Copyright for Researchers and Authors - General Information

Copyright law provides protection for creators of certain forms of media against the unauthorised use of their material. In Australia the use of copyright material in such things as books, journals, computer programs, photographs, music, films or websites is governed by the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).

As a researcher you will need to use other people's copyright material in your own work. As you do this you need to make sure you comply with copyright law. The following provide some basic guidelines you need to consider:

  • Australia does not have a system of copyright registration. Your thesis will be protected by copyright from the moment it is placed in a material form, that is, written down or typed into a computer.
  • You may need to consider the terms or conditions of any grant, scholarship or funding you obtain.
  • If you enter into a collaborative agreement with an individual or organisation, copyright may need to be shared.
  • Using the copyright of others may be subject to conditions, such as copying limits under fair dealing for research or study
  • if you want to include your work in an online repository such as the University's Institutional Repository - ACQUIRE, or wish to publish it, it is possible that material that you were permitted to use for research or study (fair dealing) as a student, now requires you to seek permission for use before publishing or making it available online.
  • The ownership rights of others need to be respected. All copyright of others needs to be correctly referenced in your work.

Understanding copyright is the first step to ensuring you do not infringe it. The OAKLaw Project Copyright Guide for Research Students provides more information about copyright and will assist you from the beginning of your research project.

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For further information, visit the Copyright FAQs or contact Copyright Services