Frequently Asked Questions:
Harvard Author Agreement

What does the Harvard Author Agreement do?

It grants Harvard a non-exclusive license to preserve, display, and distribute your work. By consenting to this license you also warrant that you are not infringing on the copyrights of others, that you have secured permission for the use of others’ work where necessary, and that you have fulfilled any sponsorship agreements to which you may be subject. You still own the copyright to your work. You can view the full agreement here.

Do I need to register my copyright?

No. Your work is protected by copyright as soon as it is created in a fixed form. You are not required to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office to enjoy copyright protection. However, if you chose to do so, you may register your work with the Copyright Office here.

What if I have patentable material in my thesis?

If you have not yet done so, please contact the Office of Technology Development, which is where you may complete a Report of Invention form. If you have already filed for a patent then you do not have to take any other action.

What if I want to publish my work as a book or journal article?

Because the Author Agreement is a non-exclusive license it does not constrain your ability to publish your work elsewhere.

What if part of my thesis includes work I published elsewhere previously?

If your thesis includes work that you published already, then you will need to review your previous publishing agreement. If you do not have permission to reuse your previous work, then you may need to secure permission from the publisher to do so.

What if I have questions about this license?

Please contact the Office for Scholarly Communication.