Confidentiality Clause for your Thesis

27.11.20 Academic writing overview Time to read: 6min

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Confidentiality is an essential element in business, academic writing, and other interactions where the information provided is critical. For this reason, confidentiality agreements are crucial. A confidentiality agreement features several factors, one of which is a confidentiality clause.


It is an element contained in different agreements, especially confidentiality agreements. For instance, they can be written as part of an academic thesis where there are business secrets and other information that should be kept confidential.

A confidentiality agreement is a legal document between two or more parties that bars the parties from disclosing the information stated in the document. On the other hand, a confidentiality clause is a part of the agreement that indicated the terms of confidentiality and not the entire document. A confidentiality clause can also be part of other non-legal documents like academic writing like a thesis.

The way you write it depends on the objective and the document for which the clause is part. However, in academic writings, some key elements that need to be included in the clause include; identification of parties, the definition of what is defined as confidential, and the scope of confidentiality. The clause needs to be easy to understand, on point, and reassuring.

A confidentiality agreement is also referred to as a non-disclosure agreement. It is a legal contract written between two or more parties. The agreement lays out the binding terms and conditions of a working relationship. The agreement prohibits both parties from disclosing any proprietary or confidential information to other people. The agreement can be mutual or unilateral. Mutual agreements are where both parties are obligated to maintain secrecy, while unilateral contracts are where only the receiving party is obliged to maintain confidentiality.

It is enforceable only if either party violates the terms of the agreement as stipulated in the clause. Note that for the clause to be enforceable, the violation has to be directly related to the terms on the clause. Its enforceability also directly related to the legality of the document in which the clause is part of.

Confidentiality Clause definition

A confidentiality clause is a group of words in a confidentiality agreement that states the exact terms of the agreement. A confidentiality clause indicates the parties involved in the Agreement and the terms and expectations of each Party concerning confidentiality. Confidentiality clauses can be stated in different types of agreements, including simple contracts and academic papers like thesis.

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Confidentiality Clause in academic writing

Confidentiality clauses are important components of academic writing, especially a thesis. They can be utilized in a variety of situations including;


During the research process for a project or a thesis. When researching a project, for instance, if your test subjects are HIV patients, you may be required to include a confidentiality clause. The clause will state that all the information provided, like the participants’ names, will remain confidential.


When the data acquired contains secrets of a business that the organization do not want to be publicized.


A confidentiality clause can also come in handy when a masters’ student uses information from a paper that is not yet published. In such a case, the author of the paper will allow the student access to the contents if a confidentiality clause is involved in the process. In this case, a confidentiality clause will foster trust between the two parties.

In academic writings like thesis writing, a confidentiality clause indicated that the sensitive information indicated in the clause will not be written as part of the public thesis. This means that the content will only be used to collect data and make assumptions but will not be used as an example or published with the paper.

In academic papers like theses, confidential information can also be written as only part of a separate appendix. In this case, you can leave the appendix unpublished. You can also leave some parts, chapters or subchapters unpublished. These parts are those that contain confidential information.

However, in such a case where you do not want to leave out the details completely, you can do the following;

• Keep the confidential details as background dare for thesis as background data. This way you can publish the details to its entirety.
• You can also make two versions of the thesis. One version will be the public version. The public version is the one that will be published, and the other one will be left confidential as it will contain the confidential data. In such a case, the confidential version can be sent to the thesis commissioner as well as the academic supervisor. The public version can be submitted to the student services as a copy for the archives.

Confidentiality clauses in academic writing are essential because they help foster trust and more openness between the researcher and the subjects. When collecting the data during research for the thesis, you have to indicate that the data will not be shared publicly. You do this through a confidentiality clause.

Note that the supervisor is also bound to observe confidentiality about the information indicated under the confidentiality clause.

Confidentiality Clause – Sample

Sample 1:

This agreement presents the terms and conditions under which secret, restrictive and other private data will be uncovered between the University and other parties, in this case, alluded to as “Inspector.”

By marking underneath, the parties recognize and acknowledge the terms and conditions thus.

1. The examiner approved to uncover and get the secret data is (name and title of the examiner)
2. The secret data uncovered under this agreement is portrayed as (the title of the thesis)
3. The examiner will utilize the classified data just with the end goal of assessment.
4. This agreement controls just secret data which is unveiled between the viable date and one year following the date of the proposal accommodation.
5. The commitments forced upon an Examiner hereunder will apply just to data which at the hour of divulgence is:

(a) set apart as secret if such data is unveiled in a physical structure as the substance of the theory named above, and the oral safeguard, assuming any, of this equivalent proposition

Sample 2:

As an individual from the Thesis Examination Board or as a guest of the postulation assessment of the applicant demonstrated beneath, I consent to keep up confidentiality and not to reveal to anybody data contained with the postulation or uncovered because of the proposition assessment until the theory has become some portion of the open area.


Name of candidate:
Thesis Examination Board Member/Visitor’s Name:

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In a nutshell

• A confidentiality clause is a part of a confidentiality agreement in different documents including Masters thesis
• A confidentiality agreement or an NDA is a legal agreement between two or more parties that bars the parties from disclosing specific information
• It consists of essential elements like the names of the parties involved, the information that is not to be disclosed, obligations, and other confidential information.
• They are enforceable if the terms of the agreement are not followed through.
• Confidentiality clauses are included in academic writings to ensure non-disclosure of secrets and confidential information acquired during the research process.