Copyright in research for students

A guide to copyright in research. Find out what's involved in seeking permission to use other people's copyright before submitting your thesis.

Intellectual Property Policy

Victoria University of Wellington's current Intellectual Property Policy pdf182KB covers ownership of intellectual property (including copyright) for work created at the University.

Copyright permissions

If you are going to need to use other people’s copyright material in your thesis/ dissertation, such as images, diagrams and maps, you must obtain copyright permission before it can be included in the ResearchArchive.

You should start early and do this as you go as this takes time and shouldn’t be left until submitting your thesis.

Copyright and depositing your thesis

Download a comprehensive guide to copyright for research students pdf113KB prepared by the library consortium of New Zealand and check out the information the Library has on copyright and depositing your thesis.

Seeking permission to use other people’s copyright

Contact the publisher

The publisher is usually a good starting point when seeking permission—they will often be able to give permission or they may be able to provide contact details for the copyright holder.

Contact libraries and archives

If the work is older you may want to try to contact libraries and archives. Copyright can be inherited and if the work you wish to use is still under copyright protection but the author is deceased you will need to seek permission from the author’s estate.

Internet sources

For work from the internet can be harder to trace, as you will need to ensure you find the original source of the work to ensure to get permission from the copyright holder.

Get written permission

It is advisable to keep a written record of permission you are given, this may mean sending a follow up confirmation email or letter after a conversation.