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This communication provides clarification on copyrights of INCOSE publications.

Those who contribute their material to INCOSE retain the copyright to their submissions and grant an unlimited license to INCOSE to use their contributions. INCOSE, in turn, grants unlimited use to authors for their own work.

The rights to obtain copies of INCOSE products for individual members of INCOSE, corporate members of INCOSE, and others affiliated with INCOSE are governed by INCOSE polices and agreements. Permission to reproduce INCOSE products, prepare derivative works, and redistribute INCOSE products is not automatically granted with the exception of limited reproduction of excerpts for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

For teaching and training purposes in industry, academia, and government, the guidelines for limited reproduction of excerpts are that only one copy is allowed per student of the following items:

  • The text from articles, stories, or essays that are less than 2,500 words
  • Excerpts of 10 percent of the text or 1,000 words, whichever is less, from works of more than 2,500 words
  • One chart, picture, diagram, or cartoon per book or per periodical issue
  • Two pages from an illustrated work that contains mostly figures or artwork and contains less than 2,500 words

Certification exam instructors are advised to make the Systems Engineering Handbook a required text for their courses. INCOSE will provide a Power Point file of the figures from the System Engineering Handbook (with the exception of figures provided by IEC/ISO) via a password-protected website for instructional use to those who agree to not copy, scan, or duplicate, in whole or in part, except for distribution for their students use.

CAB organizations are no longer permitted to post INCOSE products on their servers. Instead, employees and students must create CAB-limited accounts via the Member Login page of www.incose.org to gain access to the products. This distribution method will ensure that INCOSE is able to better track the usage of their products, and it follows best practices of the publishing industry for providing access to copyright-protected products.

If anyone wishes to promulgate the content of INCOSE products as guidelines or standards, they should consider incorporating INCOSE products in their documents by referencing them including instructions on where they may be found. If they wish instead to prepare a derivative work that uses substantial excerpts beyond previously described limitations for instructional use, they must prepare a request for permissions using an INCOSE-provided form and send it to permissions@incose.org to be reviewed.

Finally, authors who are preparing works for conferences, journals, or books are able to cite and reproduce copyrighted material as long as the work advances knowledge or progresses of the state of art through the addition of something new. Key considerations are (1) the extent to which the use of the copyrighted material is transformative, as opposed to being merely derivative and (2) the extent to which the amount of material reproduced would harm the potential market of the original material.

These are the official guidelines for INCOSE product use.

Permission for SE Handbook Figures Form - link to handbook figures
All Other Permission Requests Form – link to request for permission