For Researchers & Online Content

RDI Network
October 2021
3 min read

Copyright protection applies to all published research and content. From the moment, content written or recorded, it is legally protected. For researchers and publishers, a thorough understanding of intellectual property (IP) is essential to ensure that one’s output is protected properly and that no breaches occur in one’s own research.
Here is an overview of the key features of intellectual property for researchers:

  • You may not own the copyright on your research. Whilst copyright is typically owned by the author, there are situations in which such ownership is ceded. Research done for government agencies and employers may cede ownership away from the author. Clarification should be sought by researchers to ensure understanding of ownership.
  • Fair dealing. There is a certain leeway that is granted when making use of others copyrights without permission, allowing for usage in certain contexts. If the research is made in the context of a thesis, with limited usage of the sources, permission does not need to be sought. Publication of research in any form (conference, research papers) voids this protection. This does not apply to artistic works, in which there are different criteria.
  • You must seek permission to use other researchers’ content. Unless the content is “fair dealing” or in the public domain, permission must be granted by the rights holders to be reproduced in any context. Federation University’s source provides a handy guide and template on how to successfully gain permission
  • Online sources can be complicated. Varying terms and conditions of online platforms can make sourcing very complicated. Rather than directly copying content from such sources, it can be helpful to link instead. When using third party material, embedding the sources can be a helpful workaround, as this forms an “implied license” can save time in seeking written permission.


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