Frequently asked questions

Do I own the copyright in my research?

You normally own the copyright in your thesis, articles and research data.  On publishing your articles, you normally hand over (assign) the copyright to your journal publisher.  However this can be negotiated as copyright transfer is not essential for publication.

Can I include my published articles when submitting my thesis?

There is no issue including your published articles in your thesis for marking only. But when submitting your thesis with articles for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository, you are permitting Griffith to publish articles whose copyright will normally belong to the journal publishers.  This will rarely be a problem if you follow the advice in the Articles in Thesis guide. Otherwise your articles will be redacted from your thesis.

Should I include in my thesis my article that isn't yet published? What if I want to publish a book from my thesis?

There is no issue here when submitting your thesis for marking only. But when submitting your thesis to Griffith for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository, you are permitting Griffith to publish your thesis including your article 12 months after your thesis has been marked. There are journal publishers which will not accept material that has previously been published.  So when submitting your thesis for publication on Griffith University Research Thesis Repository, you may need to redact your article which is yet to be published, or put an embargo on the publication of your thesis.  If you intend to publish a book from your thesis, you may need to embargo the publication of your thesis.  Seek additional advice from the Information Policy Officer.

Can I publish my working papers and conference papers as journal articles?

Some publishers consider working papers and conference papers that are published on the web as prior publication, and could therefore refuse to publish these papers as an article.  So check with your publisher and plan how and where you publish.

Can I use material belonging to others in my thesis and journal articles?

There is no issue if you wish to include images, diagrams, graphs, charts, maps, words (and other material you sourced from the internet or elsewhere) in your thesis for marking only.

However you need to take care if you wish to include such material in your journal articles or in your thesis when submitting this for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository.  Sometimes copyright law will allow you to use this material.  At other times the easiest path is to use material with a suitable Creative Commons licence or other open licence.  Otherwise, you must get written permission from the copyright owner to include the material.  As your thesis and articles will be published, this is your sole responsibility.  If you cannot get permission to include this material in your thesis for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository, the material will be redacted from your thesis before publication.

What is Creative Commons material and why use it?

Creative Commons material is material that creators allow others to use under various conditions.  Often you can simply use (and often adapt) diagrams, images, maps, sketches or photographs from the internet with a Creative Commons license in your articles and thesis without needing to get permission from the copyright owner.  Remember to reference where you sourced the Creative Commons material.

How can I find Creative Commons material for my research publications?

Find the material you want on CC Search.  (Best to tick both boxes below the search bar to source material with a CC BY or CC BY SA licence – as both these CC licences will allow you to adapt and publish this material in your articles and thesis on Griffith University Research Theses Repository.)  Note that a CC non-commercial (NC) licence will not permit you to include the material in your articles or books.

Do I need permission to quote text?

You may quote up to a paragraph (from another article or book) in your articles or thesis for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository. If you want to quote more, you should get permission from the copyright owner.

Can I use any material from the internet in my thesis and articles?

It’s best to presume that all material on the internet has copyright protection.  Check the website’s “Terms of Use” or the licence (attached to the material) to see if you are permitted to include the material in your article or in your thesis for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository.  Otherwise get permission to use the material.

What if I am criticising or reviewing for example a painting or diagram?

You may sometimes include an image of a painting or diagram in your thesis or article (without needing to get permission from the copyright owner) if you are directly criticising or reviewing this work.  Seek advice from the Information Policy Officer.

Can I change a diagram or image and put this in my articles or thesis?

When adapting material (such as text or a diagram) you need to get permission from the copyright owner, unless the material has a CC licence or other open licence that allows you to do so.   If the copyright owner is not the creator, you may need to get permission from the creator as well as the copyright owner to adapt the work.  If you draw an image, diagram or map using other material as inspiration and your work looks substantially like this original material, you will need permission from the copyright owner to include this new work in your articles or thesis for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository. Often it’s easier to start from scratch and create your own original work.  Seek advice from the Information Policy Officer.

When and how do I ask for permission to use material from others?

If your use does not fit under the above examples, you will need permission from the copyright owner to include the material in your articles or when submitting your thesis for publication on Griffith University Research Theses Repository. You will include your permissions when submitting your thesis for publication.  (Note that you do not need permission to include such material in your thesis for marking only.)  If you cannot get these permissions, the material will be redacted from your thesis before publication.

How can I get assistance?

Contact the Information Policy Officer on copyright@griffith.edu.au or 373 55695.