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Submitting your thesis to ORA: Copyright

Copyright guidance and support

General guidance regarding copyright is available from the Bodleian Libraries website at: The information in this LibGuide is intended to support with the regular questions and circumstance that arise specifically with regards to the creation and dissemination of theses. 

Sections of this guide may link back to the general advice to ensure that the most up to date information is being provided.

Copyright and other legal issues for theses

Theses deposited in ORA should not infringe copyright or other rights. There are rights held in the thesis of which the author and end users should be aware. Theses depositors should read the following information to familiarise themselves with ORA practice, policies and guidance.

Copyright is an automatic legal right and arises whenever an individual or company creates a work. Before we can make any third party copyright material (e.g. images, graphs - including those you adapted, large excerpts of text, etc., that have been used in your work from another individuals work or creation) freely available online you should obtain permission from the copyright holders to distribute their material in this way. Unfortunately we cannot assume that the permission you obtained to include material in your print thesis also covers making the material freely available online.

Many publisher websites have tools that allow you to obtain a license of reuse for material taken from published works, but an email from the copyright holder is also acceptable as proof of permission. If you are not able to obtain permission from the copyright holder(s), content from the dissemination copy of your thesis file can be removed (see creating an edited version of your thesis) and dispensation from consultation for the affected content should be applied for.  

However, there are a number of copyright exceptions that can be applied to your thesis which allow use of copyright works without the copyright holder's permission in certain contexts. Application of an exception should be done with consideration of 'fairness' of the activity and 'risk'. 

More information regarding exceptions can be found at:

Copyright in the thesis
Copyright in the thesis usually rests with the author (unless ownership of copyright has been transferred to another individual or body; if this is the case, please find out what your position is before depositing the thesis in ORA). See the University regulations and Research Services Office for details of copyright and intellectual property rights.

Copyright is automatically assigned to you as author of the thesis, you do not have to register. You may wish to indicate that you are the copyright holder by inserting the copyright symbol (©) the name of the copyright holder and the year the thesis was produced. See the UK Intellectual Property Office for more details.

Guidance notes

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Useful links

Oxford Research Archive (ORA)






ORA (Oxford University Research Archive) is the institutional repository for the University of Oxford and is home to the scholarly output of its research members. 

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