FAQs for Obtaining Permission to Use SPE-Copyrighted Material
I’d like to link to an SPE paper in OnePetro. Do I need to contact SPE?
No. Anyone can link to the abstract page for a paper in OnePetro without prior approval. If you would like to have more than just the link, your website may include an abstract of no more than 300 words, with no figures or graphics, without permission as long as SPE copyright is prominently acknowledged. A sample copyright acknowledgement would take the format: Copyright, [year]. Society of Petroleum Engineers.
There was an article in a recent issue of Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT) that I’d like to link to. Can I do that?
Yes. Linking to material on the SPE website, including articles in JPT, is acceptable without permission. Be certain that the source of the article and acknowledgement of SPE copyright are included.
I have been approached by a non-SPE magazine about publishing a version of my SPE meeting paper. I would like to agree. What do I need to do to obtain permission from SPE?
Whether they plan to publish a shortened version or the full paper, the process is the same. If your paper is currently being peer-reviewed by any SPE journal, you can contact email@example.com to withdraw it from peer review by SPE. You should then locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.” SPE will return one time publication rights to you, which you can transfer to the non-SPE periodical.
Please note that publication of your paper in a non-SPE periodical, even in a shortened form, means that you are giving up the option to have your paper peer reviewed by SPE. Like other journals, SPE does not publish papers that have previously been published elsewhere.
If you are not the lead (or corresponding) author for the paper, SPE may ask for evidence that the other authors are aware of this publication request, since their rights to review by an SPE journal are also being terminated.
I transferred copyright for my SPE meeting paper to SPE, but I’d like to submit it for peer review to a non-SPE journal. What do I need to do?
You can submit your paper for peer review by a non-SPE journal without permission as long as it is not being reviewed by an SPE journal. If you submitted your paper to an SPE journal but have changed your mind, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to withdraw it from peer review by SPE.
If your paper is accepted for publication by a non-SPE journal, you will have to obtain permission at that point. You should locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.” SPE will return one time publication rights to you, which you can transfer to the journal.
Publication of your paper in a non-SPE journal or other periodical means that you are giving up the option to have your paper peer reviewed by SPE. Like other journals, SPE does not publish papers that have previously been published elsewhere.
If you are not the lead (or corresponding) author for the paper, SPE may ask for evidence that the other authors are aware of this publication request, since their rights to review by an SPE journal are also being terminated.
My company publishes a periodical (magazine, journal, or newsletter) and would like to include an SPE paper. Can I just send you a request?
No. One-time permission for publication can only be granted to the author because by requesting permission he/she is giving up the option of SPE peer review of their paper. The author will need to obtain appropriate permission.
I want to use my SPE paper as the basis for a presentation at a non-SPE conference. Are any permissions required?
It depends on how you plan to use and refer to the paper, as well as the requirements of the other conference. Under the author-retained rights in the transfer of copyright form, you have the following rights:
- Authors/employers retain all intellectual property rights, including any idea, process, procedure, or article of manufacture described in the paper.
- Authors/employers may make an oral presentation of the same material provided proper acknowledgement of SPE copyright ownership is made.
- Authors/employers may incorporate all or part of the paper in future writings or presentations. If the entire paper or a portion thereof is used in substantially unchanged form, proper acknowledgement of SPE copyright must be made.
If you plan to make an oral presentation only, then you may do so and acknowledge SPE’s copyright. If you are writing a new paper, you can use (small) portions of the SPE paper, but need to include it in your references and follow normal citation procedures.
What you cannot do is submit your SPE paper in unchanged form to another conference. This would be a violation of SPE copyright and you would be unable to transfer copyright to the other conference organizer.
My SPE paper was presented at a conference that was sponsored jointly by SPE and another organization. That other organization has contacted me wanting to publish my paper in their magazine. Is that permissible?
When conferences are sponsored jointly with another professional society, the copyright on the paper is commonly held in the name of the conference. But SPE administers this copyright on behalf of both parties. You will need to request a one-time return of publication rights and you will be forfeiting the option of having your paper considered further for peer review in an SPE journal.
Locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.” If your paper is currently being peer-reviewed by any SPE journal, it will need to be withdrawn. SPE will return one time publication rights to you, which you can transfer to the non-SPE periodical.
My section periodical would like to publish my paper, perhaps in shortened form. Is this permissible because it is SPE?
No. Publication of full-length or synopsized versions of SPE-copyrighted material always requires SPE permission, even if the publisher is an SPE section. Because publication in another periodical has implications for the author’s options for peer review by SPE, it is important that the author make a conscious decision about where he/she would like the paper published. As an alternative, sections can publish an abstract of up to 300 words without graphics or tables without prior permission from SPE.
My company’s employee publication would like to publish excerpts from my SPE paper. Do I need permission and does this affect my peer-review options with SPE?
It depends. If the publication is distributed to company employees only, then permission is not required, and it would not affect peer review of your paper. But some of the large companies within our industry produce publications that are distributed to customers and sometimes more broadly across the industry. SPE would treat these requests like any other periodical because they are distributed outside the company.
Without SPE permission, you may post or publish an excerpt of any SPE-copyrighted paper as long as it does not exceed 300 words in length, make up more than 10% of the text and does not include any figures, graphics, or questions. Proper acknowledgement of SPE and Copyright year must be included.
I would like to include several SPE papers in the appendix of my thesis/dissertation. Is that allowed?
No. Full reprinting of SPE papers in a thesis or dissertation would not be appropriate. You should follow the normal rules of quotation and be certain to avoid plagiarism in referring to SPE copyrighted material.
I have a copy of the proceedings from a meeting I recently attended. I’d like to put these papers on my company’s intranet to share with colleagues who weren’t able to attend. Can I do that?
No. Conference proceedings are for the personal use of the attendee. Papers from SPE conferences are available in OnePetro on the first day of the meeting. So anyone who is conducting research using OnePetro will be able to find relevant materials immediately. You may, however, loan your proceedings CD to a colleague, similar to how you would loan them a book.
I bought a copy of an SPE paper from OnePetro. Can I share it with others in my company?
In certain cases. Copies purchased through OnePetro are for the personal use of the purchaser. Printing up to five (5) copies or emailing it up to five (5) colleagues is not a problem, but posting it on a company server for others to access in the future would not be acceptable. There are some exceptions below for project teams.
Please be aware the distribution of five (5) copies is applicable for one generation only. In other words, a person receiving a copy is not allowed to make an additional five (5) copies to distribute. If there is any question that yours is not the first generation, you should obtain permission to distribute by locating the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.”
I downloaded an SPE paper from OnePetro using my company’s subscription. Can I share it with others in my company?
See the discussion below about project teams/JIPs. While SPE doesn’t want to impede reasonable business use, we also need to assure that companies aren’t building their own libraries of SPE papers. In general, emailing a copy to up to five (5) colleagues is not a problem, but storing the paper on a company server for general access in the future would be.
I’d like to post my SPE paper on the Technical Interest Group (TIG) site. Can I do that?
No. You may not post the full paper. You can, however, include a link to the paper in OnePetro and a brief abstract.
I’d like to give copies of my SPE paper to a number of my colleagues. Is that OK?
Yes. SPE’s permissions procedure allows authors to distribute up to 50 printed copies of their paper for educational or professional purposes. Electronic distribution is not allowed, however.
We have an internal project team that needs to read/have access to a group of papers. Can we make copies for everyone, or post them on our team site?
Yes. Sharing papers among a project team is an acceptable use under SPE’s permissions procedure. If there is a project or team online presence that isn’t generally available (like a SharePoint site, or something similar), it is acceptable to post the papers (downloaded from OnePetro) on that site for the duration of the project. The papers do not have to have been written by company employees; they can be any SPE paper.
The key distinction is whether this is a location for access by the members of the team only (maximum of 50 people) versus a generally available company server.
We are part of a multi-company joint industry project (JIP). We would like to share relevant SPE papers with others on the project team. What do we need to do?
Sharing papers among a JIP team is allowed without permission under certain conditions: that the site where they are posted has limited access; that the number of people with access to the site doesn’t exceed 50, and the papers are posted only for the duration of the project. Posting papers on a generally accessible internet site is not allowed. The papers do not need to be written by employees of JIP companies; they can include any SPE papers.
We are doing some internal training for our engineers to familiarize them with some new technologies. We would like to use several SPE papers on those technologies as part of that training. Can I make copies for all attendees?
If the papers were written by company employees, this is clearly covered by the permissions procedure. For papers written by authors from other companies, you should request permission from SPE for their use. Locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.”
Sometimes vendors will visit us and leave behind copies of papers on the technologies they’re selling. Can we make copies of those papers to share with others who were unable to attend the presentation?
Consistent with SPE’s general permission it is OK to make up to five photocopies of SPE-copyrighted material to share with colleagues. If you need more copies than that, the vendor may be willing to provide you with additional copies or you may locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission” to obtain a license to distribute additional photocopies of the paper.
I’m a professor and I want to post my SPE papers on my website at the university. Is this allowed?
The answer depends on whether the website is available only within the university, or whether it is a generally accessible internet site. If your website is available only within the university, then it is equivalent to an intranet, and posting your papers there would be allowed. If the website is generally accessible via the internet, then you may not post the full paper. You can, however, post an abstract and link to the paper’s location in OnePetro. You will need to acknowledge SPE copyright in the abstract with a statement such as Copyright [year], Society of Petroleum Engineers.
I’m a professor and I want to create a site for students in my courses that includes all of the papers that they will need to read. Is permission required for this?
University subscriptions to OnePetro are unlimited, so there is no reason why the students cannot download copies of the papers for themselves. Your course materials site should include links to OnePetro for any SPE papers that you want students to read for the course. By having the students retrieve the papers themselves, you accomplish two things – you help them learn how to use this valuable resource and their downloads are counted to indicate to others that this paper is being widely used.
We have an area on our employee intranet (a site available only to company employees) where we would like to post SPE papers. May we do that?
For papers written by your company’s employees, yes. For other SPE papers, no. For SPE papers not authored by company employees, you can post an abstract of up to 300 words (with no figures or tables) and a link to the paper in OnePetro. Posting of papers on sites accessible to small groups may be allowed (see section above on sharing papers with others).
I’d like to post a paper written by one of my company’s employees on our website. What permission is required?
Posting SPE papers on a generally accessible internet site is not allowed. You may post an abstract of up to 300 words (with no figures or tables) and a link to the paper in OnePetro without permission. You will need to acknowledge SPE copyright in the abstract with a statement such as Copyright [year], Society of Petroleum Engineers.
I’d like to include the abstract of an SPE paper on my website (or in my brochure, or in my publication). What permission do I need?
No prior permission is required for use of an abstract. However, if you are using a paper written by non-employees and your use is commercial, great care should be taken not to imply that the authors of the paper endorse your product or service. If a situation is brought to SPE’s attention where an abstract is being used in this manner, SPE reserves the right to request that you discontinue use of it.
We have a customer extranet where we would like to post SPE papers written by our employees. Can we do that?
Extranets are websites that have limited access, and a customer extranet typically requires prior registration and company approval for access. Posting of abstracts for papers written by employees of your company (with recognition of SPE copyright and a link to OnePetro) would be allowed without prior permission. SPE is willing to consider requests to post full-length technical papers written by company employees on an extranet. Additional fees may apply, depending on the number of papers involved, how many people have access to the site, etc.
Can I include the SPE logo with the abstract of an SPE paper that I put on my website or printed materials?
No. Use of the SPE logo is covered by the SPE Logo and Name Use Policy. In general, non-SPE entities may not use the SPE logo because it can imply SPE endorsement of the website, product, service or other context in which it is used.
My company is an exhibitor at an SPE conference. We would like to hand out copies of papers authored by our employees from our stand. What do we need to do?
If you distribute 50 copies or fewer of each paper, then no permission is required. For more than 50 copies, then you would need to locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.”
My company has a new technology and an author from our company just had a paper on it at a recent SPE meeting. We would like to use this paper in promoting our technology. What do we need to do?
If you plan to use the paper in printed form (a photocopy or reprint as part of a brochure or handout), then you can distribute up to 50 copies without obtaining permission. If you plan to distribute more than 50 copies, you would need to locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.”
I want to reprint copies of one or more SPE papers by my company’s employees for use in promoting our company’s products. How can I get reprints and what permissions do I need?
If you want to make the reprints yourself, then the answer above applies. For more than 50 copies, you will need to locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.” If you would like SPE to prepare the reprint for you (such as reprint of a paper from a journal that retains the journal’s cover), contact email@example.com. Include a copy of the license obtained through Rightslink and the number of copies desired. SPE will quote you a price based on the cost of preparing and printing the reprint. SPE has a minimum quantity of 200 for reprint orders based on minimums from our printer.
An employee of my company wrote an SPE paper before he came to work for me that I would like to use in promoting our technology. How can I do that?
It is likely that you will not be able to do so, especially if the employee worked for a competitor at the time he authored the paper. When SPE considers whether the author is an employee of the company, what is important is the author’s employer at the time the paper was written. Upon receipt of a request to use a paper under these conditions, SPE would need to check with both the author’s employer at the time the paper was written and any co-authors.
Perhaps the best avenue here would be to write a new paper that appropriately references the earlier paper (taking care not to plagiarize it) for presentation at an SPE conference. The employee would need to submit a paper proposal and be accepted by the program committee for the conference. Caution should be used to keep the paper non-commercial.
I (or my company) conduct training courses and would like to give access to relevant SPE papers to the students in those courses. What permission do we need? We would prefer to provide the files to students electronically if possible so that they can read them in preparation for their course attendance.
Use of SPE papers in commercial training courses is not covered by the “fair use exemption” to copyright law for educational purposes. For distribution of printed copies of the SPE papers, you would need to locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link "View “Rights & Permission.” Electronic distribution is not permitted.
My company is selling some oil and gas properties, so we’re setting up a data room (both physical and virtual). Over time, our employees have written papers relevant to the sale properties, and we’d like to include those papers. Can we do that?
Since the papers are written by company employees and the author’s employer can distribute up to 50 copies for educational or professional purposes, this use would not require SPE permission. If the virtual data room requires prior approval for access, then it is essentially an extranet. If the number of people accessing the virtual data room is likely to be 50 or less, then electronic distribution without prior approval is allowed. If the number is likely to exceed 50, then permission is needed and fees may apply. Please locate your paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.”
My company facilitates the sale of oil and gas properties. We would like to post electronic copies of relevant SPE papers in our data room. What would we need to do? Would the answer differ if we were talking about a physical data room and printed copies?
Since the papers are not written by your company employees, this is a third-party request. Presumably, your physical or electronic data room will have controlled (limited) access. You would need to locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Rights & Permission.” For a physical data room, if the papers were written by employees of the company for whom you are selling properties, up to 50 copies could be distributed without prior permission similar to the answer above. If the papers were not written by your customer’s employees, then the license must be obtained as described above.
I would like to use a figure from an SPE paper in my SPE paper. What permission do I need to do that?
That depends on where the figure in the original SPE paper came from. If it is original to the paper, then you can use the figure in your paper without prior permission from SPE (because you are using SPE copyrighted material in an SPE copyrighted work).
You will need to indicate the source of the figure. If the original SPE paper cites a non-SPE source for the paper, then you will need to obtain permission from that source to use the figure in your paper – you cannot just source the SPE paper. You will need to obtain this permission prior to submitting your completed paper to SPE.
I’m writing another SPE paper and I want to use some of the text and figures from my prior SPE paper. Do I need permission to do that?
This is similar to the above question. If the figures were original to the prior SPE paper, then you can use the figure without permission, but you will need to indicate that the source of the figure is the earlier paper.
If you had to obtain permission from another source to use the figure in your earlier SPE paper, then you will need to request permission again for the second paper. Re-use of text from the earlier paper should be governed by the normal rules of quotation and plagiarism.
Even though you are the author of the earlier paper, repeating large blocks of text is not acceptable, and shorter passages should be acknowledged as direct quotes from the original source. You can reword/rewrite the text, but you will still need to reference the earlier publication. Extensive quotation or reliance on the earlier text will make it appear that you have not built on the prior work, but are just trying to get a second publication from it.
I (or my company) would like to use a figure or table from an SPE paper in a book or other collection. What permission do I/we need to do that?
You will need to locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the link “Get Permissions.”
I would like to include figures and tables from an SPE paper in my thesis/dissertation. Do I need permission to do that?
This question is similar to the ones above. You should locate the paper in OnePetro and follow the “Get Permissions” link to complete your permission requests. If you are the author of the SPE paper, then you may do so as part of your author-retained rights, but you need to cite the source as the SPE paper. If you are not the author of the SPE paper, then you will need to request permission similar to the book request above. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a code which will waive applicable fees for students under some conditions.
SPE materials often say they are for “personal use.” What does that mean?
Personal use means that they are intended solely for the use of the recipient (such as a proceedings CD from a conference) or purchaser (such as from the bookstore or OnePetro). Receipt of a proceedings, downloading a paper from OnePetro, purchasing a book, or other receipt of SPE copyrighted materials does not entitle the customer to make any commercial use of that material or to share it with others, except as provided for in this FAQ or the procedure for obtaining permission to use SPE copyrighted material.
When I am downloading SPE papers from OnePetro, I want to save them on a server, rather than on my hard drive. Can I do that?
The answer depends on whether others will have access to them in that location. Some companies may provide employees with workspace on a common server for saving their documents. This simplifies the company’s need for backing-up materials since they are not stored on individual hard drives. In such a case, access to that employee’s workspace on the server is typically limited to the employee, and sometimes his/her work team. In such cases, saving to the server is essentially the same as saving it to your hard drive.
If the server is a generally available company server, then please refer to other questions in this FAQ and to the permissions procedure itself to determine whether this would be an acceptable use of SPE copyrighted material.
What rules apply to the use of papers from other societies in OnePetro? How do I know what I can and cannot do with them?
You may use the “Rights & Permissions” link for any paper in OnePetro that has one to obtain the appropriate permission. If there is no link on a paper you would like to use, you will need to contact the organization that holds copyright to the paper to determine what permissions may be required. Check the society’s website or contact them directly for information on permission requirements.
What rules apply to the use of papers copyrighted by a government entity?
If the paper was written by US government employees in the course of their work, or was funded by the US government (as specified in the applicable contract), it is not subject to copyright. As such, reuse of material in the document does not require approval from SPE.
If the paper specifies Crown Copyright (typically, this would only be papers written by employees of the UK, Canadian, Australian, or New Zealand governments, and NOT work funded by those governments), copyright is held by the applicable government. To request reuse of material from these papers you must contact the appropriate government copyright organization to request permission. Use a search engine to search for Crown Copyright and the country to find instruction on what information you need to provide.