Shot of two young coworkers having a discussion opposite each other in a modern office

Publishing permissions

You, as the author, are responsible for getting written permission to use any material in your manuscript that has been created by a third party.

To find out about reusing or republish our content, visit our permissions information

Legal requirement

Permissions clearance is a legal requirement; before we can reproduce any content you have not created yourself, you must clear permission to reuse it. If you do not clear permission, you leave both yourself and Emerald at risk of copyright infringement.

The 1988 UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act makes it clear rights holders have control of how their work appears and is used. We believe in protecting both your work and the works of others.

We will ask you to provide proof of permission to use any third-party material when you submit your research to us. You should make best efforts to have all permissions cleared prior to submission. If you have not cleared permissions, we will ask you to remove the third-party material.

When using third party material, you must ensure that the copyright holder is referenced directly below the material, with a copyright line as requested by them.

Content that may require permissions

Any material that you have not created and which is subject to copyright is covered. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Figures / tables / illustrations
  • Photos
  • Artwork
  • Maps
  • Extensive quotations / excerpts
  • Song lyrics and poetry
  • Screenshots
  • Computer programmes / software
  • Logos / trademarks

If you are unsure whether permission is required, please check with the copyright holder or your publishing contact. 

Rights required

In order to include the third party material in your work, you must clear the following rights:

  • Non-exclusive rights to reproduce the material
  • Print and electronic rights
  • Worldwide English language rights
  • To use the material for the life of the work. That means there should be no time restrictions on its reuse, for example a one-year licence.

When to start clearing permissions

Start thinking about clearing permissions as you write your submission. Frequently reused and popular content can take some time; larger publishing houses have average waiting times of six to eight weeks. You should clear all permissions before you submit your research. 

Proof of permissions clearance

We can accept written proof of permissions clearance in two ways. 

  • Our permissions request form signed by an authorized representative of the company/publisher/estate that holds the copyright
  • An email that explicitly states permission is granted for the following rights:
    • Non-exclusive rights to reproduce the material
    • Print and electronic rights
    • Worldwide English language rights
    • To use the material for the life of the work.

STM permissions guidelines

We are a member of the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Mechanical (STM), the global trade association for academic and professional publishers, and a signatory of the STM Permissions Guidelines. Content published by other STM members can be republished free of charge. 

You can:

  • Use up to 3 figures (including tables) from a journal article or book chapter, but:

    • no more than 5 figures from a whole book or journal issue/edition
    • no more than 6 figures from an annual journal volume
    • no more than 3 figures from works published by a single publisher for an article, and not more than 3 figures from works published by a single publisher for a book chapter (and in total not more than 30 figures from a single publisher for re-publication in a book, including a multi-volume book with different authors per chapter).
  • Use single text extracts of less than 400 words from a journal article or book chapter, but:
    • no more than a total of 800 words from a whole book or journal issue/edition

There are a few things you should consider:

  • Check that the copyright for the content you wish to reuse is held by an STM publisher and not a third party. If it is held by a third party, you will need to contact them directly to clear permission
  • Check that the amount you wish to reuse falls within the above allowances. If it is more than the above, there is likely to be a charge for republication
  • Some publishers, and some titles, are not covered by the STM agreement. Permission clearance will be needed for these exceptions
  • Some STM publishers have ‘opted out’ of receiving permissions requests if the amount falls within the STM allowances; this means that you can use the content without needing to contact them, subject to full referencing. Other STM publishers still require a permission request to be submitted, even though there will be no charge. Please ensure that you comply with the permission requirements of publishers that have not opted out - you will receive an express service.

Visit the STM website for permissions guidelines and list of members.

Get in touch

If you have any further questions on permissions, speak to your publishing contact or get in touch.

Contact us

Related topics

Author policies

We have a series of author policies on your rights, article withdrawal or pre-prints.

Read our author policies

Publishing ethics guidelines

Read about common research and publishing ethics issues and how we deal with them. 

Read our ethics guidelines

Publish with us

Choose the right home for your research across our journals, books, teaching cases and open access platform. 

Discover your options