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Copyright for Students

Image of student studing with text reading Copyright for Students

Are you unsure what is permitted from a copyright perspective when it comes to use of resources in your academic work? This guide will answer questions you might have and point to you in the direction of further sources of information and support.

The Basics


  1. As a general rule, you can make a single photocopy of a "reasonable" proportion of a published work, typically up to 5% of a book, or one chapter of a book, or one article from a journal for your own private study. This is permitted under the terms of the Copyright Exception for Personal research & private study [Section 32] provided your reason for use is consistent with the concept of fair dealing. Up to 10% is permitted if the work is also covered by UEA's CLA License which can be checked using its CLA Permissions Checker
  2. You can also include quotes in your essays, papers and dissertations using the Quotation, criticism and review Copyright Exception [Section 30].  
  3. When reusing a work, always include acknowledgement and attribution of the author wherever possible. 
  4. If you are looking to use images, you can also search for CC-licensed and public domain content via search services like OpenVerse that bring together images and materials for reuse under open licenses. 
  5. If you are looking for films and videos, check out UEA Library's subscription to Box of Broadcasts, which can be used in conjunction with UEA's ERA Licence to share programmes and embed clips in presentations provided that they are uploaded on a secure server and only accessible by your lecturer and other students on the course.  If you cannot find the recording you want in Box of Broadcasts, please contact your Academic Librarian and they will advise on whether there are alternative ways to provide the recording. 
  6. As a last resort, you can contact the rights holder directly to seek permission but this can be a complex and long-drawn out process which we will not necessarily be able to support you with. A better option is to find an alternative third party work to use.  
  7. To explore copyright in more detail, you might like to work through How to comply - step by step (link to this tab)