Request for Permission to Publish Content by PLOS

Hello, fellows,

We are working on a manuscript that will be published in the PLOS journal.

In our work, we use the Visual Coding - Neuropixels dataset (Visual Coding Neuropixels -, including recorded mouse data as well as visual stimuli images. We have replotted some of the images as part of our work in the manuscript.

In our manuscript, we have cited Allen’s relevant publications and data sources.

To be published by the PLOS Computational Biology, the PLOS office asks for written permission from the Allen Institute to publish these materials under the CC BY 4.0 license used by PLOS journals.

It looks strange to me. The Allen data has been used widely in various journals for publications, including the PLOS journals. Why the PLOS is asking for this from each author again and again?

BTW, I have been contacting the Allen office for written permission, but have not got any reply so far.

What should I do? Any suggestions?


Hi Jian,
I will send you a direct email link via private message. That should speed the process up.

Many thanks! -Jian

My understanding to your question about why PLOS is asking for a waiver here is this. Much of the Allen data is released under a license that permits non-commercial use of the data, but restricts reselling of the data for commerical uses . CC BY 4.0 license does not restrict those activities, so PLOS requires a waiver to be clear that it and its authors are not violating the original terms of use, by attaching a new license to it. This does produce a loophole where those specific images could then be re-used and resold for commercial purposes (as long as they included attribution specified in CC BY 4.0).

Sure, initially I thought there was no need for a Permission Request if there were already published PLOS papers using the same dataset by Allen. However, it appears that each new paper needs to go through the process again.

This means I’ll have to return later to submit a new request, especially since the Allen data is highly valuable and widely used for research.

Raising a question here seems to be the easiest approach :grinning: