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Copyright Material For Study or Research

As a student or researcher you will often use other people's copyright material in the course of your education or research. The Copyright Act has provisions for students and researchers to use material for certain purposes without being in breach of copyright. However strict limits apply to the copying and use of this material. These exceptions are for your personal use, not for use on behalf of the University. It is the personal responsibility of all students and researchers to comply with the Copyright Act.

You will need to read the Overview of Copyright or the Copyright Guide for Students if you are unfamiliar with the basic concepts of copyright.


    Using Materials For Research or Study

    Staff and students may use or copy materials for free under the ‘Fair Dealing’ provisions of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research or study. These provisions are not limited to people enrolled in formal courses; they also apply to people studying or researching under their own direction. Research and study purposes also include assignments, projects and theses.

    For textual works the Copyright Act stipulates that copying the following amounts is fair:

    • if copying a literary work or printed music which is published as an edition of 10 or more pages, you may copy 10% of the total number of pages or one chapter;
    • if copying a literary work which is digital format, you may copy 10% of the total number of words or one chapter;
    • the whole or part of an article from an issue of a newspaper, magazine or journal;
    • more than one article from an issue of a newspaper, magazine or journal if each article is for the same course of study or research.

    If you wish to copy other materials (e.g. literary works less than 10 pages; artistic works; videos; sound recordings; anything which is not published; computer programs), or if you wish to copy more than the above amounts or use textual works in other ways (eg to make an adaptation) you need to be demonstrate that your use of the work is ‘fair’. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether your use is ‘fair’:

    • Why do you want this copy? (e.g. copying in connection with a university course is more likely to be fair than copying for research which may have commercial applications)
    • What is the nature of the copyright material? (e.g. it may be less fair to copy a work of a high degree or skill than a mundane work)
    • Can you easily get the material at an ordinary commercial price? (e.g. if it can be ordered and available within 6 weeks for textbooks and 30 days for other print and electronic resources, then it would not be fair to copy. However if the material is rare or out-of-print, then it would be fair to copy)
    • What effect will copying have on the market or the value of the work? (e.g. making more than 1 copy will be less fair than making a single copy)
    • If it’s a part of a work, how much, or how important or distinctive is it, in relation to the entire work? (e.g. it is less fair to copy a large or important part of the work than to copy a small or unimportant part)

    Note: If you have used a portion of someone else's work under the fair dealing provisions, you MUST only use it for that study or research purpose. e.g if you create a website as a class assignment in which you used some graphics from somewhere else, you cannot use that website for any other purpose, such as inclusion in an employment portfolio, unless you get permission from the copyright owner.

    Any work used under this provision must be properly acknowledged, so that the moral rights of the author are respected. Any acknowledgment should identify the author (unless the author is anonymous or has agreed or directed that they not be named) and identify the work from which the copies are taken by its title or other description.

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    Using Materials For Criticism or Review

    This provision allows a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work to be reproduced or adapted for the purpose of criticism or review. This only applies to serious critique or review, and cannot be to capitalise on the publishing of another creator’s material. For example, if you are using the copyright material as an example or to illustrate a point, you cannot rely on the fair dealing provisions for criticism or review.

    Any work used under this provision must be properly acknowledged, so that the moral rights of the author are respected. Any acknowledgment should identify the author (unless the author is anonymous or has agreed or directed that they not be named) and identify the work from which the copies are taken by its title or other description.

    Staff and students can use the criticism and review provisions if presenting material at a conference. A work can be copied for inclusion in a conference paper if the staff/student's presentation includes critical comment of the material or invites analytical discussion.

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    Submitting a Thesis to Adelaide Research & Scholarship

    From 2007, it is a requirement that research degree students lodge an electronic copy of their theses with the University.  Except in situations where a thesis is under embargo or restriction, the electronic version will be placed on the University’s digital repository, Adelaide Research & Scholarship, and will be made accessible through the Australasian Digital Theses Program.

    Your thesis may contain someone else’s material (e.g. text excerpts, diagrams, illustrations, maps, tables, photographs, musical notation), which you have reproduced under the Fair Dealing exception for the purposes of research / study. However, if your thesis is made available online, the Fair Dealing exception will not apply, therefore you will need to obtain permissions from the copyright owners of those materials. Please refer to the Research Student Handbook for more details.

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    Publications

    The University encourages staff to deposit a copy of any scholarly publication with the University’s digital repository, Adelaide Research & Scholarship. Please refer to the Adelaide Research & Scholarship FAQs for copyright issues arising from this.

    Furthermore, some research funding bodies (eg NIH) now require grantees to post electronic versions of publications arising from the grant on a designated server.  Please contact Research Branch if you have queries about this aspect of your research grant. return to top

     

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