Verlag Publication Dissertation Writing

Have you considered publishing a dissertation? Publication of dissertation writing isn’t something that is mentioned very often by tutors, but if your dissertation researched an important topic (and particularly if you receive a First) then you should investigate this option.

Your dissertation – why publish?

Publishing a dissertation as an article in an academic journal can look fabulous on your CV, particularly if you would like an academic career. If you have produced important material from your research then it can be a great help to others if you publish it. Your dissertation supervisor should be able to advise you on whether publication is appropriate for your dissertation writing.

Choose wisely

Although a published article is a wonderful addition to your CV, do exercise caution. Your research might receive a First, but is your dissertation something that you'll remain proud of throughout your career? If you have said something controversial that may upset people, this might not be the sort of opinion that you want in the public domain. Imagine that you are invited for a prestigious job interview in five years from now. Is there anything in your dissertation writing that might embarrass you at that interview or stop you from being offered the job? Think long and hard before you submit work for publication.

Publication – review and appeal

The submission process on academic journals can take a long time. The editors and the peer reviewers will probably only be part-time members of staff. For example, some publishers own journals where the editors are out of house academics. The publisher only manages the production (tasks like proofreading services and printing) of the journal. Your article will be sent for peer review and only when it is accepted will it be entered into the production process (including copy editing, proofreading, typesetting, design work and printing).

If your article is rejected, some journals give you the opportunity to appeal. Use a calm tone to set out the reasons why the editor should reconsider your article. Remember that the decision to reject was not personal.

Will they buy dissertations?

Very few journals buy dissertations, so you may be submitting your dissertation purely for the glory. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t receive money for your dissertation-turned-article. Take a look at the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society website. As long as the journal has an ISSN number, you can register the details of any articles that you publish with them and they collect photocopy fees for you.

Editing your dissertation

Once accepted, you may need dissertation editing services so that a professional editor can proofread your dissertation. This will ensure that the work you submit is well written.

Permission guidelines

For further guidelines about obtaining permission, please review our Frequently Asked Questions below:

When is permission required?

As a general rule, written permission must be obtained from the rightsholder in order to re-use any copyrighted material. Typically the rightsholder of published material is the publisher unless it is explicitly indicated otherwise. Copyrighted material can include figures, illustrations, charts, tables, photographs, and text excerpts. Re-use of any borrowed material must be properly acknowledged, even if it is determined that written permission is not necessary.

Elsevier publishes not only subscription content but also open access content available under a user license that determines how readers can re-use the content. We recommend readers check the license details found under the DOI and funding body information.

For further guidance regarding when permission may and may not be necessary, please contact the Permissions Helpdesk.

When is permission not required?

Written permission may not need to be obtained in certain circumstances, such as the following:

  • Public domain works are not protected by copyright and may be reproduced without permission, subject to proper acknowledgement. This includes works for which copyright has expired (for example, any US work published prior to 1923), works that are not copyrightable by law (for example, works prepared by US government employees as part of their official duties), and works expressly released into the public domain by their creators. (Permission would however be required to re-use the final formatted, edited, published version of a public domain journal article, for example, as this version is owned by the publisher.)
  • Open access content published under a CC-BY user license, as well as open access content published under other types of user licenses depending on the nature of your proposed re-use (for example, commercial vs. nonprofit use), may not require written permission, subject to proper acknowledgement. Permissions vary depending on the license type, and we recommend that readers check the license details carefully before re-using the material.
  • Creating an original figure or table from data or factual information that was not previously in figure or table format typically does not require permission, subject to proper acknowledgement of the source(s) of the data.

From whom do I need permission?

Permission must be obtained from the rightsholder of the material. In most cases this will mean contacting the publisher of the material. The publisher typically has the exclusive right to grant the permission whether or not copyright is owned by the publisher. If the rightsholder requires that the credit line be in a specific format, this must be followed exactly, e.g.:

Suitable acknowledgement to the source must be made, either as a footnote or in a reference list at the end of your publication, as follows:

"Reprinted from Publication title, Vol /edition number, Author(s), Title of article / title of
chapter, Pages No., Copyright (Year), with permission from Elsevier [OR APPLICABLE SOCIETY COPYRIGHT OWNER]."

How do I obtain permission to use photographs or illustrations?

Photographs or illustrations of fine art objects (sculptures, paintings, etc.) are frequently subject to copyright, and permission may need to be obtained from the holder of the reproduction rights in the photograph (usually the photographer, the publisher, or the museum that owns the object). Permission may need to be obtained from both the rightsholder of the art object itself (if still protected by copyright) as well as the photographer of the art object.

The Artists Rights Society in the US and its sister societies outside the US, including DACS in the UK and VG Bild-Kunst in Germany, represent the intellectual property rights of many well-known artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andy Warhol. For more information, please visit the website or the website of their umbrella organization, CISAC.

Do I need to obtain permission to use material posted on a website?

Probably. Most material on the Internet is protected by copyright whether or not a copyright notice is displayed. Some material posted on websites may not be original to the website itself and permission will therefore need to be requested from the rightsholder of the original source, once the rightsholder can be identified. If the material is original to the website, permission should be obtained directly from the website which will own copyright to the content on their site.

What rights does Elsevier require when requesting permission?

When requesting permission to re-use material in your forthcoming Elsevier journal article or book chapter, you may be able to use our permission request form which asks that the rightsholder grant to Elsevier the following rights: this and all subsequent editions, revisions, versions, derivative works, translations, ancillaries, adaptations, supplementary materials, and custom editions; all languages; all formats and media now known or hereafter developed; worldwide distribution in perpetuity.

We often cannot include material where these rights have been restricted. In these cases you will need to obtain alternate material. Please use original, unpublished figures, tables, and other content, or at minimum content that is original to Elsevier and its imprints, whenever possible.

Elsevier imprints include:

  • Academic Press
  • Amirsys
  • Baillière Tindall
  • Butterworth-Heinemann (US)
  • Cell Press
  • Chandos Publishing
  • Churchill Livingstone
  • CPM Resource Center
  • Digital Press
  • Elsevier BV/Inc/Ltd
  • Elsevier Current Trends
  • ExitCare
  • Grune & Stratton
  • Gulf Professional Publishing
  • Gulf Publishing Company
  • Hanley & Belfus
  • Knovel
  • Lancet
  • Masson
  • Medicine Publishing
  • Morgan Kaufmann
  • Mosby
  • Mosby-Wolfe
  • Newnes
  • North-Holland
  • Pergamon Press
  • Saunders
  • Syngress
  • Urban & Fischer Verlag
  • William Andrew
  • Woodhead Publishing
  • Wright of Bristol
  • Yearbook

How do I obtain permission from another publisher?

Permission to reproduce material from another publisher in an Elsevier product can typically be obtained via Rightslink’s automated permission-granting service, which can be located on the individual journal article or book chapter page on the publisher’s website. Where Rightslink or other Copyright Clearance Center services are not available, we provide a permission request form for Elsevier authors to use. For further instructions on how to complete the permission request form, please refer to this example.

What is Rightslink?

Rightslink is the Copyright Clearance Center's automated permission-granting service, which is used by Elsevier along with many other STM publishers such as Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis, and Wolters Kluwer. With Rightslink, customers can request permission 24/7 for select content from the individual journal article or book chapter page on the publisher’s website. Please refer to the "Permissions for content on Science Direct" for further information about how Rightslink is are managed on Elsevier platforms.

What should I do if I am not able to locate the copyright owner?

Where rights have reverted to an author or transferred to another publisher, it may be difficult to locate the correct rightsholder contact. However, you must make every effort to do so. You should keep records of all correspondence as proof of your attempts to obtain permission. It can never be assumed that a non-response authorizes you to use the material.

Works for which a prospective user is unable to identify, locate, and contact the copyright owner to obtain permission (as distinct from cases in which an identified rightsholder simply does not respond to your request) are known as "orphan works." A number of publishers including Elsevier have signed Safe Harbor provisions (agreed between STM, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, and the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers) notifying prospective users that, to the extent that those publishers own orphan works, users who comply with the guidelines in those provisions will be entitled to certain "safe harbor" protections.

Core requirements include:

  • Users of orphan works must show that they have made a reasonably diligent good faith search for the copyright owner;
  • The use must make clear and adequate attribution to the original work, author, publisher, and copyright holder, if possible and as appropriate under the circumstances; and
  • If a copyright owner is subsequently identified, the user must pay a reasonable royalty and not re-use the work unless agreed with the copyright holder.

Note: use of a disclaimer alone is not sufficient.

STM also maintains a list of STM publisher imprints you can use to help determine who the publisher of a particular imprint is. To try to locate an author's contact details, you can also contact organizations such as The Society of Authors, WATCH, the Authors' Registry, and the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society who may be able to provide assistance; search the Copyright Clearance Center's Rights Licensing Database; or contact the Permissions Helpdesk with any questions.

What is Elsevier's policy on using patient photographs?

Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where we wish to include case details or other personal information or images of patients or any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Elsevier upon request and only upon request.

Particular care should be taken where children are concerned (in particular where a child has special needs or learning disabilities), where an individual's head or face appears, or where reference is made to an individual's name or other personal details. For more information please review Elsevier's policy on the use of images or personal information of patients or other individuals.

Can I obtain permission from a Reproduction Rights Organization (RRO)?

An RRO is a national organization licensed to handle certain types of permissions on behalf of publishers or other rights owners. RROs can provide you with permission in the form of a license to make copies of material in several formats such as printing, photocopying, scanning, digital copying, and electronic storage. Click here for further information.

If you want to make multiple photocopies of articles or chapters please contact the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) or the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) for a license subscription. Rightslink can also provide a license on an individual basis.

Is Elsevier an STM signatory publisher?

Yes, Elsevier is a signatory to the STM (International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers) Permissions Guidelines, last updated March 2015. The Guidelines encourage the granting of permission by one STM signatory publisher to another to re-use limited amounts of material from published works in subsequent publications. Permission will be granted by one signatory publisher to another free of charge to:

  • Use up to three figures (including tables) from a journal article or book chapter, but:
    • not more than five figures from a whole book or journal issue/edition;
    • not more than six figures from an annual journal volume;
    • not more than three figures from works published by a single publisher for an article;
    • not more than three figures from works published by a single publisher for a book chapter; and in total not more than thirty figures from a single publisher for republication in a book, including a multi-volume book.
  • Single text extracts of less than 400 words from a journal article or book chapter, but:
    • not more than a total of 800 words from a whole book or journal issue/edition.

Permission automatically includes re-use for electronic versions of the work as well as for subsequent editions and translations, except as outlined on the STM website. When granting permissions, STM publishers will not request a complimentary copy of the new work except in limited circumstances. For further information please visit the STM website or contact the Permissions Helpdesk.

Do I need to request permission to re-use work from another STM publisher?

Some STM signatory publishers, including Elsevier, do not require written notification for re-use of material that falls within these limits outline above by other STM signatory publishers, which means that permission is automatically granted subject to the borrowing publisher’s proper acknowledgement of the original source of the material. The following publishers also do not require written notification as of March 2015:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Ammons Scientific LTD
  • Anadem Publishing Inc.
  • Borm Bruckmeier Publishing
  • CABI
  • ChemTec Publishing
  • CSIRO Publishing
  • Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences
  • PMPH-USA, Ltd.
  • Portland Press
  • SAGE Publications
  • Science Reviews 2000 Ltd.
  • Scrub Hill Press Inc.
  • S. Hirzel Verlag (select titles only, see website for more information)
  • Taylor & Francis journals (select imprints only, see website for more information)
  • The Institution for Engineering and Technology (The IET)
  • World Health Organization

Do I need to request permission to text mine Elsevier content?

Academic researchers at subscribing institutions can text mine subscribed content on ScienceDirect for non-commercial purposes, via the ScienceDirect APIs. We have created a self-service developer's portal to enable researchers to easily gain access to the ScienceDirect APIs. For more information please see our text and data mining policy.

Can I post my article on ResearchGate without violating copyright?

You are always able to share the preprint version, abstract or a link to your article. For authors who have published their article open access under a commercial license (CC BY) you can also post your final article. We recognize the importance of sharing research and have a wide range of ways you can share your article throughout the research publishing process, including posting to your institutional repository. You can find our sharing guidelines here.

We suggest researchers check the list of organizations who endorse the STM "Voluntary principles for article sharing on scholarly collaboration networks'" to check what publishers, commercial platforms and other organizations are working to facilitate sharing.

Can I post on ArXiv?

Yes, you can post your preprint, which is your own write up of your results and analysis, anywhere at any time.

If you have posted your preprint on ArXiv, which is a non-commercial preprint server, you can also immediately update this version with your accepted manuscript. In all cases, posted manuscripts should link back to the final published article on ScienceDirect and should have a non-commercial user license attached (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can I include/use my article in my thesis/dissertation?

Yes. Authors can include their articles in full or in part in a thesis or dissertation for non-commercial purposes.

Which uses of a work does Elsevier view as a form of ‘prior publication’?

An author should not in general publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Elsevier does not view the following uses of a work as prior publication: publication in the form of an abstract; publication as an academic thesis; publication as an electronic preprint. Please note that Cell Press, The Lancet, and some society-owned titles have different policies on prior publication. For further information go to: Policies and Ethics for Journal Authors (Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication).

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