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The PubMed Central® (PMC) database does not own the copyrights for the articles it archives. As explained in the following FAQ, you need to determine copyright restrictions for each article individually and contact its copyright holder as applicable.

To find out the copyright statement of a PMC article:
  • Access the article on the web in the PMC database and display it in the classic view (example). If you are using the PubReader display (example) use the gear symbol (top right) to Switch to classic view.
  • Open up the Copyright and License information ► link below the article's title.
  • The statement that you find for your article may be similar to one in the following four examples and will dictate how you proceed next:
    • Example 1:  Adhere to the provided Open Access statement. If you have questions please contact the journal/publisher directly. The journal/publisher banner above the title of the article is usually a direct link to the publisher/journal site where you will find their contact information.
    • Example 2: Note the copyright holder information; in this case "Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society." Click on the Copyright link to access the PMC Copyright Notice page. Find the American Physiological Society listed in the Links to Publisher-Specific Copyright Information section of the page. The publisher for your article may be one on this list and you will need to follow its guidelines as provided.
    • Example 3: Note the journal name, "Preventing Chronic Disease" first, then use the link to the Copyright Notice page. Find the journal listed in the Public Domain Material section and adhere to the statement listed in the section.
    • Example 4: There is no Open Access statement, and the copyright holder —Engage Healthcare Communications, LLC— is not on the list in example 2 or example 3. Click on the journal's banner at the top of the page, find the journal's contact information on their page and direct your inquiry to the journal.
If you are still unsure who to contact, send us a message at info@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. We will help you locate the copyright holder, but we cannot help you interpret any of the statements that you find.