Apply to USF Now | Graduate Admissions | Events & Workshops | Giving to the Office of Graduate Studies

ETD Resource Center
Current ETD Deadlines
ETD Workshops & Help Sessions
Outstanding Thesis & Dissertation Awards
ETD Process Requirements
Registration & Submission Requirements
ETD Plagiarism Check (Required)
ETD Processing Fees
MFA (Creative Writing) Student Info
Use of Previously Published Materials
Copyrights & IRB/IACUC Approvals
ETD Process Checklists
Process Checklist | Thesis
Process Checklist | Dissertation
Process Checklist | MFA Creative Writing
ETD Formatting Requirements
Formatting | General ∨
Formatting | Section Specific ∨
Additional Information
Writing & Additional Copyright Resources
Approved ETDs (Scholar Commons)
Frequently Asked Questions
ETD Quick Links
Apply to Graduate (via OASIS)
ETD Process Registration
USF ProQuest Login
Certificate of Approval Form
Certificate of Approval Form (MFA ONLY)
Plagiarism Check Instructions
Survey of Earned Doctorates (Doctoral)
Commencement Website

Contact Us
Download ETD Guidebook (PDF)


Copyrights & IRB/IACUC Approvals

Use of Copyrighted Material

ETDs often include material created by others - whether it's a figure or table, a rubric, or even portions of a previously published article. In some cases, the Fair Use Exception may allow you to include it without permission, but the distinction between fair use and copyright infringement is not clearly defined.

In nearly all cases, you should contact the copyright holder (either the creator, or if it's been published, the publisher) to ask for permission. Once you have the approval (email or letter), you should include a copy in the Appendix and cite the source within the manuscript body, using, if prescribed, the language that the publisher requires.

The USF Library can help with further explaining copyright and fair use, along with assisting with obtaining permissions. They've created several helpful guides and worksheets:

If you determine an item is considered fair use using the Fair Use Worksheet, please include the worksheets in your appendices.

You can contact a copyright librarian by completing this email form or by asking for a copyright librarian in person.

IRB/IACUC Approvals

Many ETDs focus on research studies involving human subjects and/or animal subjects. In nearly all cases, students should have worked with the Institutional Review Board (or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for animal subjects) for review, determination, or exemption. You must include their determination/exemption letter within the appendix. This ensures that readers are able to see that the study was reviewed.

The Office of Graduate Studies does not oversee this process, so students should visit the Research Integrity & Compliance website: for additional information.