So prompted by a question by Jason Hoshikawa (@chemistinjapan) in the #RealTimeChem community on Twitter about the copyright issues surrounding reusing figures from journal articles in a conference poster I thought I’d do some digging around and see what the current situation was. I decided to start with an easiest case scenario: Using one of my own images from a 2008 J. Med. Chem paper, specifically the TOC graphic. I though it might be useful to maybe use that image to go with the citation in my online publication list. So I went to the ACS web page here, and looked for the Rights and Permissions link (lower right)
Clicking that links takes you to a specific RightsLink page from the Copyright Clearance Center, which I’d heard about but never actually used. So it’s basically a custom web form where you have to specify what you want, who you are, and what you want to do with the copyrighted content. It was all happily quite simple:
So I filled in that I was the author, I wanted to use it on a web page, just the one figure, etc. Note that as soon as I checked the Author pop-up, the red text immediately informed me I wasn’t going to be charged and that I had quite useful rights. You still have to click the “Quick Price” button but that then takes you to the final page, which is, in essence, my one-time license.
So that was it. I just had to print the page, file it somewhere. I assume the bit about informing the publisher or graduate school would be irrelevant for me, I just had to put the appropriate credit on my publications web page, Which I’ve now done.
So that was the “easiest case scenario”. Let’s move onto the original proposal, to use someone else’s image in a conference poster. To do this requires a higher resolution graphic than just the GIF I pulled from the ACS Abstract page which is fine for the web. To do this I had to go back to the same page, but this time using my institutions credentials to view the full text in HTML. So quitting Safari, booting up the VPN, and reconnecting was required.
Then I could click on the Figures Link (upper right), which produces a pop-up image browser which has two option”view high-res image”, or “Download to MS Powerpoint”. So if you were maybe going to put it into a talk you were giving in your weekly lit review, I’d go for the PPT, if not, stick with the high-res image which will be whatever the authors uploaded in the first place.
So once you’ve got the graphic, it’s time to go through the RightsLink procedure again. In acknowledgement of Jason’s question, I asked for the Quick Price in Yen, stating that it was going to be in a non-profit capacity, and that I was using it for a conference proceedings, which seems the closest to a poster.
And happily it once again reports that I have nothing to pay! This seems like a pretty useful little tool, at least for ACS journals and not-for-profit use. I’m assuming that if you out yourself as someone who wants to to use it for profit, the “Quick Price” button may turn out something quite different. So go ahead. check it out. You can respond in the comments or on Twitter (@MartinStoermer)
I shall turn to this story another day, and see what systems other publishers use.