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Study Skills

Copyright for Researchers: Copyright introduction

Question marksWho is this guide for?

Copyright is something all of those involved in academia will have to deal with at some point in their careers. It is a complex area which presents different challenges to each audience. This guide will focus on areas of copyright likely to be applicable to researchers looking to share their work, including making a PhD thesis available via Open Access.

Please note that the information contained in this guide does not constitute legal advice. Copyright law is different across the globe and this guide reflects UK copyright law only and some of the advice reflects circumstances specific to the University of Cambridge.

Copyright symbolWhat is copyright?

Copyright is one of a group of rights which help to ensure that a work is not used without the permission of the person or company who holds the rights. Copyright is automatically granted once a work has been produced in a tangible form, either physical or digital - for example once it has been written down. In most cases the first copyright holder is the author or creator of the work but this can change.

It is important that researchers understand copyright regulations as these affect both what they are allowed to use in their work and how they share it with others. Cambridge University Libraries have launched a copyright advice service in order to provide help and support to researchers on copyright matters. You can contact us using the information on the right hand side of this page.

For more information about copyright contact the Legal Services Office of the University.