Can I include third party copyright material in my e-thesis?
If your e-thesis includes material in which the copyright belongs to a third party e.g. figures, tables or illustrations created by a third party, you must seek permission from the owner of the copyright in that material in order to make it available in ARAN.
Traditionally, for the purposes of examination, inclusion of such copyright material owned by a third party has not been an issue as the print version of a thesis has not been considered as formally published. However, where you make your thesis available on an open access basis on the Web, the work becomes much more visible and subject to wide dissemination and the copies are no longer made for the purposes of examination.
Do I need to get permission to use material that I have previously published?
If you intend to include published material that you have authored yourself, e.g. journal articles, you still need to check if the publisher will permit you to include these as part of your thesis. The easiest way to do this is by contacting the publisher directly. Most publishers will permit this. A template for permission request letter request letter is available here.
Do I need to seek permission to include short quotations from published works in my e-thesis?
If the third party copyright material within your thesis consists of a short quotation from a published work and you have acknowledged and referenced it adequately it will probably not be necessary to seek permission from the copyright holder. However, there is no exact definition given in the Act regarding the amounts that may be reproduced. If in doubt about whether you need to get permission to include material within your thesis it is best to err on the side of caution and assume that you do. Ideally you should seek permission to include third party copyright material in your thesis as you go along rather than at the point of writing up your thesis.
How do I get permission to use third party material in my e-thesis?
To seek permission to include third party material you need to contact the rights holder. This may be the author of a work, a publisher, an illustrator etc. In the case of material from books and journals you should contact the publisher in the first instance. Many publishers give details on their web site of how to seek permission and who to contact. Look for information on rights/permissions/copyright clearance. If the publisher does not hold the rights to the work they should forward your enquiry to whoever does. Once you have established who to contact you can use the sample permission seeking template to form the basis of a letter or e-mail to the rights holder asking permission to include the material in the electronic version of your thesis. If the rights holder does not reply immediately you may choose to contact them again. However, do not deem a lack of response as consent to use the material. A template for permission request letter is available here.
What do I do if permission is granted?
If a copyright holder indicates that permission has been granted you should indicate this at the appropriate point in your thesis, e.g. 'Permission to reproduce this ... has been granted by...'. You should keep a copy of any letters or e-mails you received from rights holders.
What do I do if permission is not granted?
Where you have not, or cannot obtain permission from third parties, then you must edit the work before submission to ARAN. If you are depositing your thesis with third party copyright clearance outstanding, you should remove the relevant material and insert a place holder at this point in the document, e.g. Figure (Text/Chart/Diagram/image etc.) has been removed due to Copyright restrictions. There is a feature in Acrobat to add a placeholder to a .pdf file. See Tools, Protection Mark for redaction/Apply redaction.