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Are you using images from books and articles in a presentation? This guide will help you do right by content creators.


Learn about Copyright and Fair Use here.
Libraries care about information sharing and intellectual property rights.

How to Get Started

So you've found a useful image, table, or quote for a presentation.
Can you use it? How do you get permission?

Copyright Basics
Check out page 6, How Can I Use a Copyrighted Work?

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries
Clear and easy-to-use statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education.

Fair Use
"Courts look at how the party claiming fair use is using the copyrighted work, and are more likely to find that nonprofit educational and noncommercial uses are fair. This does not mean, however, that all nonprofit education and noncommercial uses are fair and all commercial uses are not fair; instead, courts will balance the purpose and character of the use against the other factors below."

Fair Use Checklist
This checklist will aid you in considering all of the variables related to Fair Use, and can document your decision.

How to Obtain Permission
If you've reviewed the checklist and it indicates you should get permission, this document gives you an overview of the process.

Copyright Clearance Center
CCC works with publishers worldwide to facilitate permissions and payment. They can walk you through the process. Please note, the Darnall Medical Library does not have funds to pay for permissions.


If it's on the Internet can I use it?
Copyright protects text and pictures on websites just like books, CDs, DVDs, and works in other media are protected. You might not see a copyright notice on a website, but that doesn't mean you're free to copy what you see or hear.

I'm just presenting to other students at WRNMMC-- do I have to get permission?
It's a question of licensing. If you are using an image or table from a resource that the DML purchases for WRNMMC, or that DHA purchases for Military Medicine, you'll want to cite it correctly, but you're sharing content that we purchase with people who we have purchased it for. If you are sharing outside of the command (whether it's a professional conference, or another military command), it's best to request permission (and correctly cite it, of course).

Where do I start?
Check the online resource for Copyright or Terms of Use. There's typically a link at the bottom of the page. You can also reach out to your friendly team of librarians for assistance.

I was told I need to submit my journal article to DTIC or PubMed Central, but doesn’t the journal hold copyright?
Works created by Government employees in their official capacity are not entitled to copyright protection in the United States. A Government employee should inform a publisher that the work was created as part of his/her official duties and should not sign any document purporting to transfer a U.S. copyright as a prerequisite to publication.
For authors other than federal employees, copyright transfer is generally a requirement by publishers for an author submitting an article for publication, so that the publishers can enforce copyright. The authors complete a Copyright Transfer Agreement prior to an article's acceptance. The wording on the forms may vary from publisher to publisher, but basic wording includes transfer of copyright to the publisher.
Contractors and grantees and other non-Government organizations generally hold copyright to works they prepare for the Government. The U.S. Government retains a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free worldwide license, which permits the Government to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display or distribute these works. If a contractor or grantee transfers their copyright to a publisher, the government still retains this license to the work.

Addressing Research Copyright Concerns

(a) By law copyright protections cannot be placed on the work of an officer or employee of the U.S. Government (see 17 U.S.C. 105 and 17 U.S.C. 101).
(b) Most peer-reviewed academic journals require authors to release copy rights.
(c) Many in the PME community are concerned that their faculty therefore cannot publish
their research in any journals with this requirement.


I'm looking for images to use in a presentation for class or conference.

I've already identified an image / chart that I want to use for an article or presentation.

  • Example: Ojima M, Kanagawa H, Nishida N, Nagata H, Hanioka T, Shizukuishi S. Relationship between attitudes toward oral health at initial office visit and compliance with supportive periodontal treatment. J Clin Periodontol. 2005 Apr;32(4):364-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2005.00677.x. PMID: 15811053.
    • A-Z List > PMID > Tools > Request Permission
    • Rightslink > Quick Estimate


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Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense, Defense Health Agency of non-U.S. Government sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. Although the Darnall Medical Library, WRNMMC may or may not use these sites as additional distribution channels for Department of Defense information, it does not exercise editorial control over all of the information that you may find at these locations. Such hyperlinks are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this website.

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