit (unless covered by the STM Permissions Guidelines; see above). The Elsevier permission request form can be accessed here.
Most likely yes, as it is usually the publisher who owns copyright to the work. You would also need permission from the publisher to reuse material from Open Access articles which are © The Authors but where the authors have licensed exclusive rights to the publisher.
It depends on the publisher of your prior work, as author rights policies will vary across publishers. You can check the publisher’s website if this information is available or contact the publisher directly if it is not or is unclear.
Note: If permission is clearly not required under the relevant publisher’s author rights policy, you do not need to obtain a permissions license but can merely indicate this in the permission log.
It depends. If your redrawn figure can be considered substantially similar to the original figure, you should obtain permission. Alternately, if your redrawn figure can be considered significantly different than the original figure, you can merely acknowledge the original source (e.g. “Based on”/“After”/“Redrawn from”/“Adapted from”/“Data from”) without formal permission. This is often a judgment call. Best practice is to obtain permission where there is any similarity between the original and redrawn figures.
If the material was original to the book, no permission is necessary. If the material was credited to a third party, it depends on whether the permissions license that you obtained from the third-party rightsholder covered all future editions or only that edition (in which latter case you would need to reobtain permission for the new edition).
Possibly. “Open Access” refers to material (typically journal articles) that is freely available online, but it is not necessarily freely reusable.
For Creative Commons-licensed material, it depends on the particular license type. A Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license would allow the material to be reused in an Elsevier book without written permission, subject only to acknowledgement. On the other hand, material available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) license would require permission to include in your Elsevier book chapter, since Elsevier is a commercial publisher.
Yes, the permission log should be a complete record of all figures/tables appearing in your chapter, whether or not permission is required. The completed log will then be uploaded in our permissions database, where rights and permissions information for every figure/table included in the book will be logged.
For instructions on completing the permission log, please watch our video: https://www.elsevier.com/about/policies/copyright/permissions#videos
Yes, you can include images from websites such as Shutterstock, Fotolia, Getty Images, iStockphoto, and Thinkstock provided that you obtain the necessary license and pay any licensing fees where applicable. We also recommend Wikimedia Commons as a free resource for images which typically do not require written permission (images are available under Creative Commons Attribution or public domain licenses) or licensing fees, subject to proper acknowledgement.
Typically yes, unless the figures/tables are explicitly available under an Open Access license without commercial reuse restrictions (see above) or are explicitly in the public domain (for example, original material found on a US federal government website).
Note: Material from the government websites of other countries, as well as US state and local government websites, is often copyrighted and will require permission.
No permission is necessary merely to cite (reference) an article.Permission is only necessary if you will be reusing figures/tables/verbatim text excerpts from the article in your chapter.
There are limited situations in which we may be willing to allow republication of the material without written permission from the rightsholder (for example, an out-of-print 1932 book whose publisher is out of business and whose authors are deceased) but the safest option in these cases is to remove and/or replace the material.
Written permission should be obtained from the colleague or the University in the form of an email or a signed physical letter.
Obtaining permission to use content on ScienceDirect
If the content you wish to re-use is on ScienceDirect, you may request permission using the Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink® service. Simply follow the steps below:
- Locate your desired content on ScienceDirect. Subscribers will be able to view all content and guest users can view open access content and abstracts for free simply by clicking on the article or chapter title.
- Determine if the content is open access or subscription access. If you are reading an Elsevier published article online, you need to look out for the "Open Access" orange label located under the article's title and author information. You will also be able to identify any relevant open access articles in your search results by looking for the same label. To find out how you can reuse an open access article, look underneath the title and click on the license hyperlink for exact details on the user license selected by the author. If your reuse is not covered by the user license, please proceed to the next step.
- Click on the 'Get rights and content' button located under the author details, adjacent to the DOI.
- The following page will then be launched (turn off your pop-up blocker):
- Select the way you would like to reuse the content.
- Create an account if you have not done so already.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
For further information about RightsLink® please click here.
For questions about using the RightsLink service, please contact Customer Support via phone 877/622-5543 (toll free) or 978/777-9929, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: When you create an account with RightsLink you will be asked to provide either your credit card information or an invoicing address. This does not necessarily mean that your request will be subject to a permissions fee; it is part of the registration process only. You can determine whether your request is subject to a fee by clicking on the "quick price" button after you have made your selection on how you wish to use the material.
Obtaining permission to use content on ClinicalKey (Book Search)
If the content you wish to re-use is available on Clinicalkey, you may request permission using the Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink® service. Simply follow the steps below.
- Locate your desired content on ClinicalKey. Click on the Books tab which is beneath the Search and Browse options and this will take you to a new window in which you need to enable all content by moving the toggle from Subscribed Content
- Enter the book name in the box that reads ‘Filter List by Title’.
- Click on the title displayed to view the Table of Contents (TOC). Please select the required chapter from the TOC and click on “Get rights and content”.
- The following page will then be launched (turn off your pop-up blocker)
- Select the way you would like to reuse the content.
- Create an account if you have not done so already.
- Accept the terms and conditions.