Answered By: Laurissa Gann
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2024     Views: 79

Reusing Previously Published Figures or text

In order to reprint published figures or text in a publication, you must ask for permission. To use a previously published work, you must request permission through the Copyright Clearance Center. For journal articles, the link to this form may be on the same web page as the article itself. If not, from the journal or publisher’s home page, look for a menu option called “Rights and permissions,” “Permission to re-use content,” or something similar. Many authors do not retain the copyright of their published works, which means, from a legal perspective, the permission you need is from the publisher of the text. 

Modifying a Figure or Table For Your Own Publication

There’s no “magic” number of changes that can be made to a previously published figure or table that will circumvent copyright. The only way to legally use a modified a table or figure is to create a version that is substantially different from the original. If someone looking at the original version and your version side by side would think they are similar, you probably have not made enough changes.

If you like an original figure or table, you can request permission to reprint the item as is or to publish an adapted version of the item through the Copyright Clearance Center


  • BioRender for creating your own figures
  • Contact Strategic Communications for assistance in creating advanced graphics or tables.
  • ImageTwin for reviewing possible duplication of figures in your manuscript. MD Anderson staff can email for a free account.

Contact Us

Live Chat

Related Topics