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Theses: Copyright Permission Requests

Information about theses at Southampton: thesis templates, guidance on e-theses, how to find theses

Take down policy

In the unlikely event of a copyright holder contacting and telling us that illegal material is present then ePrints has a take down policy and material can be removed immediately

Guidance from other organisations

Advice on how to use material within copyright on a range of subjects.

International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM):
Guidelines for Quotation and Other Academic Uses of Excerpts from Journal Articles

The Society of Authors:
Quick Guide to Permissions

The British Academy and the Publishers Association:
Joint Guidelines on Copyright and Academic Research - Guidelines for researchers and publishers in the Humanities and the Social Sciences.

DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society): 
Fair Dealing - Criticism and Review  

Intellectual Property Office
Copyright: essential reading

Seeking permissions - general info

When contacting rights' owners to seek permission to include their material within your thesis it is important that you are clear about what you are asking for. If the publisher does not have a copyright permissions form on their website, incorporate the suggested wording below into letters/emails that you send to rights-holders.

Remember to keep copies of all correspondence (you will need to attach them to your Permission to Deposit Thesis form).

If permission is granted you should state this at an appropriate place in your thesis, e.g. "permission to reproduce this... has been granted by...".

Sample text (you are not the author)

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am contacting you to seek permission to include the following material within the electronic version of my [PhD/MPhil] thesis:

[Provide full details of the material you intend to include]

If you are not the rights holder for this material I would be grateful if you would advise me who to contact.

The thesis will be made available with Southampton ePrints ( The repository is a non-commercial and openly available to all.

Yours faithfully,
Your name

Sample text (you are the author)

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am the author of the following work published by/due to be published by [insert publisher's name]:

[Provide full details of the material you intend to include]

This work is based on my PhD thesis, which I am required to deposit in the University of Southampton’s online research repository ( The repository is non-commercial and openly available to all. The online version of the thesis is currently embargoed until [give end date for the embargo], after which it is due to be made publicly available. Therefore my theis will contain material which is also contained in the work mentioned above.

I would be grateful if you could advise if this will be acceptable.

Yours faithfully,

[your name]

Contact Us

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What to do if you do not receive permission

The copyright holder may refuse permission or set an unaffordable fee for use.

You have two options:

  1. You can embargo your entire thesis so that only the title and abstract are visible to the world. We would not recommend this.
  2. You can remove all copyright material and place it in an appendix, which is restricted/embargoed. This obviously makes no sense if removing the material seriously affects the remaining text.