Copyright vests initially in the author of the work. When material is made for an employer, the employer is considered the author for copyright purposes, unless the parties have agreed otherwise. There are some uses for which you may not need to obtain the rights to use copyrighted work. These uses include criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. For purposes of self-promotion, however, you must obtain the rights to use copyrighted material.
Search the Copyright Office website to find the copyright owner. The more information you have about the work, the easier it will be to find the copyright owner. For example, having the title of the work, the names of the authors and the approximate year when the work was published will make your search easier.
Request written permission from the owner to use his or her work for the purposes of self-promotion.
Give the owner of the copyright credit whenever possible. For example, use a citation to denote who the work belongs to.