Publishing your work involves making it available to the public. This can include publishing in a book or journal (print or digital) or on a website.

When publishing your work, there are a few copyright matters to keep in mind including:

  • The Fair Dealing exception for “criticism and review” which you may be able to rely on in your work.
  • Any permissions you may need to seek
  • Any agreements you have made when accessing data and information.

On this page:

Copyright over your research

Under the UQ Intellectual Property Policy, researchers retain the copyright to their research and creative works, and students own the copyright in all work that they create.  

HDR candidates retain the copyright in their thesis but grant UQ a licence to use and reproduce their thesis for non-commercial educational, teaching, and research purposes. See Copyright and your thesis for more information.

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Fair Dealing exceptions for using copyright material

There will be times when you will need to use copyright material for research or study.

The Fair Dealing provisions in the Copyright Act allow for the use of a reasonable portion of copyright materials in certain ways without infringing copyright. Fair Dealing is different from Fair Use which exists in copyright law in the United States.

The Fair Dealing provisions only apply to certain purposes (information below, on this page): 

In some cases, Fair Dealing cannot be relied upon when publishing work. If this occurs, seek permission before submitting your work for publication. This includes the work being made available as part of a website.

Research or study

This provision only applies to material being copied for your own research and study. If you are publishing your research, check the Criticism and review exception (below, on this page) or seek permission for your use.

Under this provision, you can copy:

  • 10% of the total number of pages or words (if the work is not paginated) or 1 chapter of the work, whichever is greatest. 
  • 1 article from a journal issue, magazine or newspaper. You may copy 2 or more articles from the same issue if they are on the same subject matter (eg. from a special issue of a journal). 

If you wish to copy other types of material (artistic works, films, sound recordings, computer software, unpublished material) or more than 10% or 1 chapter/article, the use must be considered 'fair and reasonable'. Email us at to discuss whether your use would be considered 'fair and reasonable'.

Criticism and review

This provision applies if the work is being published, presented at a conference, or made available online. 

You can use as much of the work as needed in order to engage in active criticism and analysis. This must be beyond: 

  • providing an example
  • quoting in an illustrative way.

Read Fair Dealing: What Can I Use Without Permission for more information.

If you have licensed or transferred your copyright to someone else (e.g. a publisher), you will need to rely on this exception to use your own work in any subsequent publications if you do not have their permission to do so.

Enabling a person with a disability to access the material

This provision allows for copyright materials to be reproduced in accessible formats to assist persons with disabilities.

Visit our Accessible resources page for assistance with creating accessible resources.

Parody or satire

You can use copyright material for parody and satire under the fair dealing exceptions. However, the Act has not defined parody or satire.

Email us at to discuss your situation before relying on this exception.

Reporting the news

Email us at to check your use before relying on this exception.


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Copyright and publishers

If you engage a publisher, you will likely be required to transfer or licence your copyright to the publisher. 

When agreeing to these transfer or licence terms, it’s important to keep in mind any agreements you have made with other people or institutions when obtaining data and information – publisher agreements require you to guarantee that your content does not infringe another’s copyright and that you have permissions to use materials where appropriate. 

To use materials that come from another person or institution, you must seek permission or rely on a copyright exception. Permission must always be sought in writing. 

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Contact us for copyright advice for research

Email us at if you have any questions about including copyright material in your publication, publisher agreements, or fair dealing exceptions.

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