Can I use a figure from one of my own published articles in my thesis?
Generally you can; the real question, however is whether you need to explicitly obtain permission from the copyright holder (the journal). The answer to the latter cannot be generalized: you must check with the copyright transfer agreement you signed. Some publishers allow authors to use their own figures in a thesis without asking permission (although a reference to the source must always be given), others require permission to be requested. We have never heard of a case where permission has been refused, but the procedure must be followed. If you cannot find the copyright agreement, it is best to contact the publisher. These days it is possible to find the copyright transfer agreement online at the journal’s website, often under “author guidelines”.
Last updated: 2010-11-26