5 Things You Should Know About Dissertation Copywriting

One of the last things graduate students seem to worry about soon after completing their dissertation project is the process of having the material copyrighted. More often than not students are exhausted and simply happy to have accomplished this last gargantuan task before receiving their Master’s degree or Doctorate. But there are few things one should know about getting a dissertation copyrighted that might come in handy. Here are the top five:

  1. Dissertations are automatically copyrighted
  2. Your work is automatically copyrighted the moment you add your name onto the document. This has been true in the U.S. court system (and other parts in the world) for centuries. While you may have to prove that you in fact created a work if someone comes along and claims it was theirs to begin with, the courts will usually side with the original author as the copyright holder.

  3. You can get it copyrighted with U.S. Office
  4. Though your work is automatically copyrighted with your name, you should consider making things official by filing it with U.S. Copyright Office. Most people can do this on their own for a small fee, but it might be best if you hire a professional service to handle the paper work and ensure all the appropriate information is included with your forms.

  5. You should consider sending it to the LoC
  6. The next stop is the Library of Congress. Some academics don’t feel their work is truly an academic resource until they see it in print and sitting in the nation’s Library of Congress where all material deemed worthy of study and historical sits in permanent record. Usually, any work maintained at an institute of higher learning and holds a copyright record at the U.S. Office, will be added to the collection at the LoC.

  7. You can alter your own work and resubmit
  8. When you hold a copyright of your graduate project you can always alter your work significantly and apply for a new copyright on the updated version with new material. The process is significantly easier and allows you to maintain two version of the same work on record. This isn’t the same as having a second edition, since it is actually considered a separate work.

  9. You can use material to form another work
  10. Lastly, you can use material to form another work like an article or a book. As long as you maintain the primary copyright you can use your material in other pieces. The only requirement is that you must cite your own work in its original form, but other than this bit you’re free to do what you want.