At Flinders, all HDR theses need to be uploaded to the University’s digital repository and made available for open access. This means your thesis will be freely available online for anyone to read via the library. This is a reputable way to disseminate your research and share your hard work with the wider community. There are a few considerations to take into account before your thesis can be made public though, so you’ll benefit from thinking about these as early on as possible. It may be the case that the thesis you share with the world needs to look a little different to the one you prepared for your examiners.
Here are the 5 things you’ll need to think about in advance of submitting to the library:
- Obtaining copyright permission for figures you have included
- Whether any confidential or sensitive data needs to be redacted or anonymised
- Removing appendices that contain personal documents and letters
- Publisher policies on including journal articles you’ve co-authored
- Whether you should discuss with your supervisor the need for an ‘embargo’ on your thesis so it isn’t made public straight away
Any third party material (such as images) that you copy from another source will require permission from the copyright owner to reproduce publicly, even if you’ve referenced them correctly. Obtaining all of these permissions can be time-consuming and you will thank yourself for doing them as you go rather than waiting until you’re ready to graduate. More information is available on the Copyright page of the Thesis Submission Guide. An understanding of copyright is a great tool to take with you into employment, whether you pursue a future in academia or professional practice.
When you’re ready to submit to the library, you’ll be able to upload your complete as-examined thesis and also a second ‘library copy’ which can be slightly modified to address the needs listed above so that it’s appropriate for public viewing. The Copyright Librarian is on hand if you require assistance with copyright permissions or have any questions about submission to the library.