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Copyright Reminder

Copyright and intellectual property issues are a part of the fabric of research and scholarly communications, and thus all Stanford faculty, students and staff need a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives. The Copyright Reminder, which highlights common campus copyright concerns and outlines fundamental elements of US copyright law, is distributed annually to ensure that the Stanford community remains aware of those issues.


Students preparing dissertations face challenges related to both the use of third-party copyrighted material and to the use of material for which Stanford owns the copyright. 

In regard to Stanford-produced information and data, it is critical that faculty and doctoral candidates coordinate closely to ensure that material published in the dissertation is appropriate for release.  The Office of Technology Licensing has determined that publication of a dissertation qualifies as a public disclosure for purposes of patent filings.  This is true for both print and electronic dissertations, and is true even when the dissertation is embargoed so that access is limited to the Stanford community.  Doctoral candidates must work with their advisors to ensure that they do not inappropriately republish material, or publish material that is intended for later publication, by another member of a project team or a research partner.    

Authors must ensure that publication of the dissertation does not conflict with other publication agreements or copyright restrictions that may apply to material included in the dissertation.  Candidates should carefully review publication agreements for previously published material that will be included in their dissertation to ensure that inclusion in the dissertation will not cause a conflict.  Candidates will be responsible for obtaining permissions for all published and third-party material included in their dissertations. 

More information on dissertation copyright issues is outlined in this presentation that all dissertation candidates are required to review (