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Copyright and Reuse of Visual Media and Text

NSF's policy is to use externally-produced material (graphics, text, etc.) on our web site only with permission of the copyright holder. If you believe material to which you have rights has been improperly included, please provide the URL to the webmaster identified as contact for the page on which the material appears or to the


Most text appearing on NSF web pages was either prepared by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties and therefore not subject to copyright or prepared under contracts that gave the Foundation the right to place the text into the public domain. The same is true of most publications available for downloading from this web site. You may freely copy that material and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation.

If copyrighted text is included on an NSF web page or in an NSF publication, it will be specifically identified. For information about copyright holders, how they can be contacted, and what, if any, use those owners allow of their material, please provide the URL to the webmaster identified as contact for the page on which the text or download link appears. If no contact is given, contact the


Except for NSF logos, permission to use NSF visual media (graphics, photos and illustrations) is granted on a case-by-case basis. Some assets are public domain, some are created by NSF contractors, and some are used by NSF with specific permission granted by the owner. Therefore, visual media found on the NSF web site should not be reused without permission.

To request information about the copyright holders of a given piece of visual media the NSF web site, their contact information, and what, if any, usage permissions exist for their material, email and provide (1) the URL where the asset was found, (2) the file name, if available, and (3) a screenshot of the visual media.

Granting the right to use a particular visual media from the NSF web site does not explicitly or implicitly convey NSF's endorsement of the site where it is used. If a piece of NSF visual media includes an identifiable person, using the media may infringe that person's right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person.

Once you receive confirmation from NSF that the visual media is available for use, you must use the appropriate credit provided by the image research team.


If you have any questions regarding the reproduction or use of any NSF graphics, please direct them to:

National Science Foundation
Attn: OLPA Webmaster
Office of Legislative and Public Affairs
Information Dissemination Branch
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Telephone: (703) 292-8070

These materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking appropriate professional counsel.