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Theses and Dissertations: Rights and Responsibilities

Important things for Graduate students to know when writing a thesis or dissertation.

Copyright and You

You are the copyright holder.

Even after your work has been sent to ProQuest, you are the copyright holder.

DR @ ISU and Copyright

A copy of your thesis or dissertation will also be kept at Digital Repository @ Iowa State University. Unlike ProQuest, DR@ISU is open access, allowing your work to reach a greater audience.

Does contributing material to Digital Repository @ Iowa State University affect the copyright of my work?

No. We will never ask you to transfer your copyright to us before depositing your materials in DR@ISU. The copyright will remain with its owner.

Questions about DR@ISU? 

Please contact the Digital Repository at: 

Looking to submit additional research to DR@ISU?

Additional graduate research is accepted in the repository. For more information, see: or contact the Digital Repository as listed above.

Your Copyright Status

For questions about copyright related to your thesis or dissertation, please contact the Graduate College.

Registering for Copyright

Even though copyright privileges vest immediately upon creating your work, you may also choose to register your copyright. The Graduate College suggests this option if you plan on using your work to:

  • file a patent
  • write a book
  • publish articles
  • or, your major professor recommends it

For more information on registering your copyright, contact the Graduate College, as listed above.

ProQuest and Copyright

In addition to DR@ISU, a copy of your thesis will also be added to ProQuest's Dissertations and Theses database. Unlike, DR@ISU, ProQuest's database is paid for by subscription and will be accessible only to those with log in information. If you have questions about copyright related to ProQuest, please see this document. Still have questions? Contact the Graduate College at

Your Librarians

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Office of Scholarly Communication
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