When working on the figures for a recent paper I realised that I was using schemes of the animal I work with that come from a copyright-protected book. I decided that I will get rid of those schemes and instead produce my own. However, there was still a potential copyright issue: depending on where the paper would be published, the rights for the figures might well end up with the journal rather than with me. The solution that allows you and others to re-use your own figures is to publish everything on a platform such as figshare under a creative commons license before you publish it in a paper, and then cite yourself on figshare in your paper. That’s what I did!

So here are some tadpoles and froglets


They come from here, or I can cite it like a paper (Hänzi and Straka, 2016). Figshare is very helpful as it shows you how to cite anything on their database: at the top they have a ‘cite’ option, which gives you the doi and the citation.

Even cooler, figshare has version control: for instance, here I put all the images of the tadpoles, and then I added another one after publishing it, so now it is on version two. The doi without a version number at the end will always send you to the latest version.

I used some of the pictures to make more schematised versions which can be used in figures where details do not matter. One of them looks like this:


The CC-BY licence allows you to use, re-use, modify and even commercially use my figures, as long as you say where the original came from. So feel free to use and share!

If you want to know more about licensing, check out the creative commons site, and when you send something to a journal, check who will hold the copyright!


Hänzi, Sara; Straka, Hans (2016): Xenopus laevis: overview over late tadpole stages. figshare. https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3839991.v1 Retrieved: 14 53, Nov 05, 2016 (GMT)