About Copyright and Obtaining Permissions

Your Copyright

Like most academic, scholarly, and professional publishers, IRA requires that authors assign their copyright to us when their material is accepted for publication. This allows us to protect authors’ work and to administer requests from others who seek to use it. We do not restrict authors’ use or re-use of their own material. Authors interested in IRA's policies regarding reprinting and other reuse should visit the Rights and Permissions pages of this website.

In order to assign copyright, authors must guarantee that

  • Their work is original
  • They hold the rights to the work
  • The work has not been published previously, either in whole or in part
  • No other agreement exists to publish the work in whole or in part

Authors of journal articles should complete and return a copyright transfer agreement.

Authors of books are required to sign and return a copyright assignment form or a book contract that includes copyright assignment.

Using Work From Other Sources

If your submission to IRA's publishing program includes material from other copyrighted sources, you must supply IRA with written permission from the copyright holder to include the material in your work. A sample form for use in requesting permission, particularly from another publisher, is available.

About fair use. Permission releases are not required in cases of “fair use.” To determine whether your intended use falls into this category, you must consider

  • The purpose and character of the intended use (i.e., whether commercial or nonprofit)
  • The nature of the copyrighted work from which you intend to reproduce material
  • The amount and “substantiality” of the portion of text in relation to the entire work (e.g., one line from a haiku versus one line from an epic poem)
  • The effect the use might have on the marketability of the copyrighted work

Although fair use is frequently interpreted broadly in education and educational publishing, it cannot be assumed that your use falls into this category simply because you plan to reproduce the material for educational purposes or because it is fairly brief. For more on fair use, see the U.S. Copyright Office or resources such as Copyright & Fair Use from the Stanford University Libraries.

About reproducing material from Internet sources. Websites are considered published works and are protected by copyright. If you intend to capture screen images or reproduce text of graphics from a website in your own work, permission to do so must be sought from the copyright holder. If no copyright information is provided on the website, contact the site owner or administrator about your request.

Note that it is not necessary to obtain permission to include a website URL in a printed work, or to provide a link in an online work.

About permission to use unpublished work. Note that U.S. copyright law, by which IRA is governed, has deemed that any expression “fixed in a tangible medium” is copyrighted. This means that student or adult writing samples, artwork, and so on are under copyright protection, regardless of whether they have been formally published or the copyright symbol appears on the material. Authors must therefore obtain permission to use such material. Sample release forms for children and adults are available.

Limitations of IRB releases. For those whose work derives from research undertaken under guidelines or requirements of academic institutional review boards, please note that agreement of participation and guarantee of participant anonymity is not sufficient to allow publication of student or adult work collected as data. In order to publish such material in these circumstances, we must be assured that appropriate permission has been obtained.

A word about privacy. In addition to these copyright considerations, authors who wish to use student or teacher material need to be mindful of privacy concerns. For student work samples, IRA requires the signature of a parent or guardian. Further, unless releases have been obtained to use real names, authors must use pseudonyms for names of students, teachers, or schools.

Also, if images of people are shown, or if people are discussed or described in such a way that they may be recognizable, IRA requires that signed releases be obtained — from the person depicted in the case of adults, or from a parent/guardian in the case of children. Releases also are required to reproduce individuals’ voices in audio files. In obtaining such permission, please ensure that it is understood that IRA publishes articles and chapters both in print and online.

Useful Forms to Download
Reproducing IRA Material

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