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Thesis / Dissertation Formatting Manual

This guide contains information about the formatting and submission of your graduate thesis or dissertation research project.

Fair Use of Quoted Material by Other Authors

It is your responsibility to obtain permission to include (or quote) copyrighted material, unless you are the owner of the copyright or unless the material meets the "fair use" standard described in the next paragraph.

Use of copyrighted work in your dissertation without securing permission and without paying royalties is permissible when the circumstances amount to what the law calls "fair use." In order to claim “fair use” of copyrighted material, the following factors must be weighed: (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (17 U.S.C. §107). For additional information see the UC Copyright Page on Fair Use for Teaching and Research.

For example, you must write to the copyright owner to request permission to use the material if you quote continuously or extensively from a particular author, especially in such fields as fiction, drama, criticism, or poetry, or if you reproduce maps, charts, statistical tables, or other illustrative materials. For additional information on copyright and fair use see the U.C. Copyright Education Web Site or the Copyright Advisory Office and Scholarly Works and Dissertations Page at Columbia University Libraries. 

Please note that the UCI Libraries does not provide legal counsel on matters pertaining to copyright. When in doubt, please seek permissions in a timely fashion.

How to Acknowledge Use of Material by Other Authors

Permission Letter from Copyright Holder

You must supply a permission letter from the copyright holder (usually the publisher) of any published material used in your manuscript (excluding material covered by "fair use"). The letter, which must state that the copyright owner is aware that “ProQuest may supply single copies on demand,” must be submitted as a "Copyright Permission" document along with your manuscript when you submit via the ETD system or on paper.

Acknowledgments Page

Include a statement on the acknowledgments page informing the reader that permission to use copyrighted material in your manuscript has been granted and stating the source of the permission.

Including Material Not Yet Published

If material is approved for submission which is authored by someone other than yourself (including co-authors), and the material has not yet been formally published, you must submit a permission letter from the author(s).

Incorporating YOUR OWN Previously Published Work

With the approval of your thesis/dissertation committee and your academic department, your previously published work may be used to fulfill all or part of your degree requirement.


Such publications must represent research or scholarship comparable in scope and contribution to that portion of your thesis/dissertation which it is intended to replace.

In addition, to a large extent such material must be the product of your graduate study at UCI. You must provide an introduction showing the historical development, methods used, and results of your work, if such information is not part of the published material itself. This is particularly important in those instances where the material submitted is composed of several discrete publications.

How to Acknowledge Your Own Previously Published Work

Permission Letter if someone else is the Copyright Holder

Often a publisher of a journal or book will hold the copyright when a work is published. If this is the case, you must upload to Proquest a permission letter (or website statement) from the copyright holder of any published material used in your manuscript (excluding material covered by "fair use"). The letter must state that the copyright owner is aware that "UMI may supply single copies on demand." If filing in paper, this letter must be filed with your manuscript.

If you (the author) are the copyright holder, then a permission letter is not required. 

Copyright Page

If you are not the copyright holder of previously published material, you must list additional copyrights on the Copyright Page. See


Acknowledgments Page

Include a statement in your Acknowledgements Page informing the reader that you are using previously published material, and that permission to use copyrighted material in your manuscript has been granted and identifying the publication in which the material originally appeared. Example:

"The text of this thesis/dissertation is a reprint of the material as it appears in (include bibliographic citation), used with permission from ____. The co-authors listed in this publication are ___ [you can include their roles, or at least spell out their names if using a citation style that abbreviates names]"

Acknowledging Co-Authors

If the published material has a co-author, and if this co-author is listed by reason of having directed and supervised research which serves as the basis of the thesis/dissertation, the acknowledgments page should state something like this:

"The text of this thesis/dissertation is a reprint of the material as it appears in (name of publication). The co-author listed in this publication directed and supervised research which forms the basis for the thesis/dissertation."

If published material is approved for submission where there are one or more co-authors other than your research director, be sure to include these names in your acknowledgements page citation.

Copyright Page

Your copyright page must contain a copyright notice, consisting of the following three elements, for each previously published work:

  1. The symbol © (the letter in a circle), or the word "Copyright"
  2. The year of publication (i.e., the year in which the material was first published)
  3. The name of the copyright owner


Chapter 3 © 2002 Springer-Verlag

Portion of Chapter 4 © 1999 Springer-Verlag

Chapter 5 © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

All other materials ©2015 John Doe

The last copyright notice in the above example indicates that the author of the manuscript holds the copyright for all materials not previously published.


Obtaining Your Publisher's Permission when Including Material Committed to Future Publication

If you intend to include any material that has been formally committed to future publication (whether the material is authored by you or someone else), you must submit with your manuscript a letter from that publisher giving you permission to include the material. The letter must indicate the year of publication and the name of the author or publisher who will hold the copyright.

Include this information on the copyright page. In addition, include a statement acknowledging permission received on your acknowledgments page.

Additional Resources on Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and fair use are of special concern in higher education and research. The UCI Libraries provide resources for both creators and users of copyrighted materials. Digital Scholarship Service's page about Scholarly Communication can help you find answers to common questions about copyright and fair use; it is not intended to serve as legal advice.