Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2022     Views: 1326

Students retain all intellectual property rights to their own original work.

While papers on the APUS Trefry Archives website are open access, they are not public domain documents.  The student retains the copyright to his or her work. The fact that a student's paper is visible or accessible by the general public does not imply that it is the public domain.

Here’s how the U.S. Copyright Office defines "public domain": “A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.”

University Declarations: For the Master's capstone/thesis paper there is a statement the student must include in the front matter called the University Publication License. (See the End of Program Assessment Manual for Graduate Studies for information on this.)

  • In this statement, the student grants the university a nonexclusive license to post the submission on its web site and/or in the library.
  • What this means is that the library and university have permission to post the paper. Currently, this refers to posting on the Trefry Archives website.


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