Copyright, Plagiarism, and Publishing Information

Because theses and dissertations are available through OhioLINK in open access format and can be indexed by most major search engines, it is important 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 for 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

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

Web-Based Citation and References Resources

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 the 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 a 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 intact.

Copyright Law Articles

Licensing Instead of Copyright

Creative Commons Licenses are an open-source legal tool that 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 of 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.

Types of Creative Commons Licenses

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 plan to 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.

Publication Delays

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 thesis or dissertation.

Time period: Publication delays are available for OhioLINK and ProQuest documents for one or two years at a time and are renewable up to 5 years total.

To request a publication delay, complete and return the Publication Delay Request Form [PDF] to