Full copyright guidance is available from our Copyright Library Guide.
See the Keeping Your E-Thesis Legal handout for copyright guidance and rights risk management as you prepare your thesis.
Including copyright material in your thesis
Third party copyright material
You will need to seek permission to include any substantial third party copyright material in an electronic version of your thesis, which is publicly available online. You may normally include 'limited amounts' without seeking permission, provided it is adequately acknowledged and referenced according to academic convention.
What is 3rd party copyright content?
It is beneficial to obtain permission to include copyright material in your thesis as you progress through your studies, rather than attempting to contact rights holders when you are approaching completion.
How to seek permission to include third party material in the electronic version of your thesis
Identify and contact the rights holder(s). This could be an author, a publisher, an illustrator etc. When using material from published sources, contact the publisher in the first instance. Include the following key points in your correspondence:
If you fail to receive a reply, assume that you cannot use the content, as you do not have permission. Occasionally you may be asked to pay a fee to re-use content. You are not obliged to do this and can choose to remove this material from the electronic public version of your thesis.
What to do with permission
If permission is refused or you cannot clear copyright for all material included in the thesis, you will not be able to make the full version of the thesis publicly available online.
You may deposit two electronic versions of the thesis:
The Scholarly Communication community maintain a database that provides a flavour of the current publisher policies and attitudes towards authors who make their thesis openly accessible in their institution's repository. Some authors are concerned that providing an open access copy of their thesis could impact on their ability to publish the work as a monograph. The database provides information about specific publishers but it is important to remember that you are able to restrict access to your thesis by using the deposit declaration agreement when you provide your e-copy to the Library, or at a later stage if required.
In general terms, the small numbers of theses that are published as books are likely to be significantly revised in the period between dissertation and book publication. Most publishers will accept proposals based on dissertations, even if the original work is available in an open access repository. We suggest that you check the policy details associated with prior-publication with the individual publisher.
What happens when you find your open access PhD for sale on Amazon? Guy Lavender et al.
Following the examination and completion of any required corrections:
Swansea University always require a preservation copy for the research archive even if you opt-out of making your full-text e-thesis available to the public in the repository.
Doctoral Training Partnership Grant
Compliance with the UK Research Councils’ (UKRI) policy on open access:
Compliance with the research data policies of the individual Research Councils:
We reserve the right to contact completing students to check that they have made an open access deposit.
The E-Thesis Deposit Agreement offers an opportunity for the completing student to supply a temporary embargo expiry date to the full-text e-thesis. Access can be restricted for one year, two years etc. up to a maximum of five years.
If a formal bar on access to both the paper copy in the Library and the electronic version is required the student must indicate their intention as early as possible via the Head of College/School or nominee. The request must state the title of the work, and the reasons for a bar being placed.
If the thesis has been commercially sponsored and the student has signed an agreement which does not permit the work to be publicly available, whether for a limited period of time or in perpetuity, this should be indicated on the open access deposit agreement.
The author will still be required to supply a full-text electronic copy of the thesis for preservation but Swansea University will undertake not to make it publicly available online in accordance with the terms of the deposit agreement. An option for submitting a second redacted content version is available if the thesis contains third-party copyright content, or sensitive material the author wishes to remove.
Theses are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Regulations 2004 (EIR).
Creative Commons (CCL) are pre-prepared licences that are intended to help copyright holders distribute their work; they define how it can be used by others without the need to grant permission each time someone wants to use it.
Creative Commons, has a number of model licences which authors can apply ‘as given’ or adapted to their requirements. The licences contain four main elements:
These elements then combine to form six licences plus a final CC Zero or public domain licence which purports to waive all rights to the material it is applied to.