Plagiarism, Copyright and Publishing Information
Because Master’s theses and Doctoral dissertations are available through OhioLINK in open access format and can be indexed by most major search engines, it is important to ensure that you follow professional research standards to avoid plagiarism, protect your copyright and publish your work in other venues, if desired.
The graduate college requires all students to use a style guide to ensure proper citation of sources and provide a framework to your research. The use of a style guide also provides clear information on citing the work of other authors, without which, one can be accused of plagiarism.
Avoiding Plagiarism in your work
We doubt students intend to use another author’s work and represent it as their own. With this in mind, TAD Services offers the following guide for those who want more information about what plagiarism is and how to identify and avoid it.
The best way to avoid unintentional plagiarism is to use a style guide and make notes if you are using your own idea, a paraphrase or a direct quote and cite everything accordingly. Conscientious planning and documentation is the best prevention for unintentional plagiarism.
TurnItIn is a service used for college-level plagiarism checks for all theses and dissertations in The Patton College of Education and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
A resource called SafeAssign is available to all Ohio University students as part of Blackboard Courses that use SafeAssignments. TAD Services advises that you check to see if this is available to you and work with your advisor to help you interpret the results if you chose to run your document.
Ohio University Resources for help with writing
- Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE)
- ESL Writing tools
- The Center for Writing Excellence (CWE)
- Graduate Writing & Research Center
Web-Based Citation and References Resources:
- The OWL at Purdue (APA, MLA, Chicago)
- Research and Documentation Online Hacker and Fister (APA, MLA, Chicago, CSE)
- The Ohio State University Libraries “How to Cite and Organize Information” (APA, MLA, Chicago, CSE, and Turabian)
Copyright and Licensing
As researchers, students want to protect their copyrights and ensure that they are not infringing on another’s copyright in all their work.
It is important to take the time to ask, “Has any part of this material being submitted been previously published (i.e. book chapters or journal articles)?” If so, it is important to ensure that permission to use previously published work has been obtained. If you are using parts of your own previously-published work, it is important to ensure you have permission of the publisher to use it, either in part or whole, in your thesis or dissertation.
Any part of your document that you did not create (graphs, photos, tables) should have permission granted and be properly cited.
As an author, your work is copyrighted the moment you put it into tangible format, and as a student, you retain your copyright, even if you choose not to register with the U.S. Copyright Office. When your work is completed and approved, it will appear in an Open Access format in OhioLINK. Your document will be indexed and available to researchers around the world free of charge and your copyright remains in tact.
Copyright Law Articles:
- A Brief Intro to Copyright
- 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained
- Copyright Law and New Technologies
- Is Fair Use a License to Steal?
Licensing instead of Copyright
Creative Commons Licenses are an open-source legal tool which you may elect to use along with copyright, that allows others to share, use and build upon your work with less worry about copyright infringement as long as they abide by the license you choose. It is important to have a clear understanding about what license you are using and what the stipulations mean to anyone who wishes to use your work. Some CC licenses can be an invaluable aid to other scholars or can unnecessarily restrict scholarly re-use depending upon the type of license used.
Publishing from your Manuscript
While many students have concerns about copyright and self-plagiarism when using their own previously-published work in their manuscript, many more plan to publish part or all of their manuscript in articles, at conferences or expand their work into a book.
Because every situation is different and there are many disciplines, TAD Services always recommends verifying that any intended publisher is contacted to verify any limitations and requirements that must be met. TAD Services allows students to delay the release of the full text manuscript online to accommodate publication needs.
Why request a publication delay? Publication delays are generally requested if students are concerned that placing theses or dissertations online at the Alden Library or with ProQuest/UMI may restrict their ability to publish derived or exact text from theses or dissertations (in the form of books, articles, poems, or short stories) after graduation or if a patent is pending.
TAD Services suggests a publication delay if students plan to publish exact text from their manuscript. In addition, TAD encourages students to contact publishers to find out: a) whether they consider an ETD published in a library or via ProQuest/UMI to be prior publication, b) whether they will consider for publication a manuscript derived from an online theses or dissertations.
Time period: Publication delays are available for OhioLINK and ProQuest documents for one or two years and are renewable up to 5 years total.
Publication delays apply to ETDs in:
- OhioLINK and ProQuest/UMI ETD repositories: The document is uploaded in full text, but the abstract only is available online until the end of the delay period.
Publication delays do not apply to:
- Print theses: No publication delay is necessary for those filing print theses or dissertations, because hard copy theses or dissertations are not uploaded in full text to OhioLINK. The theses or dissertation abstract only appears online in OhioLINK for all hard copy print copies filed in the OU Library.
Effective date of the delay: The publication delay time period begins on the first day of the month following the month of graduation. For a publication delay extension, this same form is required to be completed and signed 30 days before the publication delay time period expires.
Students can obtain a Publication Delay request form from the Forms and Templates page.