As the author, you own the copyright to your thesis. You are therefore in general free to reuse its contents in any way you choose. The only thing that might prevent you is if you have already signed over copyright to one of your chapters to a third party, say a publisher of the article you are including in your thesis.
The most important thing to understand about your thesis is that as the author, you own the copyright to your thesis. As a Caltech student, you are free to seek the advice of qualified attorneys in Caltech's Office of the General Counsel to ask for help in understanding your Intellectual Property rights. Copyright law involves many complex issues that are relevant to you as a graduate student, both in protecting your own work and in referencing the work of others. This page does not in any way substitute for the legal advice of qualified attorneys.
Copyright protection automatically exists from the time the work is created in fixed form (including electronic) and the copyright immediately becomes the property of the author. Registration with the United States Copyright Office is not required to secure copyright, but it is a legal formality to place on public record the basic facts of a particular copyright. Although not a condition of copyright protection itself, registering the copyright is ordinarily necessary before any infringement suits can be filed in court.
Caltech allows you to include your own published articles as chapters in your thesis. You must, however observe the following guidelines:
Do contact the Library for help in navigating these questions!
As in all things legal, this is not legally binding information. Please do not hesitate to seek the advice of qualified attorneys in Caltech's Office of the General Counsel.
We would caution you to look carefully at such solicitations. The companies that have contacted you, unsolicited, may be a vanity press or belong to a group of questionable and highly suspect publishers.
Vanity press publishers do not ask you to pay them up front. They are in essence a a print-on-demand publisher. The most well-known "publishers", all based in Europe, are:
It is good to know that Lambert Academic Publishing, for example, uses the same phrases in their email solicitations as "Scholars' Press", which shares the same address as VDM Publishing.
What You Need to Know: