One of the things I want to do with my blog is often cite research articles, and I often want to include a figure or text from those articles. There is obviously then an issue of copyright that I need to address.

There are no real guidelines[^1] on what to do, but I plan to do the following unless I find that I’m doing wrong:

  • I will always cite the original article.
  • I will never quote a substantial part of any article.
  • When reusing figures from any article protected by copyright I’ll degrade1 them in some way, e.g. lower the resolution or remove legend and/or axis information) to encourage readers of my blog to go to the original article if they want to refer to it or use it themselves.

I hope that in this way I will remain within the fair use criteria … as usual with these things I wont really know if this is fair use unless someone objects and claims it isn’t. It does seem fair to me.

(Updated May 24th and again July 1st, 2005) [^1]: Although this makes a fair stab at it albeit that I understand there is no copyright on US government documents.

  1. Given everything is protected by copyright, I’ll only invoke this where the reader would normally not have public access to the document, i.e. a subscription would be required to otherwise have access to it.