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What does the right to quote entail and when can I use it?


When you are writing a scientific publication, you will inevitably build on the work of others. It is important to comply with copyright regulations. You can use someone else’s material without permission, provided that you include a citation. This applies to text, images and sound. Citations are necessary for both direct quotes and indirect quotes through paraphrasing (presenting the work's ideas in your own words). 

Article 15a of the Dutch Copyright Act imposes the following citation restrictions:

  • Citations must serve a purpose: they must be used as an announcement, as an assessment, in a scientific thesis or for a similar purpose. They should not be for decorative purposes only.
  • They have to be proportionate: you should not use more citations than are necessary.
  • The source and the name of the creator must be mentioned.
  • The citation must refer to an already published source.

Using work from someone else without mentioning the source is plagiarism.