Theses and (graduation) products

In this guide we explain the most important copyright issues you may have to consider when writing your thesis or making another (graduation) product. Other (graduation) products include source codes for software, building plans, design products, films, dance performances, etc. The rules specified in this guide not only apply to products you make before graduation, but also to anything you write or make during your studies.

As the creator you usually hold the copyright

When you make a thesis or other (graduation) product, you are the creator and thus have the copyright, unless agreed otherwise. You do not have to do anything yourself to protect your work under copyright law. Are you making a similar work together with other people? Then everyone holds the right together.

In addition to copyright you may also have to consider the rights of other people when doing your work. For instance, if you use texts or images in your graduation product that were made by other people.

But what happens if you want to publish your work?

In principle, you as the creator decide whether or not to publish your work. Did you do a work placement while writing your thesis? Then it would be wise to make clear agreements with the work placement company in relation to the publication, dissemination and reuse of your thesis. You remain the copyright holder, but it is important to consider the wishes of the people you collaborated with. This also applies if you wrote or made your thesis or work together with other people. Ensure that you make clear agreements about this with each other, to avoid any misunderstandings later on.

Publishing via the HBO Knowledge Base

If you want to publish your graduation work you can do this via the HBO Knowledge Base. In the HBO Knowledge Base you can find more than 50,000 theses, articles and other publications by lecturers, researchers and fellow students from colleges of higher education. Contact the library at your university college. They can tell you how to upload your own work and make it available through this portal.

What if your study program wants to publish your work?

Almost all Dutch university colleges and universities have a repository or an archive. This is where you can deposit and publish your (graduation) work. If you do this, your thesis will be accessible worldwide, for example via Google Scholar. The policy for this differs per institution: faculties may also apply their own specific procedure.

Want to know how your institution handles this? If you have any questions, ask your promoter or the Copyright Information Point at your institution.

Other elements to take into consideration

Do you want to publish your thesis or work? Make sure to be cautious with confidential information and personal data. Think carefully about including full names, telephone numbers or email address, either yours or other peoeple's. It is recommended to leave this type of information out entirely in the published version. Also take into account the personal data of interviewees and company data.

For more information see the Quick reference guide on the GDPR.

Questions? get in touch with your Copyright Information Point (AIP)

Do you have further questions about this quick reference guide? Please contact one of the members of staff at the Copyright Information Point (AIP) of your institution.

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Vuistregels scripties en (afstudeer)producten
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Quick reference guide for theses and (graduation) products
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