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Environmental Health Sciences

Provides resources, strategies, and information on conducting research in Environmental Health Sciences.

Why is copyright important?

In brief, copyright is a form of legal protection that allows creators of original work to control some reproduction and distribution of their work (see below for a more complete description).   In general, the rights that you as an author have include the exclusive right to do & to authorize others to reproduce the work in whole or in part, prepare derivative works (such as translations), & distribute copies of the work.  These rights have exceptions and limitations, including the fair use provisions, which allow certain uses without permission of the copyright holder.

You should think about copyright as soon as you begin your dissertation or any substantive research project that may be published in a journal/another form.

  • You may want to publish chapters of your dissertation before or after it is completed.  Don't sign a publishing contract without understanding copyright and your rights as an author.
  • Learn the policies of journals in your field. Will they accept chapters verbatim as a stand-alone article? Most journals will require some revisions to make a chapter from your dissertation suitable for publication as an article.

Copyright Basics

The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.

What is copyright?

What is protected by copyright?

What isn't protected by copyright?

How do works acquire copyright?

How long does copyright last?

Who is the owner of a copyrighted work?


For More Information

To find more information on copyright--both of your own work & using the work of others--consult the following guides.