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Thesis / Dissertation Formatting Manual (2024)

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Securing Your Copyright

As the author of your thesis or dissertation, only you are legally entitled to authorize publication or reproduction of your intellectual property, although you may assign your rights to others. Copyright is secured automatically when a work is created, which is when it is fixed in a tangible form for the first time. Under present U.S. copyright law, the term of the copyright is the author's life plus 70 years.

Registering Your Copyright

Registering your copyright is optional, as your work is automatically copyrighted when it is published. If you wish to further protect your rights in a copyright dispute and to be eligible for damages caused by infringement, you may choose to register your copyright. You are eligible to register your copyright at any time within the term (author's life plus 70 years). ProQuest provides an optional copyright registration service for a fee ($75 in 2022). If you pay for this service, ProQuest will register your copyright and submit your manuscript to the Library of Congress. 

Creative Commons

U.S. Copyright is a collection of rights about how a work fixed in a tangible medium or expression can be used.  By applying a Creative Commons badge you let readers know which features of the document can be used/reused/recited with attribution and if there are limits. Application of the Creative Commons badge through Proquest is optional.

  • The CC-BY license allows for use/reuse with attribution.
  • Addition of NC states you are requesting no commercial reselling of the work without permission of the author (you).
  • The ND badge is no derivative work, which might be a graphic version or language translation, without formal permission. For example, if a print version is the original version, then an electronic version would need permission from the author to create and distribute. Journal articles may use CC-BY-NC-ND to allow the original PDF to be viewed but not commercially resold or derived works created.