Copyright Information Site - for students
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The copyright is owned by the creator of the work. This means that you are not allowed to simply use portions of someone else's work in your thesis or paper. The quotations must fit in the context of your piece and you must cite the sources used. Quoting without a source citation is called plagiarism and is punishable. The Regulations governing Fraud and Plagiarism for UvA Students define plagiarism, and set out the rules and practice with which you are expected to comply when working on an assignment, paper or essay.
The rules for citation also apply to copying an image or photograph. You may copy the image to discuss it (with a source citation), but are not allowed to use the image as decoration. See also the SURF Rules of thumb for the use of audio and visual material.
You can find the answers to frequently asked questions from students about the use of another person's work on the SURF website Copyrights in Higher Education. You can sort the questions by Theme, e.g. Images and audio or Publications. With most answers, you can click for more or other relevant information.
The manner in which you cite your sources depends on your study programme. Each field of study prescribes a particular reference or citation style. There are thousands of citation styles; the most well-known styles are APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association) and Chicago (Chicago Manual of Style).
Manually adjusting references in the format of a particular style must be done carefully and can be time-consuming. You can save a lot of time by using citation software. The UvA has a licence for the citation software of RefWorks and Mendeley. The Word plug-in of one of these programmes allows you to convert the references in your document effortlessly into the desired citation style. The library organises a RefWorks introduction course for UvA students each month.
Copyright on your own work
When you write a thesis or paper, you are the creator and the owner of the copyright. You do not need to do anything to ensure that your work is copyright-protected.
Publishing theses in UvA Scripties Online (UvA Theses Online)
In most study programmes, your thesis is incorporated in the UvA repository, Scripties Online. This ensures that you will not lose your copyright and that your work will not automatically end up in the 'public domain'.
If others want to use parts of your thesis, they must obtain your permission first, unless they want to use your work for one of the exceptions allowed under the Copyright Act, such as citing or copying for one's own use.
Contact your own faculty if you (temporarily) do not want your thesis to be publicly available in UvA Scripties online. More information about the publication of your thesis.
Copyright Information Site
This page is part of the Copyright Information Site of the UvA and HvA libraries. It also provides answers to copyright questions lecturers and researchers may have.