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Copyright Permissions

When writing your dissertation or thesis, you may need to request permission to include third party intellectual content in your manuscript. This process may take time and should not be left to the last minute. 

You should include copies of copyright permissions in an appendix at the end of your document. Redact any sensitive personal information including your phone number, address, email address, etc., from the document to ensure your online security.

  • Publishers may provide permissions guidelines on their websites outlining the circumstances under which an author may include their published content in a dissertation or thesis. These pages may also specify how the work should be cited in a dissertation or thesis. 
  • If you need to request permission, the publisher may provide specific avenues to obtain that permission. The process may take one of the following methods:
    • Permission templates or forms
    • A specific email address
    • A link to an automated service such as Rightslink
  • To locate permissions information try searching under the phrases “author’s information” or “copyright permission.”

Commercial Services

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a fee-based, pay-per-use service that obtains copyright permissions for you.

Identifying the Copyright Holder

If you are unable to identify the copyright holder, search the U.S. Copyright Office’s Copyright Public Records Catalog of registered works and documents from January 1, 1978, to the present. Note: the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress offers a fee-based service to conduct the search for you and produce a report on its findings. 

Using Previously Published Articles/Chapters in a Thesis or Dissertation

If you wish to include your own previously published articles, book chapters, etc., in your dissertation or thesis,

  1. Always check the publishing agreement you signed first to determine your specific rights for the reuse of your content in your ETD.
  2. Check the publisher’s website for this information. Try looking for the phrases “author’s information” or “copyright permission.”

For detailed information and a sample copyright permission letter, visit our online guide to using your previously published works in a dissertation or thesis.