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Copyright Guidance on ETD

Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD)

ETD and Copyright

This guide focuses on guidance for obtaining copyright permission and citation guidelines for using your previously published articles in your dissertation or thesis. You will also need to check if an image, figure, data, survey, instruments etc. are copyright protected before planning to use in the dissertation.  We recommend you schedule an appointment with a Research & Learning Librarian for this process.  

Know the basics

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of legal protection grounded in the U.S Constitution for original works of authorship.

Should I care about copyright while using figures, articles, and other materials in the my dissertation?

Yes! If a work is copyrighted, someone else cannot copy that work without permission. Read more information from

What is fair use, works in public domain, and Creative Commons license?
  • Fair use allows the use of copyrighted works without permission under certain conditions and circumstances such as educational, research, scholarship, non profit use etc. Read more on factors involved in Fair Use
  • The public domain works are copyright free, it has no restrictions to use. Works before 1923, facts, data  etc. are examples.
  • Creative Commons license facilitates authors custom license for using their works. Example include CC-BY. You must provide attribution to the original author. 

Personnel and Services Contacts

Have questions? Get assistance from below list


Contact Name

Contact Email

Previously published works and journal permission process

Research & Learning Librarians

Copyright & using previously published materials 

Research & Learning Librarians

Citation manager program (EndNote)

Research & Learning Librarians

Document mechanics (table of contents, lists of figures, etc.) and template questions

KU Library Specialist

Paul Thomas (KU Lawrence)

Adherence to KUMC formatting guidelines, dissertation submission process

Office of Graduate Studies

Writing skills and self editing support

KUMC Writing Center