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Copyright in Theses and Dissertations: Home

This guide contains practical copyright help for students writing their theses and dissertations for submission to the OhioLINK ETD

Using Other Author's Works in your Thesis or Dissertation

Many students include portions of other author's or creator's works in their theses or dissertations, including longer quotes, illustrations, photographs, charts, or tables. Some of these are simply data and are not copyrightable. Others illustrate data in a creative context. Although you may be able to invoke fair use for some of these works, you may need permission to include others. Contact me, and I will help you navigate this process. 

Some students have previously published portions of their theses or dissertations in academic, scholarly, or professional journals. For questions or permissions to include these in your thesis or dissertation, please contact me.

Generally speaking, I will need the draft title, approximate number of pages, and projected graduation date, along with complete citations to any works you would like to include. 

Copyright Ownership and Registration

By U.S. Copyright Law and University Policy, you already own the copyright to your thesis or dissertation, from your first draft to your final version. It is not necessary to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. If you plan to pursue publication of your thesis or dissertation as a journal article or book, know that the publisher frequently handles copyright registrations. If you would like to register your copyright, see the U.S. Copyright Office Registration Portal. A fee is involved, for which you will be responsible.

Copyright and the OhioLINK ETD Center

When submitting your thesis or dissertation, the OhioLINK ETD Center offers three options for the copyright statement that will be displayed with your ETD, including Creative Commons Licenses:

1. All Rights Reserved

In addition, you may choose to allow additional use of your paper via a Creative Commons license. (Why would I do this?)

Creative Commons licenses are non-revocable; once granted, they cannot be taken away.
Please understand their terms carefully before selecting a Creative Commons option.