Copyright and your PhD thesis
You are a PhD candidate and the completion of your dissertation is approaching. What to do next?
The copyright to your thesis lies with you, the author. However, the university has stipulated that your thesis must be included in the university's repository. You are also required to submit a number of paper copies to the university. This is a prerequisite for obtaining your doctorate, as stated in article 20 of the Leiden University PhD Regulations.
In this way, your dissertation is made available in open access to anyone interested. You provide the university with your dissertation by means of a non-exclusive licence. Non-exclusive means that you can continue to freely make use of and decide over the copyright to your dissertation.
Your dissertation is a monograph
Do you want to publish your dissertation at a traditional publisher's? If so, it is possible to place an embargo on your dissertation. The embargo can last for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months. It is advisable to inform your publisher in advance about the obligation to submit the dissertation in the Leiden repository.
Your dissertation consists of a number of articles
Are you publishing an article that will later become part of your dissertation? In this case too, it is possible to place an embargo on each article. Please note that prior to publication, you should consult with the publisher and make it clear that your article a) will form part of your dissertation and b) will be published in open access in the Leiden repository. You cannot agree with the publisher that you will fully transfer the copyright and that the article may never be published in the Leiden repository. Have you received a contract for signature from the publisher regarding publication and are you unsure what will happen to your copyright and what this means for your dissertation? Send an email with the draft contract to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you understand its content.
Have you completed your dissertation and do you want to publish one or more chapters as an article? An embargo of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months is possible. You can indicate this in the non-exclusive licence agreement that you sign with the university.
Submitting your dissertation
You can find more information about submitting the thesis, the licence agreement and other forms you need to fill in, the number of printed copies of the thesis you need to submit, compensation of printing expenses, and other information on our webpage Submitting your PhD dissertation.