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Dissertations & Theses: Using Your Published Articles

Copyright & Permissions to Reuse Materials

Reuse of Copyrighted Articles

You must receive permission to reuse previously published articles even when you are the author.

There are different options for obtaining permission. General steps for obtaining usage permission are outlined below, but we recommend you contact a Research & Learning Librarian. Schedule an appointment by emailing, calling 913-945-5990, or use the scheduling calendar.

Begin this process early, before you have completed writing. You know if you are using previously published articles and it may take time to get permission.

Get Permission to Reuse

  • Do you have a copy of your Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA)?
  • Does it give permission to use articles in your thesis or dissertation?
  • If you do not have a copy of your CTA, check the publisher's site for information.
  • Another option is to use the Copyright Clearance Center's RightsLink. Detailed instructions are in the box below.
  • You may need to contact the copyright owner (usually publisher) directly.
  • Keep a copy or a screen shot  of any permission granted to upload to ProQuest.

Copyright Clearance Center RightsLink

What's RightsLink?

RightsLink is a service through the Copyright Clearance Center.  Most scholarly publishers use to automate the permissions requesting process for journal articles and figures through RightsLink.  

Go to the journal article's web page and look for a link with a label similar to:

Permissions, Get Rights and Content, Tools, the Copyright symbol,, etc., and select it.


  • Permissions from Journal of American Medical Informatics
  • Tools from Physiological society

Complete the template at the Copyright Clearance Center RightsLink page, for example ( see screenshot below):

  • I would like to..... reuse in a thesis/dissertation
  • I would like to use.....full article
  • My format is.....both print and electronic
  • I am of this article
  • I will be translating.....No

Click Quick Price - Take a screen shot of this page. If you receive a permission statement with no charge, you are finished. If not, follow the publisher directions to complete the process. The publisher may require you to apply for a license even though it is a free license. You may be need to contact the publisher directly, which may take some time. Follow all directions and keep copies of the process to document the permissions you receive. 

The above is just an example of the steps. Each article is unique and some publishers have specific requirements. Your article may not follow the above process.

Always contact a Research & Learning Librarian to ensure you have proper permission and documentation to use the article.