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Here are some common student concerns and questions about what it means to make a copy of a dissertation/thesis available via Pro Quest Dissertations & Theses and in the open access Tufts Digital Library: Q: Will making my dissertation/thesis openly available in the institutional repository hurt my chances for publication?Q: Can I delay the release of my dissertation/thesis? Q: I published a chapter of my dissertation/thesis as an article last year.
You need to register before you can sue someone, and if it was not registered earlier, you are limited to seeking only actual damages and no attorney fees.
Pro Quest can register the copyright for you for a $55 fee.
For information about embargoing a thesis or dissertation, consult your program’s thesis/dissertation guide.
For students in the Schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering: Q: I published a chapter of my dissertation/thesis as an article last year.
Formal registration establishes a claim on your particular “expression” of your ideas. Depending on the amount and type of material being used, it may be more appropriate to seek permission.
Registration is a necessary step should you want to sue for copyright infringement. If the material you want to use in your dissertation/thesis is in the public domain, you don’t need permission or to do a fair use assessment, just don’t forget to cite it! Registering provides a date-stamp, which can be useful in establishing primacy of your work.You can also check out the MIT Libraries page on Thesis Content and Article Publishing for links to relevant policies for several publishers.Of course, if you retained copyright, for example, if you were publishing with an open access journal using a Creative Commons license, you do not need to ask permission to re-use your article.Q: I want to use graphs, charts, and images created by others in my dissertation/thesis. Q: What are the benefits of registering my copyright? A: Your thesis/dissertation is automatically copyrighted as soon as you write it, therefore it is not necessary to take any other steps to initiate your copyright Nevertheless, there are reasons you might seek to formally register your copyright with the U. If your work is very creative or you think it has potential to be re-used or mis-used by others, you might want to register.Plus, they put a copy of your work in the Library of Congress; you’ve arrived!Q: Could someone steal my ideas and publish them before I can if I make I my dissertation/thesis openly available? Q: What are the benefits of registering my copyright? Q: Do I need to pay Pro Quest to make my thesis/dissertation available open access? Q: Will making my dissertation/thesis openly available in the institutional repository hurt my chances for publication?Q: I want to use graphs, charts, and images created by others in my dissertation/thesis. A: Talk to your advisor, others on your committee or in your department, basically anyone you know, to get a sense of the publishing landscape in your field. You could also think about seeking an embargo to give yourself a little more time. They are available for 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years.It may be that publishers in your sub-field are not really that concerned about the existence of an earlier, not blind peer-reviewed copy in your institutional repository. Q: Can I delay the release of my dissertation/thesis? A: Embargoes delay the availability of the full-text of your work to a specified duration of time.Once submitted, a record of the dissertation/thesis is still visible, which provides metadata, such as the title, author, year, abstract, school, and subject matter, just not the full-text of your work.Consult with IRB and your advisor for more information about either of these options.An embargo would delay the release of the full-text.