Your graduate research work (such as a thesis or dissertation) is copyright protected as soon as you create it in a tangible format.  Inserting information by other authors in your thesis may qualify as Fair Use. In some cases, to avoid copyright infringement, your information use may require permission from the copyright holder. Copyright infringement and plagiarism are different issues. Depending on whether or not your graduate work is commercially published and how much of another’s copyrighted work is cited, it is helpful to review Fair Use guidelines and copyright information provided here by ProQuest/UMI.

Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis:
Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities by Kenneth Crews
http://www.proquest.com/assets/literature/services/copyright_dissthesis_ownership.pdf  

Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis (includes sample copyright permission letter)
http://www.proquest.com/assets/downloads/products/UMI_CopyrightGuide.pdf

Submitting Your Dissertation or Thesis to UMI
http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/submitted_authors.shtml

See Fair Use within Using Works of Others section of this site for more.

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