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The Graduate Health & Life Sciences Research Library at Georgetown University Medical Center

Image Use

This guide will help you determine how to use images in both academia and publishing.

What is the Copyright Clearance Center?

Once you have determined that you need to obtain permission to use a particular image, a great place to start would be the Copyright Clearance Center or CCC.

The CCC is a tool that allows you to configure a license agreement that fits your particular use or uses within the United States. Depending on the publisher, a fee may be required. It is perfect for images that you find within electronic books or journals.

How to Use the Copyright Clearance Center

Image within an eBook:

The best way to use the CCC is to begin at where you found the image, such as inside an electronic book.

  • For example, start at the 3rd Chapter of Blueprints Neurology found in DML's LWW Clinical Clerkship collection. Under the title of the chapter, Approach to Coma and Altered Consciousness, see three options. The options are "Views" "Share" and "Get Permissions". Select Get Permissions to start the process:

example textbook from LWW select Get permissions from the right, under the chapter title 

  • You will be redirected to the RightsLink page for the resource selected. The image below shows the example of Blueprints Neurology. In order to remove the need to login or register later in the process, select either Create Account or Login

starting the process of requesting rights-make the selection of what you would use it for

  • Begin by making a selection from the I would like to... menu. This will help the publisher determine the reason for using the material such as post on a website, reuse in a journal article, or reuse in a book, etc. 

Different options available to you like website, book, article, make photocopies many others

  • Once a selections has been made, you will be redirected to the Quick Price Estimate page. This page will ask further questions such as affiliation or role, the specific part or parts of the resource that will be reused, and the format that will be used.

Quick price estimate page where it asks further questions like affiliation or role

  • Once finished, you can select either Quick Price or Continue. Sometimes, depending on the use, there will be no quick price. For this example, here is the quick price provided: 

Our example of figures or illustration use would cost about $200.

With some eBooks in DML's collection, it is best to start at the Publisher Store. This is the case when wanting to use any of DML's Books @ Ovid texts. 

  • For example, start with VisualDx: Essential Dermatology in Pigmented Skin : 
  • Go to the LWW store which is Within the All Products box, enter the title of the book in question.

Shop All LWW Resources example

  • The website will take you to the entry of the title. Select Request Permissions and follow the exact instructions as in the above example.

select "request permissions" from the bottom left corner

Image within a journal: 

The best way to request permission from the CCC tool is to begin at where the image was found, such as inside an electronic journal.

  • For this example, the image is from the article The Role of the Physician in Patient Perceptions of Barriers to Primary Adherence With Acne Medications‚Äč, which can be found inside of JAMA Dermatology. Notice at the top that there are various options available. Select Permissions to start the process: 

example article from JAMA-request permissions from above right of the title


  • Similar to when using this tool for book images, begin by either logging in or creating an account. Then, select the type of use in order to continue. 

login or create an account and then make a selection of what you wish to do

  • Similar to Requesting Permission for images in electronic books, you will be taken to the Quick Price Estimate Page. Once more details have been given regarding the use of the image or images, a "Quick Price Estimate" might be available. In some cases a "Quick Price Estimate" may not be available, so you will need to select Continue to work further with a publisher representative.  

example use would cost around $500


The purpose of this guide is to provide resource and information for resolving image use questions. This research guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.