Copyright and Theses

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 in the University’s digital repository, Adelaide Research & Scholarship, and will be made available online.

Your thesis may contain third party copyright material, e.g. material which you did not create. This could include text excerpts, diagrams, illustrations, maps, tables, photographs, film stills and musical notation. Whilst you can include this material in your thesis under the Fair dealing exception for the purpose of research or study this does not extend to the communication right (i.e. making the thesis available online).

You will need to determine if you can rely on another exception to include the material or obtain permission from the copyright owner. Exceptions which you may be able to rely on are Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review, or Fair dealing for the purpose of parody or satire. In some instances the copyright owner may already have granted permission in the form of an open licence, e.g. by applying a Creative Commons licence. In these instances you will be able to include the material as long as you follow the terms of the licence. Otherwise you will need to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Sample permission letters are available for download.

You will also need to consider any published works (e.g. journal articles, book chapters, conference papers) included in your thesis even if you are the author of the work. You may have assigned your copyright to the publisher or granted them an exclusive license. You will need to refer to the publication agreement or the publisher’s policies to determine how you can use the work.

If you cannot rely on an exception or permission to include the material in the online version of the thesis then you will need to provide a list of this material when submitting the digital copy to the library. Staff will remove this material from the online version if required. A suggested template for recording third party material and permission status is available for download.

Please note that the above information only relates to the final digital thesis lodgement and does not affect the examination process. Refer to the Research Student Handbook for more details.