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Crediting the source of figures taken from other publications

If you include within your article any figures or tabular material taken from another publication or website, you will need to get permission to use this material and supply it to GSL along with your submission/revision. We have already compiled a useful guide to Permissions to help you with this process.

However, one of the parts of this process often overlooked is actually incorporating the required credit line into your figure caption or as a footnote to your table. The copyright holder will often require specific wording and you should follow this wording exactly. Many of your requests for permission will go through Rightslink. Check out the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) that come with the licence that you download from Rightslink. The required wording to correctly credit the image you want to use will be found towards the end of the T&Cs.

As a minimum, and if there appears to be no specified wording, you should always include a normal reference citation to the work and then ensure that the reference list carries full information for that reference.

In all cases, check the caption accompanying the figure that you want to reproduce to make sure the figure itself has not been taken from another publication. If the figure is within a book it may also be worth checking an Acknowledgements section. If the figure has been reproduced from elsewhere, it will require permission from the original source. In addition, do not assume that all figures in an Open Access article carry the CC-BY licence – the author may be using third-party material.


Some examples



In figure and title captions a statement or citation including the author, identification of the AAPG publication from which the figure or table was taken; and you must use the identical copyright notice as it appears in our publication; i.e. ‘AAPG ©[year]’, and the phrase ‘reprinted by permission of the AAPG whose permission is required for further use’.

Cambridge University Press (STM Signatory Publisher: figure taken from a book)

Licensee must ensure that the following notices and acknowledgements are reproduced prominently alongside each reproduction by Licensee of the Licensed Material:

the title and author of the Licensed Material;

the copyright notice included in the Licensed Material; and

the statement ‘Reproduced with permission of the Licensor through PLSclear.’

Elsevier (STM Signatory Publisher)

‘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].’

John Wiley (STM Signatory Publisher)

Permission is granted subject to an appropriate acknowledgement given to the author, title of the material/book/journal and the publisher. You shall also duplicate the copyright notice that appears in the Wiley publication in your use of the Wiley Material.

OUP (STM Signatory Publisher)

A full acknowledgment is made to the original source of the material including the journal name, volume, issue, page numbers, year of publication, title of article and to Oxford University Press and/or the learned society.


SEG requires that full acknowledgment of the source, including a DOI-based permalink (live in electronic versions), be used in any new work that includes SEG material.

Springer Nature (STM Signatory Publisher)

The Licensor's permission must be acknowledged next to the Licenced Material in print. In electronic form, this acknowledgement must be visible at the same time as the figures/tables/illustrations or abstract, and must be hyperlinked to the journal/book's homepage. Our required acknowledgement format is in the Appendix below.

For Journal Content:

Reprinted by permission from [the Licensor]: [Journal Publisher (e.g. Nature/Springer/Palgrave)] [JOURNAL NAME] [REFERENCE CITATION (Article name, Author(s) Name), [COPYRIGHT] (year of publication)

For Book content:

Reprinted/adapted by permission from [the Licensor]: [Book Publisher (e.g. Palgrave Macmillan, Springer etc) [Book Title] by [Book author(s)] [COPYRIGHT] (year of publication)