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Copyright and Electronic Submission

Copyright Issues When Writing

Graduate students should be cognizant of Canadian copyright law especially with regards to their own works.

Using Your Own Previously Published Material

Students who want to use material in their thesis or dissertation from their own previously published works must maintain copyright when the work is published. Publication agreements are signed between authors and publishers before a work is distributed. Students will need to ensure that the copyright transfer agreement does not transfer the right of copyright to the publisher. Most publishers will waive this agreement when asked.

If you have already published your work without maintaining copyright and wish to include material from the already published work in your thesis or dissertation, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holder, usually the publisher, to publish the material in your thesis or dissertation.

By maintaining your own copyright over material you have created, you maintain the right to reproduce the work and to make derivative works. You may choose to publish your work in an open access venue where a Creative Commons license agreement allows you to maintain copyright. Be aware of your rights. You may have to sign a document to publish in your work but you do not have to include the transfer of copyright agreement.

Using Third Party Materials

Graduate students who use third party materials (someone else’s work) in their thesis or dissertation including figure(s), image(s), photo(s), graphic(s) and so forth, will require permission from the copyright holder. Just because the material is freely available on the Internet does not mean that the copyright or license agreement is not held by someone else you may be required to attribute the work to.

Electronic Submission of Your Dissertation

As of June 2, 2014, all graduate students are required to submit their theses and dissertations electronically. Students will deposit a Microsoft Word or PDF version of their dissertation to Scholars Commons @ Laurier, Laurier’s institutional repository, where it will be made openly accessible to researchers worldwide.

Currently, all theses and dissertations are made available online through Library and Archives Canada and subscription databases. However, making scholarship open access eliminates price barriers for both individuals and organizations and reaches a much wider audience than is allowed by traditional forms of distribution.

Copyright of Your Dissertation

When you submit your thesis/dissertation to Scholars Commons @ Laurier, you will have to sign a non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free license agreement. This gives Scholars Commons the right to distribute your work online and migrate it to new formats in the future if necessary. You will retain copyright over your work.

For more information, see Scholars Commons Policies.