Copyright for our Institutional Repositories

Below you will find copyright guidelines for our Institutional Repositories.

Rights for authors


Copyright is an umbrella term covering the rights of ownership, reproduction, distribution and sale of a work.

The laws relating to copyright are intended to protect the rights of an author while allowing for creative use of the work by others.

Copyright ownership

The author or creator of a work owns the copyright to that work, until such time as they transfer all or part of those rights to another party, for example, a publisher, family member, or employer. In most cases, as an employee or student of the Victoria University of Wellington, you own the copyright to your research work until such time as you transfer some or all of those rights.

Use of works under copyright

The Copyright Act has a ‘fair dealing’ provision which allows for use and reproduction of a copyright protected work in certain circumstances. Examples of fair dealing are use for private study, criticism and review, and reporting current events.

There is also an ‘educational purposes’ provision which allows the reproduction of an item for teaching purposes, for example, class readings.

Rights for users

General copyright and disclaimer

Items in the Institutional Repository are protected by the Copyright Act 1994 (New Zealand) with all rights reserved), unless otherwise indicated.

Previously published research

Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. An open access copy is available in the Open Access Repository if it complies with the copyright holder/publisher conditions.

Unpublished research

Items may be consulted, provided you comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1994 (New Zealand) and the following conditions of use:

  • Any use you make of these documents or images must be for research or private study purposes only, and you may not make them available to any other person.
  • For theses - authors control the copyright of their work. You will recognise the author's right to be identified as the author of this thesis, and due acknowledgement will be made to the author where appropriate. You will obtain the author's permission before publishing any material from their thesis.

Creative commons

Creative commons licenses

Copyright holders of works such as PhD and Master’s theses can choose to apply a creative commons license. A creative commons license allows an author to define how others are able to use your work, whilst still retaining full copyright protection. There are six types of licence available; these are outlined in the table below. For more information please refer to the creative commons website.