Copyrighting Your Work

The University of Missouri – St. Louis does not require that you register the copyright for your work. Most students will be able to copyright the work as the sole owner.

There are some situations which will prevent the student from doing this. Here are some examples:

  1. The student’s employer has ownership rights to the research
  2. The student’s research is part of a sponsored grant and is the property of the University of Missouri
  3. The student has signed a publishing agreement and the publisher is the owner of the work

Students may copyright their work through the U.S. Copyright Office or Proquest/UMI

All doctoral students who submit an electronic thesis or dissertation are required to participate in the UMI Abstract publishing program.  Each participant's abstract will be published in the Master's Theses or Doctoral Dissertations Abstracts publications. By signing the UMI agreement form for Abstract Service, you are also authorizing ProQuest to produce copies on demand for a fee. Author royalties are due when demand exceeds seven copies per year, paid on an annual basis.  You may request that UMI not distribute your thesis or dissertation until further notice. A signed cover letter stating this should be submitted with your Agreement form. An archival microfilm master copy shall be produced from the electronic document (where possible), which is retained in the UMI archive. For archival purposes, UMI may require alternate storage media such as CD-ROM for use in situations where multimedia submissions cannot be reproduced by conventional means. Additional information can be found in the UMI Publishing Booklets.

Using Copyrighted Material

Copyrighted material may be used if it meets the criteria of the 4 factors that determine fair use:

  1. Purpose must be for non-profit, educational use
  2. Nature of the material used (factual vs. fictional)
  3. Amount of material used (the percentage of a work used in relation to the whole)
  4. Effect on the current market as well as the future, potential market, or value of the work

The owner of the copyrighted material must give permission (sample permission letter). For more information, view copyright laws as explained by Stanford, Cornell and the U.S. Copyright Office.