The code work for my master thesis is copied from a textbook.

Is it legal to copy the entire code from the textbook?

Can I write in my documentation that this project is solely developed by me?

I can mention the author of the textbook in my references.

  • 8
    "Can I write in my documentation that this project is solely developed by me?" Are you asking seriously?
    – Davidmh
    Aug 20, 2016 at 16:01
  • 2
    The answer to questions of the form "Can I claim something I know to be false?" is usually "no" . . . Aug 20, 2016 at 16:29
  • Is your master's thesis writing code? If it is, then 'no'.
    – MikeP
    Aug 21, 2016 at 1:13

3 Answers 3


You may be a novice but you definitely need to know the rules. You can't own anyone else's work. But yes whatever snippet of code you are using in your master thesis you need to add a reference there. You may find this useful : https://integrity.mit.edu/handbook/writing-code


If you are in a degree/program where writing code is expected, then you must write code.

However, let's say you are in a physics program, and you are doing something for physics, and it just so happens that you found a piece of code that helps with your research, then maybe you don't need to write it, you can reference it.

For my Master's thesis, I referenced a document that was not publicly available, so I included it as an appendix as reference (with permission of the author). I explicitly stated that it wasn't my work, and just there as reference.

Ask your advisor.


If it doesn’t belong to you, always appropriately cite your source.

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