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Seeking Permission to reuse images in Oxford Journals articles

Oxford Journals: Summary of key points to consider when seeking to reproduce images in print and online.

Oxford Journals aims to produce all our 220+ journals in print and online formats. As an author you need to ensure that you have secured the necessary reproduction rights with the rights holder for any third party material you have used prior to submission. This is essential for us to protect the journal from copyright infringement.

This is a summary of essential key points to consider. We also have a more detailed set of guidelines that you can refer to. Please ask the Editorial Office of the journal if you do not have a copy. Key things to consider:

  • Oxford Journals provides a template Permission Request Letter (copy available from the journal editorial office). We recommend using this wherever possible in your correspondence, as it explains what rights are needed. Permission granted by email is acceptable, as long as it incorporates the rights we need.
  • You will need to ask for non-exclusive rights, for print and electronic reproduction (including online). Rights should also be worldwide English language rights, or ideally worldwide rights for all languages.
  • When requesting online permission, please ensure that you obtain permission to reuse the image for the life of the work. Because of the complexities of obtaining, maintaining and renewing online permissions, it is not practical for us to accept time limited licences. If it is not possible to secure permission for the life of the work, we recommend that you clear print rights only and we will blank out the image in our online version, although this is not ideal either for the article or for the journal as a whole. Where this situation occurs, it is essential that you notify the journal editorial office and production office as early as possible.
  • Make sure you supply details of the original source of the images you have used so they can be mentioned in the captions.
  • Keep all correspondence you have with the rights holder, including any emails.
  • If you are granted permission by the rights holder but are charged a fee, then do go back to the museum or gallery in question and negotiate. Most rights holders will do this.
  • If you are not sure who to contact for permission, it is usually best to speak first to the publisher of the work in which the image you are using appeared, as they may still control the rights.
  • Please alert the journal’s Editorial Office if you cannot get a response from the rights holder after you have tried at least a few times. We would advise you to try and source an alternative image if permission cannot be obtained.
  • If you you are still unable to contact the rights holder, then consider searching the Internet to find the information you need or contact any of the organizations, mentioned in the guidelines, who may be able to help. If these are not helpful, then contact the Editorial Office in the first instance or, as a last option, the Oxford Journals permissions department, by email with the specifics of your query.

Summary of image permissions specifications

Required Rights

  • Language and territorial rights Minimum rights required: English language worldwide; Preferred rights: All language rights worldwide
  • Format rights Minimum rights required: Print and electronic (Internet)
  • Period of rights/licence Minimum rights required: Perpetuity (no time restrictions)
  • Image resolution Minimum rights required: 72 dpi; Preferred rights: 150dpi for PDF, 72 dpi for HTML

Answers to frequently asked questions

  • What kind of publication is it? A scholarly journal published by Oxford Journals—a not-for-profit organization.
  • How is is online use regulated? Via secure access.
  • How are articles protected? All material is only available to paid customers via a secure access system.
  • What is the print run? What are the selling/subscription prices? The Journal Editorial office will be able to help you with this information.
  • Why do we request online permission for the life of the work? Unlike print images where permission is required once, online images sometimes contain time-limited clauses. In order to keep both print and online versions as similar as possible, and avoid the need to constantly reapply for permission, it is our policy to only display online images which are available for the life of the work.
  • What are our choices if online permission for the life of the work is not granted? Because of the complexity and cost of applying and reapplying for electronic permissions, combined with the need to keep track of images with varying degrees of time limitation, we have decided to only use images electronically if we are able to secure rights for the life of the work. If it is not possible to secure permission for the life of the work, we recommend that you clear print rights only, and we will blank out the image in the online journal, although this is not ideal either for the article or for the journal as a whole. Where this occurs, it is essential that you notify the journal editorial office and production office as early as possible.