Copyright and plagiarism

When you write a text, it must be clear which text is your own, and which formulations you are quoting or referencing from somewhere else. Otherwise, you are violating copyright through plagiarism, which is not allowed and can lead to you being suspended from your studies.

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What is copyright?

All works are protected by copyright, which is regulated in the Act (1960:729) on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works (Swedish) External link, opens in new window.. Copyright protects the work from being used in a way that the copyright owner (i.e. the author or artist) does not approve of.

Copyright applies to texts, images, photographs, music, films, etc., and lasts 70 years after the author's death.

Pay close attention to the references

When you write a text, such as a student thesis, you have the right to refer to and quote individual passages from other texts. You must then be careful to write clear references that state the source.

Images, tables, and the like from other sources are more difficult to use. Read more about the use of other people's images in your essay further down on this page.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism means taking other people's texts, images, diagrams or the like, and using them in your own work so that it looks like it is your own. This can happen if you don't write clear references.

It is also important to write clear references to the texts that you use. Otherwise, there is a risk that the paraphrase or quotation will appear as your own text.

Images, diagrams, tables

Have you found pictures, diagrams, drawings, photographs, maps, tables or similar on the internet or in a book? If you want to use them in your thesis, it is not enough to just cite, as different rules apply to images than to text.

If you have such images in your thesis, you must have permission from the copyright holder to be able to publish the thesis in DiVA.

Some images are marked with a license, such as Creative Commons, that allows you to use the image. More information about images you can use without permission can be found under the heading "More about images in the thesis" below.

Theses without images in DiVA

If you do not have the right to publish the image, you can choose to include the image in your thesis, but not in the version that is added to DiVA. You can then remove the image from the thesis and instead add the text "Due to copyright reasons, the images are missing in the electronic edition" or similar. Leave the caption in place.

If you choose to upload the thesis without images in DiVA, you should also upload the original file (with the images), but enter that version as "Archiving only".

More about images in the thesis

On this page


Write clear references when citing and referencing so that you do not violate copyright.


Writingguide is a support to students in their academic writing, with practical advice on the writing process, how to manage sources and references, and how to publish your thesis.

Last modified:21 Dec 2023