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Copyright and Intellectual Property

FAQs for student work

When doing research or working on a project, you may copy, scan, and print copyrighted materials for your own use. Excerpts from this material may be quoted, paraphrased, or summarized using proper citations.

You may not disseminate any copies or scans of the original materials, or incorporate the reproductions into your own work, without permission from the copyright holder or licensing entity. This includes photographs you have taken of textual or visual works produced by others. If you intend to use your own previously published work, refer to the terms of your contract, or contact the publisher for clarification on any reuse restrictions or required permissions.

For text and images, most databases and journals provide a link to request permissions directly on the page where you accessed the material. The link may also be embedded in a PDF you have downloaded. Permission for excerpts of film and audio recordings may require a more involved process, depending on the venue through which the material is available. See "ways to get permission" for more help.

We suggest you review the guidelines of Fair Use and work closely with your advisor regarding types of materials that can and cannot be used. Please remember that all the materials you use, even if the work is in the public domain, must have attribution.

Is my thesis/dissertation considered a "published" work?

If your work on WesScholar is made available to the public (beyond the Wesleyan community), then it is considered a published work. This is why the points mentioned above are so important. If you are not able to secure permission to use work created by others, you should embargo your thesis/dissertation or at least restrict access to only the Wesleyan community.

After graduation, am I allowed to pursue publication of my thesis/dissertation with a traditional publisher?

Yes, you remain the owner of your work and may pursue publication through other venues. You'll need to provide proof that you have secured permission for any material created by others which has been used in your work. Typically, your publisher will help you with this, as well as guide you on any other conditions or expectations. If you need assistance navigating this communication or you are self-publishing, please feel free to contact us to learn more about the process.