Theses and dissertations

Third-party copyright

Third-party copyright is copyright material other than your own.

You may copy any third-party copyright material for the purposes of examination including using it in your thesis (Copyright Act section 49). This exception does not allow the work to subsequently be made publicly available. Because theses are required to be deposited in the University’s research repository, you will need to get permission to use third-party copyright material there.


Getting permission to use a copyright work requires that you enter into an agreement with the rights owner giving you the right to use the work.

You will need to follow these steps before your work is published either in hard copy or electronically for example in the University of Auckland Repository, ResearchSpace:

  1. Determine that the work is protected by copyright.
  2. Identify the rights’ owner(s).
  3. Contact the owner(s) and negotiate whether payment is needed.
  4. Get each permission in writing to include the work in the University repository.

Can’t get permission

If you cannot get permission to reproduce material, consider putting it in a separate section of your thesis which can then be suppressed from public view, or the whole text of the thesis can be suppressed if it contains confidential information.

Email the University of Auckland ResearchSpace repository administrator ( for information on these options.

Research Repository

You own the copyright to your thesis.

When you deposit your thesis in the University Research Repository, ResearchSpace, you grant a non-exclusive license for the University to make it available there.

Guide to Theses and Dissertations

Creative Commons

Applying a Creative Commons Licence to your thesis lets others know how they may use your work without infringing copyright and it may also increase the impact of your research.

You can still apply a Creative Commons licence to your thesis even if you have included images and graphics that have been created by other people. These third party works need to be clearly labelled and cannot be included in the licence you have applied to your thesis.

You may choose to use a Creative Commons licence. We recommend that you use the licence allowing non-commercial and share alike reuse.

For more information, visit Creative Commons.

You can also visit these external resources:

Maps in theses

  • OpenStreetMap uses open data and licenses its maps under a creative commons attribution share-alike licence.
  • You may use Google Maps in your thesis provided you use the correct attribution. Read guidelines from Google.