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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.

How to Secure 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.

Copyright Page

The use of copyright notice is the prerogative of the copyright owner and does not require advance permission from, or registration with, the U.S. Copyright Office. The use of such notice is highly recommended, because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication.

The notice must contain the following three elements:

  1. The symbol © (the letter in a circle), or the word "Copyright"
  2. The year of publication (i.e., the year in which you are filing your manuscript)
  3. The name of the copyright owner (i.e., your name as it appears on the title page)

Example: © 2015 John Doe

When submitting your manuscript on paper, if you choose not to include a copyright notice, do not include that page in your manuscript and number pages accordingly.

Copyright Registration

You may choose to copyright your manuscript by including the copyright notice but not formally registering your copyright. However, to fully protect your rights in a copyright dispute and to be eligible for damages caused by infringement, you must register your copyright. You can register your copyright at any time within its term.

If you are submitting a Ph.D. dissertation, you may have the copyright registered for you by ProQuest. ProQuest will register your copyright and submit your manuscript to the Library of Congress. 

If you are submitting your thesis or dissertation electronically, you can request that ProQuest register your copyright through the ProQuest ETD system. If you request this, you will pay for that service by credit card in the ProQuest ETD system. 

If you are submitting your thesis or dissertation on paper, you may submit the ProQuest form and required fee (certified check or money order- ProQuest does not accept personal checks) to the University Archives when you submit your manuscript.