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Copyright & Your Thesis: Using Your Own Published Work in Your Thesis

A Guide for Research Students

You may want to include your own work, such as a published article, in your thesis.  Although the material is your own work, there are things you need to be aware of through the publication process.

Publishers will often request that you transfer copyright or grant an exclusive right to publish in the form of a Copyright Transfer Agreement or Contributor’s agreement.  This affects whether and how you are allowed to reproduce or make your work available.

While most publishers will allow you to retain the rights to distribute the final version of your published work following peer-review, there can be conditions on this re-use. 

If you plan to use your own published work in your thesis discuss this with your publisher as soon as the work is accepted for publication. 

You can also check the publisher’s policies on copyright and self-archiving from the Sherpa Romeo website (  More information on publication is available in University of Strathclyde's Research Publications Guidance.

In the event that you include previously published work in your thesis Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Students para 259 requires that you submit with your thesis a signed statement which clearly defines the extent of your contribution to such work.