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Library Subject Guides

Copyright at UC: For Research

Quick Guide - Research or Private Study

Research or private study

Section 43 of the Copyright Act 1994 allows for copying to be done if it is “fair dealing” for the purposes of research or private study

Quote brief passages from copyright works

  • There is no ‘10%’ rule so keep it brief. 

Paraphrase ideas and opinions of other authors

  • Reference all opinions, ideas and quotes appropriately

Get permission to include artistic works

  • Diagrams, charts, scales, film, performance etc. will likely require separate permissions. 
  • Include the phrase 'reproduced with permission' as part of the bibliographic citation.
  • Take care to follow any terms or conditions set by the copyright holder.


See also (for more copyright advice): Millett, Tony. Copyright Guidelines for Research Students.2nd edition, January 2012

Seeking permission from a copyright holder

In some cases, you may need to seek permission from a rights holder to use their copyright material. Particularly in the case of academic authors, there is a good chance that they will be pleased to provide permission. You will need to keep a record of correspondence to demonstrate that permission has been given.
Below are guidelines for when seeking permission.

  • Greeting / Be polite
  • Who you are, where you’re from. 
  • What you want to use, and where you found it
  • How you want to use it, including information about whether it is for a MOOC, course codes, intent to host it (i.e., upload to Learn), intent to change it in any way. Be as complete and transparent as possible. 
  • Make a clear request for permission to use the item in the way that’s been outlined, and ask the holder to confirm they can give you permission to use the item, since some publisher agreements give the copyright to the publisher. 



See for more advice around copyright and your thesis.

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