General Copyright Statement

This web site is defined as including all pages and files located in the directory, whether accessed through this URL directly or through URL forwarding via,, or other such URLs. This includes HTML files (.html or .htm); Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf); Excel, Word, STATA, or similar documents (such as .xls, .doc, .csv, or .dta); zipped archives (.zip); and any other files that may be found at this location, whether accessed via HTTP, FTP, or any other protocol. The site is owned and solely administered by Paul Hensel, a professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, USA.

This site, as defined above, is © copyright 1995-present by Paul R. Hensel. No page or file from this site may be copied or duplicated, in whole or in part, without giving full and appropriate credit to the original creator, Paul R. Hensel. If only a small portion of a page or file is being copied, perhaps a single sentence or paragraph, the copier must indicate that the excerpt came from my web page, mentioning both my name and the page URL. For larger portions, please contact me; just like academic writers must write to a book/journal publisher for permission to use longer portions of their publications, I ask that users wishing to employ large portions of my work (rather than simply linking to my page, which would be more appropriate) write to explain their reasoning and receive my permission before doing so. Both of these requests (for smaller and longer portions of my files/pages) apply both to verbatim appropriation of my work (where my page is copied word-for-word) and to near-verbatim appropriation (where my page is copied but with small changes, e.g. changing one or two words per sentence) -- just as with traditional academic citations, where the user must be careful to avoid plagiarism.

This copyright statement does not limit any user's right to view or use any of the pages or files on my site. For example, viewing one of these pages with a Web browser of FTP software (whether viewed during the initial transfer, subsequently viewed from the browser's cache, or subsequently printed to hard copy) copies the file from the site's server to the user's computer or printer -- but there is no change in the claimed ownership of the file; my name and contact information remain visible. Following links from this site, or creating links to pages on this site, is not a problem because the acts in question do not conceal or misrepresent the identity of the site creator.

This copyright statement does not prevent users from adapting the general design of one of my pages to their own page(s), or from basing some portion of their own site on elements of my site. Such usage has been important in the development of the Web, with many new Web designers adapting their style and site design partially based on the style or design of sites they have visited (ranging from background colors or innovative use of HTML code to accomplish a task such as positioning text on the page in a desired way). This statement does require, though, that any user wishing to copy portions of this site -- particularly the verbatim or near-verbatim copying of text -- must indicate the origins of the work in question. The next section of this page, comparing copyright violations to plagiarism, is intended to clarify this point.

Analogy to Plagiarism

It is unfortunate that I need to compose this copyright statement, but I have become aware of at least two cases where my Web work has been stolen. In one case, an undergraduate in the state of Maryland stole the full text of one of my political geography web pages, deleted all reference to my name and authorship, and passed it off as his own political geography page. In another case, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin stole the full text of my International Conflict and Cooperation Data page, deleted all reference to my name and authorship, and passed it off as his own "research links" page. In both of these cases, the text of my page was left intact, with the only changes being the replacement of my name and contact information with that of the thief and minor changes to the color of the page (the Wisconsin Ph.D. student even kept my page design and formatting, except that the box at the top of the page was changed from tan to gray). Both of these cases represent a clear theft of intellectual property, and indeed were brought to my attention by other scholars (at Binghamton University and at Rutgers University) who encountered the pages in question through Web search engines and immediately recognized the pages as mine.

Another way to clarify this problem is to think of it as plagiarism. In plagiarism, the thief attempts to pass off another's work as his or her own, whether by relabeling it with his/her own name or by failing to cite it properly. For example, unethical college students will sometimes attempt to hand in a paper written by another scholar -- whether the paper in question was given to them by a friend, stolen from a classmate, or purchased over the Web -- with their own name. This process may involve re-typing the paper, changing the fonts or page margins, or making other minor changes; the problem is that the original author of the paper did the work, yet the thief is claiming credit for that work and is denying credit to the original author. Stealing my web pages is essentially the same academic violation as stealing one of my papers and relabeling it as somebody else's work, even if the background color or the font is changed.

As long as appropriate credit is given for an article or book excerpt, there is no problem with plagiarism. Similarly, as long as appropriate credit is given for Web work such as original pages posted on this site, there is no problem with copyright violation. To the extent that material from this site is used in another web page, it must be attributed to Paul Hensel as the original author -- for example, indicating that the material was taken from one of my pages, indicating the specific page in question, and indicating exactly which material was affected; this is no different than rules for citing portions of an article that I have written. Making minor modifications to material from this site and attempting to pass it off as one's own original work is as much a violation of my copyright as is taking one of my publications, changing the font and margins (or even changing one or two words per sentence), and attempting to pass it off as somebody else's original work.

If there are any questions about this copyright statement, or about what constitutes fair and acceptable use of any page(s) or file(s) from my site, please do not hesitate to contact me. I may be reached most easily and reliably through electronic mail at I will be glad to answer questions and to help determine whether an intended action is likely to be problematic, and if it is, what can be done to resolve the problem.
Last updated: 30 July 2018
This site © Copyright 1996-present, Paul R. Hensel. All rights reserved.
Site Privacy Policy