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Public Health Graduate Student Resources: Thesis / Dissertations

Finding Dissertations


Is it Protected by Copyright?

What does copyright cover? (More info)

  • Original work of authorship
  • Expression fixed in a tangible medium
  • Creative work, including literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, audiovisual, & architectural works

How do I know if something is under copyright?

Do I need to seek permission?

Determining Access to Your Work

You retain copyright of your thesis or dissertation. The copyright law of the United States protects your rights in your work automatically, from the moment it is fixed in tangible form (including storage as an electronic file). Your copyright is valid for your lifetime plus 70 years, and the rights remain yours, unless and until you transfer them to another.

Options to consider:

  • Including a copyright notice identifying copyright owner and year of publication is not necessary, but beneficial.
  • Registering your work (directly with US Registrar of Copyrights) or through ProQuest/UMI is necessary for bringing a legal claim of infringement.

Factors to consider:


Literature Reviews

  • Access titles focused on assisting you with the literature review

Dissertations and Thesis Calculator

  • Tool to help you plan your research project with guidance specific to UC Merced

Research Data Curation

  • The UC Merced Library provides services to assist with preparing data management plans, file management, metadata creation, and data sharing and archiving.

Sage Research Methods Project Planner

  • Tool to guide you through the stages of a research project including topic development, conducting a literature review, research design, data collection, analysis, and writing up results. 

UC Merced Guidelines

Including Previously Published Work in Your Dissertation

Are you planning to include an article--or a figure--that you've published in a journal as part of your dissertation?

Be sure you review the author agreement you signed with the journal publisher to determine if you have the right to do so. Publishers typically acquire copyright, unless you published in an open access journal.