This question is related to this one. Only this time it's not about a journal paper but a chapter in a text book.

I am first author of the chapter in the text book that was published by a renowned publisher. I would like to reuse parts of the chapter for my PhD thesis (including a citation, of course).

Is this acceptable? Is there anything different with respect to the situation with a "normal" paper? Is there anything I need to pay special attention to?

EDIT: The publisher allows reusing my own work in my thesis.

  • Q: Can I do this in my thesis? A: Ask your advisor.
    – GEdgar
    Nov 29, 2018 at 15:26
  • 1
    @GEdgar, thanks! Before I do that I would first like to know, if there are general concern in the academic community regarding this topic.
    – Ethunxxx
    Nov 29, 2018 at 15:31

4 Answers 4


I did this in my thesis - my introduction was going cover a lot of information overlapping 3 textbook chapters I'd written, and I really didn't want to write it all again!

I did check with the publisher first, however (just an email asking for their consent), and added an acknowledgement to them in my acknowledgements page. I'm sure this was probably over-zealous, but it felt better to err on that side of things.

  • I also did this in my thesis. I didn't bother checking with the publisher on the theory nobody would ever read it anyway. So far, so good.
    – user101106
    Nov 29, 2018 at 19:51

You need to make it extremely clear that you are re-using material in your thesis. And yes, make sure the publisher is happy with this, because even if "nobody reads it", there might be a data miner looking for plagiarism that does look.

But shouldn't your thesis be original material? If you have already published three chapters on the topic, it is not original anymore. You need to check the rules at your institution, and make it very, very clear which bits are new and which are recycled.


There are two sides to this, copyright and academic integrity.

On the copyright side you presumably made some agreement with the publisher when you published the book granting them some form of exclusive rights. You need to check whether re-using part of the content in your thesis is in conflict with said agreement and if-so whether the publisher is prepared to grant an exception.

On the academic integrity side you need to find out what your unversity's policies are. My understanding is that "original" in the context of a thesis usually means "written by the author and not submitted for assessment as part of another qualification", so you are probably ok but it pays to check. Putting a citation is always good practice.

Also you need to make sure that the work is actually yours. If substantial portions were written by other authors of the book you should probably re-write those parts or at least clearly mark them as not your own work.


After reading your edit, it looks perfectly fine to use small parts of your chapter while citing your previous work carefully.

There should not be any problem at all. People often do it.

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