Using Third Party Content – Best Practice Guide

Copyright is a complex area and the following webpages have been produced as guidance for staff and students and are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Academic institutions and individuals are not exempt from these laws and any infringement can result in legal action.

Submissions within an electronic format require special attention to any third party content used. This means any material produced by another author’s or creator as they have intellectual property rights that are legally binding. This protection is automatic and reproducing anything without permission is illegal. There is a common misconception that by acknowledgment and referencing they are covered, this is not always the case.

What can I re-use without permission?

There are exceptions which allow use of copyright works within certain conditions and limits, for example; using a short extract for research for a non-commercial research and private study (Fair Dealing Exceptions) – or to allow for criticism or review. However, all sources must be fully and accurately acknowledged. If in any doubt please seek permission.

Some copyright owners will allow certain types of use; it is always worth checking the copyright statement on the journal, on the title page of the book or look at any restrictions on the website. In all cases you must acknowledge the source.

What do I need permission for?

For more extensive quotation, any form of image (illustrations, graphic images, drawings, maps, tables) material published on the internet, unpublished works and also any music. There is a common misconception that if material is publically available on the web it is free to use, copyright laws will still apply. Public Domain is not the same as publically accessible.

How do I seek permission?

This process can take time, and is essential to request permissions as early as possible. A good starting point is usually the publisher. The copyright owner for images is usually located on or by the image or acknowledged at the source. It is also worth checking the WATCH a website of copyright contacts. For more information on finding copyright owners, please see the IPO website.

If you are having difficulty locating the owner please contact your supervisor for support and guidance.

We have a template for requesting permission which can be used: [Word] [pdf]

What if permission is not granted?

In the event you cannot trace the copyright holder, do not receive a response (a record of efforts must be kept in these cases) or are denied permission you can remove the extract and replace with either a reference or reduce the amount to be considered as fair dealing.

As Bangor University Students whilst we ask that best efforts to seek permission for third party copyright material, failure to secure permissions will not affect marking of the work. However, without the required permissions, your work cannot be made publically available in the repository. Please remember, all sources used within submitted work must be correctly referenced and acknowledged, irrespective of permissions. Failure to reference and acknowledge source is considered plagiarism and will result in action under the University unfair practice procedure.