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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global

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Copyright Holders

If i choose to upload to proquest dissertations and theses global, who holds the copyright to my dissertation or thesis.

ProQuest states,

"As the author, you retain sole and complete ownership over your dissertation or thesis ( ProQuest, 2018 )."

ProQuest has created a document to help readers understand copyright law and doctoral dissertations. Check out the document below for any in-depth questions or concerns you might have about uploading your content onto PQD&T.

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  • Last Updated: Mar 15, 2023 4:21 PM
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Thesis & Dissertation Publishing: ProQuest Copyright Options

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  • Publish /Upload with ProQuest
  • ProQuest Copyright Options
  • Graduate Research (Research Guide) This link opens in a new window

ProQuest ETD Publishing Options

Publishing your graduate thesis or dissertation electronically through ProQuest ETD is a requirement of the University of Wyoming. You will need to select either traditional publishing or open access publishing during the submission process. Review the materials explaining these copyright choices prior to submitting your thesis or dissertation. You may want to discuss the options with your major professor as well.

  • Open Access Compared to Traditional Publishing Definitions and choice considerations for publishing options (from ProQuest)

ProQuest EDT - Traditional Copyright Option

The traditional publishing option indexes your work in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (and associated) databases at no cost to you. Many academic libraries worldwide subscribe to this resource, making full text (PDF) content readily accessible to authorized users (i.e., students, faculty, and staff) at their institutions. ProQuest will sell individual copies of a thesis or dissertation upon request. You may also choose to make purchase of your thesis or dissertation available via third parties. If your thesis or dissertation is sold, you will receive royalties as long as you maintain a current address with ProQuest.

The citation record for your thesis or dissertation is findable in search engines for Google Scholar and google.com unless you opt out; however, your full text PDF will not accessible on these websites when choosing the traditional publishing option.

ProQuest EDT - Open Access Copyright Option

Open access publishing is an option that provides more access to your research work than with traditional publishing. Researchers and scholars around the world have access to your work without having to pay for access through a publishing company. This option involves an additional fee from the author (i.e., graduate student submitter).

To publish your thesis or dissertation as open access, select the "Open Access Publishing Plus" option when setting up your ProQuest ETD account. Follow the prompts and pay the additional fee. You will not receive any royalties with this option.

The citation record for your thesis or dissertation is findable in search engines for Google Scholar and google.com unless you opt out. When you choose the ProQuest open access publishing option, your full text PDF will also be freely accessible on these websites.

  • ProQuest Open Access Service Overview of Open Access option for theses and dissertations on ProQuest.

Delayed Release - Embargoes

When submitting your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest ETD, you can specify whether you want it to be released immediately upon publication or for it to be delayed for a set period of time (i.e., 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years). Delayed release of a publication is called an embargo. You may want to specify an embargo period to protect your creative content while preparing a journal article, or pursuing publication by an academic press or commercial press, or to retain patenting rights, or for ethical non-disclosure reasons.

  • Embargoes & Restrictions Guide (ProQuest ETD)

Articles Regarding Open Access and Embargo Choices

  • Open Access and the Graduate Author: A Dissertation Anxiety Manual Chapter in the book "Open Access and the Future of Scholarly Communication: Implementation"
  • Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities? Findings from a 2011 Survey of Academic Publishers Article in "College & Research Libraries"
  • Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Sciences? Article in "College & Research Libraries"

Copyright for Dissertations & Theses

  • Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis (ProQuest manual) Understand copyright issues "by clarifying your ownership of the dissertation, registering the copyright, and deciding whether a Creative Commons license is appropriate." Provided by the publisher of the ProQuest Theses & Dissertations Global database.

Registering Copyright

Your creative and original research work is copyrighted automatically. Registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is optional, and costs extra. Copyright registration allows you to sue for statutory and actual damages as well as for attorneys' fees if someone steals your work and claims it as their own. Without registration, your copyright still entitles you to sue for actual damages (only) for copyright infringement.

  • U.S. Copyright Office

ProQuest ETD Submission

You may create your ProQuest ETD account before you are ready to publish. Be sure to remember your log-on information for when you return to the website to upload your final document.

  • ProQuest ETD Submission - website for UW
  • How to submit to ProQuest ETD (ProQuest LibGuide) To access a training video, click the links for "Recorded Webinars" then "ETD Administrator - Electronic Submissions: Product Education" then "ETD Administrator -- Student Submission Webinar."

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Submitting Electronic Theses and Dissertations to ProQuest

  • Publishing Options

ETDs, Copyright, & You

Using copyrighted materials.

  • Contact Information
  • How do I get copyright for my thesis/dissertation? As the author of a thesis or dissertation, you own the copyright to your work .  Under U.S. Copyright law, a creator of an "original work" created in a "fixed tangible medium" is immediately and automatically the copyright owner of the work, and your work is protected. 
  • Do I need to register my work with the U.S. Copyright Office? As stated above, your thesis or dissertation is automatically protected under copyright.  However, there are some important practical and legal benefits to registering your copyright, particularly the right to collect " statutory damages " in a successful infringement lawsuit.  Essentially, if at some point you might want to take legal action in order to protect your work, you should register it with the U.S. Copyright Office . 
  • How do I register my work? In the course of this submission, you can request that ProQuest/UMI file for copyright with the U.S. Copyright on your behalf.  ProQuest charges a $75 fee for this service. You can also do the filing yourself directly through U.S. Copyright Office at copyright.gov .  You will be charged a $35 registration fee.
  • Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis Guidelines for avoiding copyright infringement, how to get permission, and more from ProQuest/UMI.
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  • Last Updated: Feb 5, 2024 5:44 PM
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/images/cornell/logo35pt_cornell_white.svg" alt="proquest dissertations copyright"> Cornell University --> Graduate School

Fair use, copyright, patent, and publishing options.

  • Is information that you plan to include from others considered “fair use” and are you acknowledging these sources correctly?
  • Embargo of online copies
  • Creative Commons license
  • Has a patent application been filed (or will one be) on the basis of your thesis or dissertation research?
  • Register for copyright?
  • Supplementary materials
  • Make your work discoverable on search engines?
  • Make your work accessible to people with visual disabilities

1. Is information that you plan to include from others considered “fair use” and are you acknowledging these sources correctly?

You are responsible for acknowledging any facts, ideas, or materials of others that you include in your work. You must follow the guidelines for acknowledging the work of others in the “Code of Academic Integrity and Acknowledging the Work of Others” (published in the Policy Notebook for the Cornell Community ) .

If you use any copyrighted material in the dissertation or thesis, it is your responsibility to give full credit to the author and publisher of work quoted. The acknowledgment should be placed in a footnote at the bottom of the first page of the paper or chapter. Additionally, you must determine whether use of the material can be classified as a “fair use” by performing an analysis of your use of each copyrighted item. The Cornell Copyright Information Center’s Fair Use Checklist ) is a helpful tool for performing this analysis. (See also, Copyright Law and the Doctoral Dissertation: Guidelines to Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities , published by ProQuest, or The Chicago Manual of Style , published by the University of Chicago Press.)

If your use of material is not considered a “fair use,” you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner. Two copies of each permission letter must be submitted with the dissertation or thesis. ProQuest has specific requirements for the content of the permission letter. For these guidelines, consult the ProQuest Doctoral Dissertation Agreement form (published by ProQuest).

If you have already published or had accepted for publication part of your own dissertation or thesis material in a journal, depending on the terms of your publication agreement, it may be necessary to write to that journal and obtain written authorization to use the material in your dissertation.

2. Embargo of online copies

The value of your dissertation extends well beyond your graduation requirements. It’s important that you make an informed decision about providing online access, via ProQuest and eCommons, to your work. This decision can expand the visibility and impact of your work, but it can also shape the options available to you for publishing subsequent works based on your dissertation.

ProQuest’s ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT) database indexes almost all dissertations published in the U.S. and provides subscription access online to the full text of more recent dissertations. ProQuest also sells print copies of dissertations, paying royalties to authors, when they exceed a minimum threshold. Authors retain copyright in the works they submit to ProQuest.

eCommons is a service of the Cornell University Library that provides long-term, online access to Cornell-related content of enduring value. Electronic theses and dissertations deposited in eCommons, unless subject to embargo, are freely accessible to anyone with an internet connection. When submitting to eCommons, you retain copyright in your work. Ph.D. dissertations and master’s theses submitted to ProQuest are automatically submitted to eCommons, subject to the same embargo you select for ProQuest.

Electronic copies of dissertations in PQDT or eCommons may be made accessible immediately upon submission or after an embargo period of six months, one year, or two years. You may wish to consider an embargo period which helps address publishers’ interests in being the first to publish scholarly books or articles, while also ensuring that scholarship is accessible to the general public within a reasonable period of time. Your decision should be made in consultation with your special committee.

3. Creative Commons license

Creative Commons licenses provide authors with a straightforward and standardized means of prospectively granting certain permissions to potential users of the author’s material. Authors may request proper attribution, permit copying and the creation of derivative works, request that others share derivative works under the same terms, and allow or disallow commercial uses. Authors may even choose to place their works directly into the public domain. You will have the option of selecting a Creative Commons license when you upload your dissertation or thesis to ProQuest, and your choice will automatically be applied to the copy of your work in eCommons.

4. Has a patent application been filed (or will one be) on the basis of your thesis or dissertation research?

Cornell University Policy 1.5 governs inventions and related property rights. Inventions made by faculty, staff, and students must be disclosed to the Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University (CTL). Theses and dissertations describing patentable research should be withheld from publication, in order to avoid premature public disclosure.

Use the delayed release (embargo) option if a patent application is or will be in process, noting the reason for the delay as “patent pending.” If you have any questions, please contact Cornell’s Center for Technology Licensing at 607-254-4698 or [email protected] .

5. Register for copyright?

Copyright law involves many complex issues that are relevant to you as a graduate student, both in protecting your own work and in referencing the work of others. Discussion of copyright in this publication is not meant to substitute for the legal advice of qualified attorneys. A more detailed discussion of copyright law can be found in the publication from ProQuest entitled Copyright Law and the Doctoral Dissertation: Guidelines to Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities by Kenneth D. Crews.

Copyright protection automatically exists from the time the work is created in fixed form and the copyright immediately becomes the property of the author. Registration with the United States Copyright Office is not required to secure copyright; rather it is a legal formality to place on public record the basic facts of a particular copyright. Although not a condition of copyright protection itself, registering the copyright is ordinarily necessary before any infringement suits can be filed in court.

To register a copyright for your dissertation or thesis, register online or download printable forms . You may also request forms by mail from the Information Section, U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20559, or contact them by telephone at 202-707-3000.

Doctoral candidates: You may authorize ProQuest to file, on your behalf, an application for copyright registration. This option will be presented to you as part of the submission process.

6. Supplementary materials

If supplementary materials (audio, video, datasets, etc., up to 2GB per file) are part of your thesis or dissertation, you may submit them as supplementary files during the online submission process. For help selecting long-lived file formats, note ProQuest’s guidance in their document, “Preparing Your Manuscript for Submission (Including Supplemental Files).” File formats for which ProQuest does not guarantee migration may still have a high likelihood of preservation in Cornell’s digital repository; please see the eCommons help page for further guidance.

Do not embed media files in the PDF version of your thesis or dissertation, as this can significantly increase the size of the file and make it difficult to download and access. Include a description of each supplementary file in the abstract of your thesis or dissertation. You may include an additional supplementary file containing more detailed information about the supplementary materials as a “readme” file or other form of documentation; this is particularly advisable for data sets or code. The Research Data Management Service Group ( [email protected] ) offers assistance in preparing and documenting data sets for online distribution.

7. Make your work discoverable on search engines?

ProQuest offers authors the option of making their graduate work discoverable through major search engines including Yahoo, Google, Google Scholar, and Google Books. If you chose the Search Engine option on their dissertation “paper” publishing agreement or within ProQuest’s PROQUEST ETD Administrator (electronic submission service), you can expect to have your work appear in the major search engines.

If you change your mind and do not want your work to be made available through search engines, you can contact customer service at [email protected] or 800-521-0600 ext. 77020. In addition, if you did not initially adopt this option but now want your works made available through this service, contact the customer service group to change your selection.

Please note that search engines index content in eCommons, regardless of the choice you make for ProQuest.

8. Make your work accessible to people with visual disabilities

When creating a PDF version of your thesis or dissertation it is important to keep in mind that readers may use assistive technology such as screen readers to access your document.  Follow best practices to ensure that your thesis or dissertation is accessible to everyone.  These resources may be helpful:

  • Cornell CIT’s guidance for creating accessible PDFs
  • Checking accessibility using Acrobat Pro
  • Embedding alternative text for images in Word
  • Save a Word doc as an accessible PDF

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Submitting Your Dissertation, Thesis, Or PDE: Copyright

  • Converting to PDF
  • Publishing Options
  • Publishing Agreement
  • Ordering Copies

Copyright and Your Dissertation

There are two important areas of interest under this topic:

Copyright Law and Graduate Research

  • Proquest presumes that you have made appropriate attributions and references to the intellectual property of others used to support the work contained in your dissertation. 
  • Proquest also presumes that you have made good-faith attempts to secure permissions to use the intellectual property of others, if needed.

Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis    You should review this document by Proquest for a detailed discussion of these matters: 

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

While it is true that printing your name, a copyright marking, and a date on any page of your dissertation does assert your rights to your intellectual property, you should go further and  register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.  For a $55 fee that you can pay during the submission process, ProQuest will do this for you. If you ever have to challenge legally someone's misuse of your intellectual property, a legally registered copyright greatly facilitates that process.

Register U.S. Copyright

The rest of this page is quoted verbatim from the Register U. S. Copyright menu page you will see on the submission website. You should review it carefully.

If you find the section named Previous U.S. Copyright Registration puzzling, here is an explanation of why you would choose Yes rather than No . In all likelihood, you will have no reason to choose Yes.

If you registered your copyright for a pre-existing work and reused that work in large part or totally to generate a new work, namely, your dissertation, you would need to report that copyright as you register your copyright for the dissertation. Some excellent examples include the reuse in a new work of a previously published scholarly article, book, patent, musical work, short story, and so on.

At ProQuest, we make copyright registration easy - by submitting your application to the United States Office of Copyright on your behalf and providing you with the certificate from the Library of Congress. Registering your copyright via ProQuest is the fastest and most efficient method currently available.

How to take advantage of our copyright service:

Registering with the U.S. Office of Copyright establishes your claim to the copyright for your dissertation/thesis and provides certain protections if your copyright is violated . Because of the availability of content on the open web via repositories and other avenues, registering for U.S. copyright can be a significant benefit for the protection of your work. By registering for U.S. copyright, you can protect your dissertation or thesis and become immediately eligible for statutory damages and attorney fees. Registering for copyright allows for the claimant to receive statutory damages set out in Title 17, Section 504 of the U.S. Code , which range from $750 - $150,000 USD plus attorney fees per copyright infraction. This contrasts with those who do not register for copyright - authors without copyright registration can claim only actual damages and no attorney fees.

If you wish, ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing will act on your behalf as your agent with the United States Copyright Office and apply for copyright registration as part of the publishing process. Learn more

1. Previous U.S. Copyright Registration

Has registration for your published dissertation/thesis, or for an earlier version of the manuscript, been made with the Copyright Office? 

2. Requesting ProQuest/UMI to file for U.S. Copyright Registration

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Dissertations, Doctoral Projects, and Theses: Copyright

Who owns copyright in my dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis after it is published in digitalgeorgetown and proquest.

You own the copyright in your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis from the moment it is fixed in a tangible form, such as saved as a digital file. Nothing in the submission process to ProQuest or DigitalGeorgetown changes the ownership status of your work. As the copyright owner, you have the exclusive right to copy and distribute your work. When you submit your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis, you will grant limited rights to Georgetown University and ProQuest so they can make your work available online.

DigitalGeorgetown

When you sign the Electronic Thesis, Doctoral Project & Dissertation (ETD) Release , you grant a non-exclusive license to Georgetown University to make your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis available online in the University's Institutional Repository, DigitalGeorgetown .

As part of the submission process through the  ProQuest ETD Administrator , you will grant ProQuest a non-exclusive license to make your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis available online in its subscription databases. For a fee, you may choose to make your work available open access on proquest.com .

Do I need to register my copyright?

Registering your copyright with the Copyright Office is not required for your work to be protected by copyright, but it is required if you ever need to enforce your rights through litigation. If you are considering registering your copyright, read more on our Copyright Registration page.

What do I do if I have used materials created by others (text, images, data, charts, etc.) in my work?

While there are unlikely to be any copyright concerns when third-party materials are shared only with your committee, after you submit your work to the Graduate School and it becomes available in DigitalGeorgetown to anyone with internet access, you must consider whether you are infringing any copyrights by making third-party works freely available. Both the DigitalGeorgetown release form and the ProQuest submission form require you to certify that you have obtained any necessary permissions for materials in your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis.

If the materials you are using are in the public domain, have a Creative Commons license, or are fair uses, you may use them without permission from the copyright owner. In addition to the pages linked below, you may find our Copyright Videos useful to better understand your rights and responsibilities when using third-party materials in your work.

Public Domain

Materials in the public domain are not protected by copyright law, and therefore may be used freely. “Public domain” has a defined meaning under copyright law and does not mean materials publicly available on the internet. While there are several ways that a work may enter the public domain, the most likely is that copyright protection has expired. For 2022, anything published before 1927 can be used freely. Read more about the public domain on our Public Domain page.

Creative Commons

Some materials have a Creative Commons or other open license that allows materials to be reused with few or no restrictions. For materials found online, check the website’s terms and conditions to see whether the work may be used for noncommercial educational purposes.

Fair use permits the use of limited portions of a third-party work in a new work without permission or license fees. Absent unusual circumstances, properly cited direct quotations in your work will qualify as a fair use. For the use of other works, you will need to analyze the four fair use factors to determine whether your use is fair. Fair use determinations are subjective, fact-specific, and not completely risk-free since users and rights holders may disagree on whether a potential use is fair. To learn more about fair use, visit our Fair Use page.

If there are any materials in your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis that are not public domain, Creative Commons, or fair use, you may be able to request permission to use them in your work. To learn more, visit our Requesting Permission page. Another option is to remove the copyrighted material from your work before submitting it through the ProQuest submission portal. You should note where any material in your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis was redacted and describe what information has been removed.

Where can I get more information about copyright and my dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis?

  • Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis (2014) - overview from ProQuest
  • Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities (2013) - detailed manual by Kenneth Crews
  • If you have questions about copyright and your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis, contact [email protected] .
  • For questions about DigitalGeorgetown, contact [email protected] .

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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global

Collection information.

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Inspirational Video
  • Unique Features

Subject Specific Guides

  • ProQuest ETD Administrator -Electronic Submissions ProQuest has been providing delivery of dissertations and theses electronically since 2003. We have developed over 400 submission sites for institutions and expect to have a total of 500 completed by the end of 2012. The ProQuest ETD Administrator is currently the most widely used submission tool.
  • ProQuest ETD Dashboard

Other Relevant Guides

  • ProQuest One Academic
  • ProQuest Central
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses

With more than 5 million dissertations and theses ,  ProQuest Dissertations & Theses  Global  is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. PQDT Global connects scholarship from 4,100 universities, diverse voices, ideas, and perspectives can be viewed within a singular global context.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global  is the official dissertations repository for the Library of Congress. It   includes access to international scholarly works from USA, UK to Continental Europe, Africa to India and China. Our partnerships with universities have been key to expanding the reach and impact of graduate works. By working together, the visibility of both the institution and its PhD dissertation production are enhanced in the worldwide research community. In 2017, ProQuest joined forces with China Academic Library and Information System (CALIS) to provide first-ever global access to abstracts of the graduate output of 80 Chinese Universities.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global  is updated weekly and features 24 indexed and searchable fields, including full text searchability for the entire text of full-text dissertations. Around, 200,000 dissertation works added annually.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global  allows students, faculties, and research scholars:

  • To Check the Uniqueness of Dissertations Titles : T o find titles related to their scholarly interests and to make sure that their proposed thesis or dissertation topics have not already been written about
  • Global Network of Knowledge: PQDT Global connects scholarship from 4,100 universities globally, diverse voices, ideas, and perspectives. PQDT Global database gives instant access to high-quality, multidisciplinary research materials to Uncover new ideas and innovations with more confidence and effectiveness.
  • Equitable Search Results: A dedicated ProQuest editorial team reviews every title and applies enhancements to create equitable discoverability across subjects and institutions, consistently delivering quality, relevant results
  • Connections to Insights: Each full text dissertation in PQDT Global is fully searchable providing an unparalleled resource for text and data mining analysis making connections that generate new insights.
  • The Undiscovered: PQDT Global helps the students and research scholars to uncover the “undiscovered research” insight and intelligence which is often overlooked because the majority of scholarly research is never formally published into books and articles. Rich with new and niche information on every topic imaginable, dissertations are a wealth of potential insights for all levels of researchers.
  • Citations Connection - Citation Connections deliver Foundational Research and Similar Dissertations documents. User can extract Dissertation citations which are cross-linked, searchable, and offering a “ready-made” list of sources on a topic .

Watch this brand new inspirational set of short video clips on how ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global impacts the research.

  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses User Stories
  • Impact Your World: Avoiding Bias by Starting at the Source using Dissertations
  • Impact Your Research: Progressing STEM Studies by Using Dissertations as a Primary Resource
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Copyright on Campus: Theses & Dissertations

  • Introduction
  • Copyright Law Basics
  • Public Domain
  • Theses & Dissertations
  • Author Rights
  • Showing Movies in Class and on Campus
  • Copyright & Data Management
  • Copyright in Special Collections
  • Open Education

Publisher Policies

Students often receive mixed messages when it comes to including a published paper in a dissertation, or publishing from the dissertation beyond graduation. Both of these scenarios are common and familiar to publishers, but there might be specific guidelines or requirements such as:

  • Be transparent. Include a brief explanation when you submit your publication. More often, journals use plagiarism detection software; letting them know your work is out there and publicly available will help sidestep any questions.
  • Include a citation to the published work in your thesis or dissertation, and/or a citation to the thesis/dissertation in the resulting publication.
  • Specific rules for formatting.
  • Resource: Publisher Policies MIT Libraries has compiled a list of major publishers with links to relevant policies

Reusing Material

Theses and dissertations often use charts, graphs, images, and quotes from other journal articles, books, or websites. When doing this, be aware that most content is protected by copyright, though it's likely fine for you to use these materials if you can do one of the following:

  • Use public domain content. If you are including factual data presented in a straightforward way (e.g., a simple bar graph or pie chart showing the results of an experiment), it's very likely the figure does not meet the minimum threshold for creatively and is not protected by copyright.
  • Use openly licensed content. Open access journal articles and books, as well as other media labeled with a Creative Commons license, 
  • Decide your use is "fair." Fair use is a specific provision within U.S. Copyright Law that allows for limited use of in-copyright material without seeking permission. In general, quotations from the work of others should be no longer than is necessary to support the scholarly point you wish to make. In the case of images, you should be sure that the pictures you reproduce are closely tied to your research goals and are each made the subject of specific scholarly comment. More on fair use .
  • If you're not sure about relying on fair use, you can often seek permission. Most of the time, this means navigating to the publisher's website or a journal article page and finding a link to "rights" or "permissions." Many publishers allow graduate students to use content without charge, with the understanding that if you publish your work formally in future, you may need to obtain permission again and pay a fee. It's a good idea to get permission in writing, but even an email is sufficient.

From Dissertation to Publication - FAQ on Your Rights as Author

Who owns the copyright of a thesis or dissertation?

You do! The copyright of a thesis or dissertation belongs to you as the author. Under the U.S. Copyright Act, works are automatically copyrighted at the moment they are fixed in a tangible form, including residing on your computer's hard drive. You continue to own that copyright until you transfer it to another party.  A transfer of copyright must be in writing.  If parts of a work have already been published and copyright in those other works was transferred to someone else (e.g. a publisher), copyright of those parts remains with whom it was transferred to.

Who owns copyright in work produced as part of a team or in a lab?

Whenever a group undertakes a project or research, it is best to have a discussion up front, including the faculty advisor or chair, to clarify how copyright, patents and other intellectual property will be managed and who will retain and manage rights for all portions of the project. Be sure to consider not only publications arising from the project, but also data sets, software, websites, user interfaces, specifications, and any other outputs. It is always best to make sure that faculty make clear to graduate students and others working for them how research outputs will be owned or used in order to avoid confusion. In circumstances where grant funds or University funding is significantly invested in the project or research, other ownership interests may be at play, which should be discussed and understood.

Do I need to register my copyright?

You do not need to register with the Copyright Office in order to enjoy copyright protection. Such protection is automatic, coming into effect at the moment a work is fixed in a tangible form. However, registration has certain advantages.  First, if your work is registered you have strong evidence that you are the author of the work and the owner of its copyright. Also, registration is necessary to enforce a copyright against an infringer or plagiarist. For full detail, read the U.S. Copyright Office circular " Copyright Basics ". The benefits of registration are outlined on Page 7.

Registration can be completed online directly (for a fee of $45) through the Copyright Office website  or through ProQuest (for a fee of $55) who will register the copyright for you and in your name.

Can I use previously published articles of my own in my work?

It depends. You will need to review the agreement you signed with the publisher of our previously published article. Most agreements require you to transfer your copyright to the publisher. If this is the case, you must request permission from the publisher to "reprint" the article as a chapter in your dissertation. However, some agreements specify that you retain the right to reprint the article in your dissertation. The chart below details several publishers' policies with respect to reusing your own previously published work in a thesis or dissertation; however, you should always review the terms of any agreement you signed.

Why do I have two publishing agreements to review and sign, and what do I need to understand about them?

University of Florida dissertations are distributed by both ProQuest/UMI and the UF Libraries. Both will make your work available and preserve it for the future (ProQuest through its Dissertations and Theses database and print sales if you choose to allow that, and the UF Libraries through its institutional repository, the IR@UF ). In return for those services, both ProQuest and the UF Libraries require you to certify that the work is your own and that you are not infringing the rights of others. These agreements also provide a mechanism for all parties to recognize your rights as an author.  

Please note, by signing these agreements you still retain copyright, including the right to publish your work; the licenses you give to ProQuest/UMI and to the UF Libraries does not preclude publishing any part of your dissertation in another form or prevent you from transferring your copyright to some other party at a later date. A license is a permission you give to others to use your work in ways that would otherwise not be permitted by copyright law; they are not a transfer of your copyright.

The agreement with UF Libraries requires that you give a license to UF to put your dissertation in the IR@UF and distribute it in a way that allows other scholars to read it and use it for non-commercial purposes, as long as they do not make changes to your work and always give you credit. This license is designed to enable scholarship and to protect you from plagiarism. The agreement with ProQuest/UMI  grants ProQuest the non-exclusive right to reproduce and disseminate your work according to the conditions you elect in the agreement, including whether to make your work available after a specified embargo period and whether to make it available open access. 

Both publishing agreements allow students to elect to make their dissertations available immediately or after a specific limited period of time known as an embargo. An embargo may be appropriate and desired when a student wants to allow time to explore publishing part of it in other forms, if the dissertation contains material for which a patent might be sought, or if it includes other sensitive or confidential information.

What is open access, and how does it apply to my thesis or dissertation?

Articles, books, theses and dissertations are said to be "open access" when they are "digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." By making publications open access, the widest sharing of ideas and research results is made possible, which is generally done either by publishing in open access journals or depositing them in open access repositories such as PubMed Central, arXiv, or the IR@UF. University of Florida policy is for all new dissertations to be available open access through the IR@UF, either immediately or after an embargo period. 

Will journal or book publishers consider publishing my work if it is based on an open access thesis or dissertation?

Recent surveys  show that a majority of journal editors and university presses would accept submissions of articles and book manuscripts that were based upon theses or dissertations, even if they are available in an open access repository. This is in part because most publishers consider theses and dissertations to be "student work" that will require substantial editing and revision before being published in article or book form. The chart below summarizes the policies of some publishers regarding the publication of new works from a thesis or dissertation.

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Theses & Dissertations

  • Submitting your Thesis or Dissertation
  • Depositing with ProQuest
  • Understanding Copyright
  • Understanding Embargoes
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Links

  • Copyright Issues Related to the Publication of Dissertations

Copyright is an important component to publishing your dissertation or thesis. Students should consider copyright as early in their work as possible, especially if you wish to reuse content from another copyright holder, such as images or figures. Here are some details on things that students should consider when reviewing their copyright needs and uses.

For additional information and resources on copyright, please visit the Copyright Guide . 

Determining Copyright Ownership

Under Carnegie Mellon University’s  Intellectual Property Policy , you most likely own the copyright to your dissertation. However, if the research was sponsored by the university or conducted under an agreement between an external sponsor and the university, check the agreement to see who owns the intellectual property. When in doubt, consult Carnegie Mellon’s  Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation  (CTTEC),  412-268-7393  or  [email protected] .

Neither the University Libraries nor ProQuest/UMI require copyright transfer to publish your dissertation. Both require only the non-exclusive right to reproduce and distribute your work.

Copyright Permissions

According to the  Fair Use Policy of Carnegie Mellon University , all members of the University community must comply with U.S. Copyright Law. When a proposed use of copyrighted material does not fall within the fair use doctrine and is not otherwise permitted by license or exception, written permission from the copyright owner is required to engage in the use.

To avoid publication delays, Carnegie Mellon’s Office of the General Counsel encourages graduate students to get permission from copyright holders as early in the dissertation process as possible. This includes permission to use your own previously published work if you transferred your copyright to the publisher. See  Copyright Issues Related to the Publication of Dissertations  for more information.

If you choose to publish your dissertation with ProQuest/UMI, you must sign an agreement indicating that you have the necessary copyright permissions, and provide UMI with copies of the permission letters. If you choose to publish with Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, you need not provide copies of the permission letters. The assumption is that you have complied with university policy.

Registering Your Copyright

The  Copyright Law of the United States  gives the copyright owner the exclusive right to copy and distribute the work, perform and display it publicly, and create derivative works. Copyright owners do not need to register their work with the U.S. Copyright Office to acquire these rights. However, if you own the copyright to your dissertation and you have a compelling need to acquire additional legal rights, such as the right to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, then you should register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.

You can register your copyright using the U.S. Copyright Office’s  eCO Online System  for a fee of $35. Alternatively, if you choose to publish your work with ProQuest/UMI, UMI will register your copyright for you for a fee of $55. (See page 6 of the  ProQuest Publishing Agreement .)

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COMMENTS

  1. Dissertations

    Over the last 80 years, ProQuest has built the world's most comprehensive and renowned dissertations program. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT Global), continues to grow its repository of 5 million graduate works each year, thanks to the continued contribution from the world's universities, creating an ever-growing resource of emerging research to fuel innovation and new insights.

  2. PDF ProQuest

    Suggested attribution: "Based on copyright information for dissertation authors from ProQuest and Kenneth D. Crews, available at www.proquest.com [complete address]." Educational institutions are invited to use all or portions of this work in connection with their guidance to students consistent with the CC license. For permission

  3. Do I have to copyright my dissertation/thesis?

    However, in order to file a suit for infringement you will need to have your copyright registered. We provide copyright preparation services at a cost of $75.00 per document. This is available at the time of submission only. Once we begin to process your dissertation/thesis, we can no longer file on your behalf.

  4. Dissertation Copy Options

    Print Copies. Whether you're an author, university library, or researcher, ordering a dissertation or thesis through ProQuest is easy. Our hardcover editions replicate the Library of Congress holdings—printed in full color, with elegant black covers and embossed gold titles.

  5. PDF Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis

    use is not necessarily "fair use", especially if the work is published, as your dissertation or thesis will be with ProQuest and as (hopefully) many of your future journal articles or books will be. You may be better off acquiring ... dissertation and copyright. In the U.S., registration is required before you can file an infringement lawsuit. You

  6. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global

    The ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT) ™ database is the world's most comprehensive curated collection of multi-disciplinary dissertations and theses from around the world, offering over 5 million citations and 3 million full-text works from thousands of universities. Within dissertations and theses is a wealth of scholarship, yet ...

  7. LibGuides: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Copyright

    ProQuest states, "As the author, you retain sole and complete ownership over your dissertation or thesis ( ProQuest, 2018 )." ProQuest has created a document to help readers understand copyright law and doctoral dissertations.

  8. Is it worth $75? Copyright and copyright registration for theses and

    At this point, you may begin to wonder how copyright impacts your thesis/dissertation. Here are some possible questions with the quick and easy answers. Question: Do I need to request for ProQuest to file for U.S. copyright registration? Answer: No. You own the copyright for your thesis/dissertation, whether or not it is registered.

  9. Thesis & Dissertation Publishing: ProQuest Copyright Options

    Publishing your graduate thesis or dissertation electronically through ProQuest ETD is a requirement of the University of Wyoming. You will need to select either traditional publishing or open access publishing during the submission process. Review the materials explaining these copyright choices prior to submitting your thesis or dissertation.

  10. PDF ProQuest

    your dissertation or thesis will be with ProQuest/UMI and as (hopefully) many of your future journal articles or books will be. You may be better off acquiring permission to use the work in

  11. Copyright

    As stated above, your thesis or dissertation is automatically protected under copyright. However, there are some important practical and legal benefits to registering your copyright, particularly the right to collect " statutory damages " in a successful infringement lawsuit.

  12. Fair Use, Copyright, Patent, and Publishing Options

    ProQuest's ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT) database indexes almost all dissertations published in the U.S. and provides subscription access online to the full text of more recent dissertations. ProQuest also sells print copies of dissertations, paying royalties to authors, when they exceed a minimum threshold.

  13. What if I published a chapter of my dissertation in an ...

    Article Number: 000034897. If you have published a chapter of your thesis as a journal article or book section, it is possible that you no longer own the copyright to your work, and you may need to request copyright permission in writing from the publisher. Check your contact/agreement for any statements on re-using the published article in ...

  14. Submitting Your Dissertation, Thesis, Or PDE: Copyright

    Do not file for copyright - I am requesting that ProQuest/UMI not file for copyright on my behalf. File for a new copyright- I am requesting that ProQuest/UMI file for copyright on my behalf. I understand that an additional fee of $55.00 (USD) will be charged.

  15. Including Dissertations and Theses for Student Authors

    Your thesis or dissertation will appear on the Web of Science platform alongside journal articles, conference proceedings, research data, books, preprints and patents. Your work will be at the epicenter of a premier research community. To further amplify your scholarship, joint subscribers of the Web of Science and ProQuest Dissertations and ...

  16. Dissertations, Doctoral Projects, and Theses: Copyright

    You own the copyright in your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis from the moment it is fixed in a tangible form, such as saved as a digital file. Nothing in the submission process to ProQuest or DigitalGeorgetown changes the ownership status of your work. As the copyright owner, you have the exclusive right to copy and distribute your work.

  17. LibGuides: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Content

    With more than 5 million dissertations and theses, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. PQDT Global connects scholarship from 4,100 universities, diverse voices, ideas, and perspectives can be viewed within a singular global context.

  18. Guides @ UF: Copyright on Campus: Theses & Dissertations

    Reusing Material. Theses and dissertations often use charts, graphs, images, and quotes from other journal articles, books, or websites. When doing this, be aware that most content is protected by copyright, though it's likely fine for you to use these materials if you can do one of the following: Use public domain content.

  19. Why publish a dissertation or thesis with ProQuest?

    ProQuest Dissertation Publishing provides the only comprehensive service in the world for publishing, archiving and disseminating graduate research. Over the past 70 years, we have published more than 2 million dissertations and theses. Most graduate schools in the United States require their students to publish with ProQuest. Why?

  20. Understanding Copyright

    When in doubt, consult Carnegie Mellon's Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC), 412-268-7393 or [email protected]. Neither the University Libraries nor ProQuest/UMI require copyright transfer to publish your dissertation. Both require only the non-exclusive right to reproduce and distribute your work.