As a student or researcher, you will have to deal with the issue of copyright. Nobody is allowed to use your work, just as you cannot use other people’s work, without permission. Belgian copyright law is laid down in the Code of Economic Law, book XI, title 5, chapter 2.

  • Copyright does not apply to an idea, method or concept. Only a concrete form is protected.
  • The work is original. The author has made creative or subjective choices. The author’s own input is evident.
  • Copyright applies for 70 years after the death of the author.
  • There are no formalities associated with enjoying this protection.

Moral rights are closely associated with the person of the author and are not transferrable. The author can decide to waive these rights.

  • Disclosure rights: choose when the work is ready to be made public (or not).
  • Paternity rights: choose to use own name or a pseudonym.
  • Integrity rights: dispute any change to the work that may harm the author’s reputation.

Property rights allow the author to make financial gains from his own work. The author can hold them himself, waive them (property) or license them (use). The transfer of rights must be done in writing.

  • Reproduction rights
  • Rental and lending rights
  • Distribution rights
  • Right of communication to the public

An exception to the exercise of copyright applies to educational and scientific research. The University Library provides access within a closed network to the full text of student theses and research publications of UGent. You can obtain full access to these texts by logging in with your UGent account when searching online in the catalogue or by consulting the catalogue in any of the library buildings.

Below are some tips for students and researchers.

Do you have a question related to your literature review or do you need help with searching, processing or publishing of your literature/data? Then please fill in our form to give us a clear view of your question and so that we can advise you efficiently. Alternatively, you could email us at

Useful links

Read more about Belgian Copyright Law here.