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Copyright and Higher Degree Theses: Protecting your copyright

Copyright compliance is an essential part of research and publication for higher degree by research students

Your copyright ownership

As a student of the University of Western Australia, you own the copyright in your thesis and have exclusive rights including:

  • publishing your thesis
  • making your thesis available online
  • performing your thesis in public
  • making adaptations of your thesis
  • broadcasting your thesis

As the author of the thesis the copyright remains with you until you transfer it to another party such as a commercial publisher. Archiving a thesis in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository does not affect your ownership of the copyright; in fact, it can help to protect your rights as:

  • The full bibliographic citation identifies you as the author and ensures the work is traceable. It cannot be mistaken for an 'orphan work' where copyright owners are difficult to identify.
  • There is a copyright statement alerting users to the conditions of use and the need to request permission for re-use.

Infringement of your copyright

You can take action if there is an infringement of your copyright. You need to make a written approach to the person or organisation in breach and advise them of the issue. Usually there will be a satisfactory response such as taking the material down from a website. However, if they do not rectify the situation, and you are sure they are in breach of copyright, you can take legal action. It is recommended that you seek independent legal advice before pursuing this option. 

Support and resources

Contact for support

Email your questions to our friendly library staff.


HDR Students

UWA Staff

More contact options are available on the Library Contact us page.

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