There may be several reasons why a student would include material in a thesis or dissertation that was previously published. Reasons may include:
If you are using any material that has previously been published, you must first determine whether your inclusion of the material meets the "fair use" standard described in the section below. If it does NOT meet fair use standards, you will be required to do one or more of the following:
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:
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. If you reuse the entirety (or the majority) of a previously published article that you co-authored as a chapter in your thesis, this would probably not meet fair use standards due to violation of factor #3 listed above.
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.
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.
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