Theses and dissertations

All graduate students are required to:

  • submit a copy of your thesis or dissertation to the university's institutional repository (UVicSpace).
  • agree to the UVic non-exclusive distribution license in order to submit your thesis/dissertation by clicking “I Grant the License,” giving UVic the right to make the thesis/dissertation available to the public, immediately or after a set withholding period (approval is required by Faculty of Graduate Studies).
  • clear permissions for all third party content (images, photos, tables, figues, etc.) used in your thesis or dissertation before submitting to UVicSpace. It is best to request permissions early because copyright clearance can take time.
  • include a copyright statement on the title page of your thesis or dissertation. Additional copyright elements may include a Creative Commons license.

Do I own copyright in my thesis?

Yes. However, when submitting your thesis to UVic and Library and Archives Canada, you will be required to grant a partial copyright license allowing the University to post your thesis in the University’s digital research repository (UVicSpace), and allowing Library and Archives Canada to make your thesis available on the Internet and in searchable databases. These licenses clearly stipulate that you own the copyright to your thesis.

How do I get permission to use someone else's work?

Your request for permission from the copyright holder must state that your thesis will be available in open-access full-text format on the internet, and that the electronic version of your thesis will be accessible through the university's online research repository (UVicSpace), and through the Library’s online catalogue. For use in theses and dissertations, the letter also needs to state that Library and Archives Canada will be granted a non-exclusive license to reproduce, loan, or distribute single copies of the thesis by any means and in any format.

Remember that you may want to use portions of your thesis in a future publication, article or book. Any permission obtained from third-party copyright holders for your thesis does NOT transfer to other publications or uses, unless specifically stated in your agreement. Therefore, consider future potential uses when wording your copyright permission requests.

The Copyright Office has create a template letter for you to use when requesting permissions. Email correspondence is also an acceptable form of permission, provided it takes into consideration all the points above.

Unable to get permission?

When you can't obtain permission, you must either:

  1. remove the copyrighted material and insert text with the following information
    • A statement that the material has been removed because of copyright restrictions
    • A description of the material and the information it contained, with a link to an online source if one is available
    • A full citation of the original source of the material, or
  2. replace the material with a different work for which permission is either obtainable or not required (e.g., work in the public domain or covered by a Creative Commons license).

What is Fair Dealing and can I use it for my thesis?

Fair dealing is an exception in the Copyright Act that allows any person to make a copy of a short excerpt of a copyrighted work without permission. The fair dealing exception allows copying only if:

  • the copying is for one or more of the following purposes: research, private study, education, satire, parody, criticism, review, or news reporting, and
  • the copying is fair.

See UVic's copying guidelines for more information.

Can I include articles in my thesis that I have already published?

Please review the UVic academic calendar program requirements for the general form and style of doctoral dissertations and master's theses and integration of previously published materials. You should also consult the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ website and your home academic unit for information regarding the structure and formatting of the dissertation.

If the Author/Publisher Agreement does not allow for you to re-publish the material in your thesis, you will need to contact the publisher and ask them for permission to include the work. Check your publisher's website for more specific guidance.

Do I need to obtain permission to include images, maps or photos in my thesis?

If the thesis includes reproductions of copyrighted images, including but not limited to, figures, drawings, paintings, photographs, logos, maps, diagrams, tables, or charts, then the author of the thesis may have to obtain written authorization from the copyright holder in order to include this material. See the copying guidelines for more information.

The request for permission from the copyright holder must state that the thesis will be available on the internet and accessible via the university's online research repository (UVicSpace). The Copyright Office has created a template letter for you to use when requesting permissions.

Can I withhold my thesis from public view? I am planning to publish an article.

If you are planning to submit chapters of your thesis for journal publication, please check with your potential publisher regarding their regulations on prior publication of the work. Some publishers permit documents to be held in campus repositories (UVicSpace), which means they do not need to be part of the embargoed collection.

If required, you can withhold your thesis from public viewing for a year. Download the withholding form and submit it to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

For more information see:

I would like to get my thesis professionally bound. Where can I have this done?

It is your individual choice where you have this done. You are not required by UVic to use a specific company when having a thesis bound.

The following is a list (not exhaustive) of some companies you could contact, provided for informational purposes only:

Academic Bookbinding, Surrey, BC
Lehmann Bookbinding, Kitchener, ON
Victoria Bindery, Victoria, BC

Where can I get help with Microsoft Office document issues, such as formatting?

The University provides free assistance to students who have software-specific questions. Details can be found on the University Systems website.

See also:

(Adapted from Copyright at SFU and Copyright at UBC)

Should you have any questions please contact the Copyright Office.

The Copyright Office makes every effort to provide accurate information but does not offer it as counsel or legal advice.