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Theses: Using your own publications in your thesis

Information about theses at Southampton: thesis templates, guidance on e-theses, how to find theses
Using your own publications in your thesis

When a paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to sign an agreement formalising arrangements for publication which includes how copyright in the work will be managed.

Some publishing agreements enable authors to retain copyright and grant the publisher a licence to publish the work, while others will transfer copyright ownership to the publisher. When publishing open access, you will need to select an appropriate open licence, such as CC-BY or the Open Government Licence.

Below are publisher policies outlining the terms in which students can reuse their previously published articles in their theses, as well as policies on accepting journal submissions that first appeared in an author’s previously released thesis. 

Where the agreement is unclear or you do not have a copy, request permission either on article webpage or via Rightslink, using the article DOI or title etc.  Alternatively, you can contact the publisher directly using the template below. 

Where you do need to request permission to reproduce your previously published material in a thesis, it is necessary to provide evidence that this has been granted.  If you are submitting your thesis via a faculty office, attach all publisher permissions to the Permisison to Deposit form, otherwise add them as an additional file to your Pure thesis record.

Publisher Reusing your previously published material in your thesis Submitting articles that previously appeared as part of your thesis

ACS (American Chemical Society)


"Authors may reuse all or part of the Submitted, Accepted or Published Work in a thesis or dissertation that the author writes…. Appropriate citation of the Published Work must be made as follows “Reprinted with permission from [COMPLETE REFERENCE CITATION]. Copyright [YEAR] American Chemical Society.”

“If the thesis or dissertation to be published is in electronic format, a direct link to the Published Work must be included using the ACS Articles on Request link.”

See also this FAQ for thesis info

Policies set by individual journals. Each ACS journal has a specific policy on prior publication that is determined by the respective ACS Editor-in-Chief. Authors should consult these policies and/or contact the appropriate journal editorial office to ensure they understand the policy before submitting material for consideration.

AIP (American Institute of Physics)

"Authors do not need permission to reuse your own AIP Publishing article in a thesis or dissertation. Please format your credit line: “Reproduced from [FULL CITATION], with the permission of AIP Publishing”"

Permitted provided that the thesis is a piece of original research.


Cambridge University Press (CUP) Permitted "provided that the subsequent use includes a full acknowledgement of the original publication, together with the copyright notice and the phrase 'Reprinted with permission'". "Any manuscript based on a thesis should be a reworking of the material in the thesis and written to conform to the journal’s style guide or relevant book guidance. When quoting from the thesis or reusing figures, authors should avoid self-plagiarism by citing and referencing any extracts copied or adapted from the thesis appropriately".
Company of Biologists Policies set by individual journals "For publicly available theses, the text ideally should be rewritten to ensure that the submitted paper is original. This will avoid potential issues regarding copyright if owned by a third party. Any data previously presented in a thesis in whole or in part should be detailed in the Acknowledgements section with complete citation details".
Elsevier  "You have the right to Include the article in a thesis or dissertation (provided that this is not to be published commercially) whether in full or in part, subject to proper acknowledgment; see the Copyright page for more information" Elsevier does not count publication of an academic thesis as prior publication.”
Emerald Authors should use the submitted version or accepted manuscript version.  Use of the final published version is permitted in print, but not electronic versions of theses. "We are happy for submissions to Emerald to include work that has previously formed part of your thesis.. Please submit your paper in the usual way but declare the existence of the uploaded thesis to the Editor of the journal."
Geological Society Lyell Collection If the thesis is to be included in the institution’s electronic repository or other online host, authors must use their own finally accepted version, not the typeset PDF (unless it is Gold Open Access). Permitted
Hindawi Hindawi journals publish Open Access which enables articles to "be downloaded, shared, and reused without restriction, as long as the original authors are properly cited"  "Articles based on content previously made public only in a thesis will be considered. In such cases, the preprint or thesis must be cited and discussed within the article".
IOP (Institute of Physics)

if you want to share your thesis online, permission to include the Final Published Version of the article within the online version of your thesis/dissertation will need to be sought from IOP.  Please include citation details, “© IOP Publishing. Reproduced with permission.  All rights reserved".

"Articles based on theses may be submitted. You should take care to ensure that such articles are prepared in the format of a research paper, which is more concise than is appropriate for a thesis"
Microbiology Society

if the author is the copyright holder then they have permission to use the Version of Record, in whole or in part, as the basis for their own further publications, including theses. The only requirement is that the author gives full acknowledgment of the published original within the work.

Allowed if the content has not been published in another journal. It should be mentioned as part of the acknowledgment section that the research was undertaken as part of a PhD.
Nature Research "Authors have the right to reuse their article’s Version of Record, in whole or in part, in their own thesis. Additionally, they may reproduce and make available their thesis". "Nature Portfolio will consider submissions containing material that has previously formed part of a PhD or other academic thesis which has been published according to the requirements of the institution awarding the qualification".
Open Library of Humanities (OLH)

Usually decided on by each journal's editorial team, informed by the journal's policies.

Permitted providing a declaration is added to the published article that states the work comes from a thesis.

Optica Authors who wish to use all or part of papers they previously authored and published in Optica Publishing Group Journals within a thesis may do so according to the license and reuse terms outlined here. An appropriate attribution statement that includes the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI should be included. Submissions of papers containing material that was previously included in a thesis will be considered provided that the content  was not commercially published elsewhere prior to submission and that authors have retained copyright to the material. On submission, authors should disclose to the Editor that the material was previously included in a thesis/dissertation and confirm that they hold the copyright. The paper must include the full citation for the print and/or digital versions of the thesis/dissertation.
Oxford University Press (OUP)

Permits you to reuse sections of your content without obtaining formal permission providing conditions for reuse are met.

PLOS "Anyone may copy, redistribute, reuse, or modify the content as long as the author and original source are properly cited". Permitted
RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) Permitted but a citation to the original publication and include a link to the journal website must be included. Permitted
Royal Society

"Authors are allowed to re-use parts of their own work in derivative works without seeking the Royal Society’s permission. However, please ensure the paper is cited."

Do not consider a thesis prior publication provided it hasn't already been published in a scientific journal.


RSC (Royal Society of Chemistry) Authors reserve the right to reuse published articles in a thesis Permitted
Sage Authors can use Final Published PDFs in a thesis Policies set by individual journals
Springer Nature Authors have the right to reuse the Version of Record, in whole or in part, in their own thesis....They must properly cite the published work in their thesis according to current citation standards and include the following acknowledgement: 'Reproduced with permission from Springer Nature'. Policies set by individual journals
Taylor & Francis When publishing in a subscription journal, authors are required to transfer copyright to T&F but retain the right to include the article in their thesis Permitted
Wiley (includes AGU and Hindawi)

You retain some reuse rights if you sign a Copyright Transfer Agreeement (CTA).  Refer back to this agreement if you are seeking permission to include your article in a thesis.

Policies set by individual journals
Wolters Kluwer (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins) Policies set by individual journals Policies set by individual journals