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Researchers: Copyright and your PhD

Research

Non-commercial research is that which is not for direct or indirect economic advantage. Commercial research would probably include, for example, research for the production of commercial training materials; research for paying clients; research for a book for which payment will be received

Text and Data mining

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Material can be copied for the purposes of text and data mining, and you can copy the whole text subject to the following conditions

  • you must have lawful access to the material e.g. open access material, or paid subscription
  • you must attribute the source

NB. This exception cannot be overridden by any contracts

Copyright and your PhD

At Aston all PhD theses are uploaded electronically to Aston Research Explorer (formally known as AURA) the Aston University Research Archive. This has implications for copyright, and you will need to seek permission if you include any 3rd party copyright material, e.g. extracts from publications such as books or journals, or illustrations such as images, maps, photographs, tables etc.

Previously, as the printed thesis was primarily an examination tool, it was accepted that 3rd party copyright material could  be included  without seeking permission, however, this is not the case if the thesis is going to be made available online, as its audience goes far beyond the examining panel.

 
You are strongly advised to request permission for any non-original material you include in your thesis (including in the appendix), as any such material included without written permission, will be excluded from the online version. It is a good idea to request permission as you go through your research, rather than leaving it all to the end. An example of a letter you might send can be found here on the Bodleian library website. It is also a good idea to keep a record of permissions as you receive them.

Please remember that no reply means no permission. You must have explicit permission to include 3rd party materials

For advice please contact Caroline Long XT 4488 or your Information Specialist

Research Bite

Please click to view the recent Research Bite session Staying legal – your PhD and copyright law

Private study

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A certain amount of copying is allowed for non-commercial research and private study.

Although the CPDA does not clearly define the amount of original material that can be copied, the Society of Authors issued guidance in 1965:

  • one article from any one issue of a journal (even if that one article is the whole issue)
  • one chapter or up to 5% (whichever is greater) of a book or similar publication
  • up to 10% of a short book of up to 200 pages (CILIP, formerly Library Association, guidelines)
  • one poem or short story of up to 10 pages from an anthology, or
  • the report of one case in law reports.

You may make a copy for yourself or make a single copy for another person. Fair dealing does not cover the making of multiple photocopies, which can only be done under licence (if you are a member of staff), or with the permission of the copyright owner.

Fair dealing applies to literary, dramatic, musical, artistic or typographical works, not just text-based works. However, it does not cover the copying of printed music.