Can I Put My Dissertation Online?

Your dissertation is usually the key to graduating from campus, securing a publishing deal, or joining a faculty somewhere. However, after working diligently on your dissertation without finding the need to buy dissertation online, you can earn the paper more recognition and reach a wider audience far from your lectures and the school library. It is why most students choose to upload their dissertations online. 

The realization that your content will be available to a broader audience is thrilling and scary at the same time due to copyrights and image rights concerns in case you have used people’s images or diagrams that require the original author’s permission. As you upload your dissertation online, here are things you should know. 

Basics on Copyrights 

The thought of making your scholarly work accessible to audiences all over the world can be exciting. After months of research and writing, it is worth placing your work on a global platform. However, it is best first to take a step back and understand issues on copyrights. 

According to copyright laws, the original author of an article or book gets exclusive rights against publication and reproduction of their work for a limited duration. It means you cannot reproduce any work without their permission. What this means for your dissertation is that before publishing it online, you will have to decide whether you will need to get permission or whether it is fair use. 

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Permission Concerning Publishing Someone Else’s Work Online 

When uploading your work online, it is essential to note that one does not have to seek permission from the original owner of the work under certain circumstances. The first is when the original owner has taken a creative commons license allowing anybody to publish their work as long as they get recognition.

The second is when the work is available in the public domain. Public domain works are usually the ones whose copyright duration has expired or has not been protected. However, it is essential to note that only some articles or scholarly works available online are in the public domain. 

The last is when there would be fair usage. Fair use means using a person’s work to teach, research, or criticize. Fair use allows you to use the work without the need for permission. For fair use, one should consider factors such as the type of copyrighted work and whether it is used to gain profits. 

Noteworthy, having the right citations does not mean you automatically get permission to use the work. However, you can get permission to link directly to the source of the work. 

How to Get Permission From the Original Owner 

Once you decide to publish your dissertation online, it is best to start processing how to get permission from the original author early enough. Finding the owner may seem like a task; however, you only have to find their contacts, reach out to them in writing, and include how you intend to use their work. Also, note that silence does not infer permission. Therefore, if they have not replied, consider using a different source. It should not stop you from publishing your work online.  

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Check If There Are Any Publication Issues 


Depending on how you will make the dissertation available, you should consider if you want the dissertation licensed aside from fair use and examine whether you wish to copyright the work beyond fair use through the creative commons license. 

Suppose it is appropriate to embargo the dissertation. Some institutions discourage their students from that, while others encourage the embargo of their work. Whichever decision you make, it is essential to note that making the dissertation readily available for use online has several advantages since you will have the exact publication date and build your credibility. However, an embargo is often used when the work contains sensitive information or names that one cannot reveal at publication. 

Moreover, determine if getting copyrights from the U.S. copyright office is appropriate. The rights to a dissertation automatically belong to the right owner; however, registering for copyrights guarantees that you will get a recourse in case the dissertation is plagiarized or misused. 

Final Take 

Publishing your dissertation online can be the first step to getting more of your work out there for the world to see. Therefore, you should be bold in publishing it online. However, there are some challenges that you need to address before uploading the work to ensure you do not get legal suits or someone pulls it down due to plagiarism. Understanding copyright regulations should be the first thing one does before publishing their work online since it determines the work’s credibility.