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Permissions for re-use of journal content

Seeking permission

Please navigate to the journal and article you wish to seek permission for and follow the “Request Permissions” link on the right-hand side. Permission requests are handled via Rightslink.

You cannot use parts or the whole of an article until after it has been published.

Note that articles published under an open access CC-BY licence do not require permission to be granted for re-use, and therefore do not carry the “Request Permissions” link.  

You do not need to seek permission for re-use of material over 70 years old for up to 5 articles or figures – re-use is only subject to acknowledgement. Beyond this limit please contact us.


Rightslink may ask you for a circulation number as part of the permissions process. This is the amount of copies that will be printed; please contact the journal editorial office if you need to know the print circulation number of a particular issue.


Once you have sought permission via Rightslink, you can request high resolution images from the corresponding author of the article. Alternatively, browse our picture library for images from older papers; our library team will be able to help you if you can’t find what you’re looking for. Please note there is a reproduction fee for this service.

Open access articles

To re-use material in an open access article, you do not need to seek permission from the paper’s author or the Royal Society. However, the source of open access articles should always be acknowledged and full attribution given. You should also state clearly any changes that have been made to the original content.

Re-use of own work

Authors are allowed to re-use parts of their own work in derivative works without seeking the Royal Society’s permission. However, please ensure the paper is cited.

Regarding the published version, you are free to:

  • make copies for your own personal use;
  • use it for the internal teaching purposes of your own institution or company; and
  • make and distribute copies (including through e-mail) to research colleagues, for personal use by such colleagues on a non-commercial, non-systematic basis.

Regarding your own version of the refereed post-print only, you are free to:

  • post it on your personal or institutional web site and load it onto an institutional or not-for-profit repository once accepted for publication (access to the full text on a repository will be embargoed for 12 months from first publication of the published version);
  • use it in printed compilations of your work subsequent to publication; and
  • expand it into book-length form, and/or otherwise re-use portions in other works.

You are also free to present it at a meeting or conference and to disseminate copies to the delegates attending such meeting or conference and/or to use it in a thesis or dissertation (provided that this is not to be published commercially).

Electronic supplementary material

Supplementary material is made available under an open access CC-BY licence, meaning that others are free to share, reuse and build upon the information, as long as they properly credit the original author.