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Third-Party Copyright of a Thesis or Dissertation

If your work contains material that has been copyrighted by another party, you may need to seek permission to use the material in your thesis or dissertation. Examples of materials for which you would need to seek copyright permission include but are not limited to third-party software, images, graphics, large portions of text and maps. If copyright permission is needed, you must submit written approval for the use of the copyrighted material along with your thesis or dissertation.

Substituting copyrighted materials in theses and dissertations

The Graduate School encourages students to seek permission to use copyrighted material in their theses and dissertations. Your work is published after it is submitted in approved form to the Graduate School, and will be available to audiences who wish to know more about the subject you investigate. The more full and complete the thesis or dissertation, the better the experience for your reader, and therefore the better the response to the fruits of your hard work. However, if you are unable or unwilling to obtain copyright permission for some of the materials in your research, you may substitute other items for the copyrighted material.

Acceptable substitutions include:

  • Redrawing or tracing of maps, images, graphics, etc.
  • References to URLs, printed documents or physical locations where the copyrighted material can be found.

A student whose thesis or dissertation has had copyrighted material removed prior to submission must have his or her adviser sign a document reading:

[Student's name] has removed copyrighted material from the copy of the thesis or dissertation submitted to the Graduate School for electronic publication. I certify that I approve the thesis or dissertation in this form. The student has presented accurate information as to where the removed, copyrighted material can be found.

Adviser's name

Policy regarding theses and dissertation content

Students are prohibited from using research (data, results, methods or other content) in their theses or dissertations that could restrict subsequent publication or public disclosure of these documents. Examples of restricted information include classified or proprietary materials. It is important to note that these restrictions do not apply to non-thesis or non-dissertation research that is approved by the student's adviser and allowed by University of Missouri policies. Questions regarding the applicability of this policy to thesis or dissertation content should be referred to the Graduate School. This policy was approved by the Graduate Faculty Senate.

Copyright resources

For more information regarding copyright and your thesis or dissertation, please visit: