Licensing Your Dissertation

If you are completing your PhD, part of the process is completing forms to copyright your dissertation. danah boyd, a researcher who studies online social networks and recent PhD recipient herself, has written an interesting post about licensing her dissertation under Creative Commons, instead of the standard “all rights reserved” copyright. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides free licenses for creative works, generally to make it easier to share those works. (I use CC’s search tool frequently to find CC-licensed artwork for the ESN and Faculty Ministry websites.) The post provides a couple of reasons why you might want a CC license (e.g. it will make it easier for someone to use your dissertation as a classroom text), but also potential hurdles you might face from your school administration. It’s an intriguing idea, and I’m now considering following danah’s example with my master’s thesis.

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Micheal Hickerson

The former Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, Micheal lives in Cincinnati with his wife and three children and works as a web manager for a national storage and organization company. He writes about work, vocation, and finding meaning in what you do at No Small Actors.

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