FAQs - Digital Thesis Submission


Candidates


How do I submit the digital copy of my thesis?

Go to the Minerva Access website (formerly UMER) and follow the steps to upload your thesis. The Minerva Access website also contains information on file types and technical requirements. The library will advise the Examinations Office that you have submitted the digital copy of your thesis.


Will I still be able to publish the material from my thesis in journal articles or book chapters if I put my thesis on open access in Minerva Access?

When your work is published on the internet, via Minerva Access or other means, it is usually considered published. Many publishers will not publish it in their journals or as a book when it is already accessible on the internet. If you are considering publishing any of the material in your thesis in a journal, as a book or other publication you should contact the publisher and consider whether the option to only make the citation and metadata available for your thesis is best for your circumstances.


What is the difference between open access, embargoed, and restricted access?

If you choose to make your entire thesis open access, a global audience can view and download or print a copy of your thesis for their own personal, non-commercial use. If you select citation and metadata only then your thesis' title, citation, abstract and metadata (keywords which describe your thesis which search engines use to locate information) will be displayed. People will not be able to access the full text of your thesis online, although they will still be able to request that a copy be sent to them by library staff. If you would like your thesis to be made available on open access at a later date, and there are reasons why this should not happen immediately, contact the Minerva Access team by email and they will change the status of your thesis. An embargo will apply if your supervisor requests that the full text not be made available on open access. An embargo will normally only last for up to 7 years. Restricted access applies to the hard bound thesis: the thesis will be withheld from library users for a limited time, subject to approval. The 'Restricted Access Application form' can be found here.


How do I know whether I should choose open access or citation and metadata only?

There are a number of important factors you should consider when deciding to place your thesis on open access or to only allow the citation and metadata to be displayed. You should consider whether you wish to publish part or all of your thesis as a book or journal article. If your thesis contains copyright material created by other people, you will generally need to seek permission from the creator or copyright owner if you decide to make your thesis available on open access. There may also be other reasons why your thesis cannot be made available on open access such as if it contains commercial or confidential material. You should consider carefully any positive or negative consequences for having the full text of your thesis available on the internet. It is a very important decision which must be discussed with your supervisor(s). Additional information about the implications of open access or citation and metadata only is available from the Minerva Access Team.


I want my thesis to be on open access but my supervisor has requested that it be embargoed. What should I do?

Theses are embargoed if the supervisor indicates that this should occur. If you believe that your thesis should be on open access contact your supervisor in the first instance to find out why they have embargoed it. If you still wish your thesis to be on open access you may make a case as to why the thesis should be on open access under the University's Student Complaints and Grievances policy and procedures. You may also wish to seek advice from the Student Union Advocacy Service UMSU Inc.


If my thesis is embargoed for 7 years what, if anything, is displayed? What happens after 7 years?

Only your thesis citation, abstract and metadata (keywords which describe your thesis which search engines use to locate information) will be displayed. The rest of the information will be stored in the database but will not be accessible. Once the embargo period has expired, the entire thesis will be viewable and searchable on Minerva Acccess.


How do I know if there is copyright material in my thesis?

Typical examples of copyright material found within a thesis include pictures, photographs, graphs, tables, sound recordings or films which have been created by others. If you have any questions regarding copyright, information is available from the University Copyright Office through their website or by email.


There is copyright material in my thesis. What do I do?

If you wish to make your thesis available on open access, you will generally need to get written permission from the copyright owner to reproduce and publish their material as part of your thesis, unless a provision in the Copyright Act applies that allows you to use the material without permission. Information on seeking permission, including a sample permission letter is available. If you are unable or do not wish to seek permission for any copyright material, you must only allow the citation and metadata for your thesis to be displayed.

If you do not have permission to reproduce and publish any copyright material in your thesis, you cannot make your thesis available on open access. Doing so is a breach of copyright and may result in legal action from the copyright owner and disciplinary action from the University.


My research is part of a larger project funded through my supervisor's research group. If this part of the research is published there are implications for the research of the other members of the research group. What should I do?

When uploading your thesis you should indicate that only the citation and metadata for your thesis should be displayed. If at a later date you are happy for it to be made available on open access and your collaborators agree to this contact the Minerva Access team by email and they will change the status of your thesis.


I am applying for Restricted Access to my thesis. Does this also cover the electronic copy? What is the difference between Restricted Access and having my thesis embargoed on Minerva Access?

Restricted access relates to both the electronic and hard copies of the thesis and is normally only granted for 12 months. Information on applying for restricted access can be downloaded here. If you have applied for restricted access, you should select the option to have the citation and metadata only displayed. If you wish to have the thesis made available on open access at some time in the future, you should contact the Minerva Access team by email and they will change the status of your thesis.


There is material in my thesis which is confidential and can never be made public. What should I do?

When depositing your thesis, you should select the option to only display the citation and metadata.


Who can access my thesis once it is in Minerva Access?

If you choose to make your entire thesis available on open access, anyone in the world can view and download or print a copy of your thesis for their own personal, non-commercial use. If you select citation and metadata only then your thesis title, citation, abstract and metadata (keywords which describe your thesis which search engines use to locate information) will be displayed. If there is material in the thesis which is confidential or there are confidentiality agreements in place and there are concerns about displaying the full abstract, you should submit a modified abstract. The Library may supply copies of your thesis to library users or other libraries for teaching and research purposes as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968.


I have signed a confidentiality agreement with an organisation external to the University of Melbourne who have funded my research. Do I still need to submit an electronic copy of my thesis?

Yes but only your thesis title, citation, abstract and metadata will be displayed. Once the confidentiality agreement has expired, you can contact the the Minerva Access team by email to request that your thesis be placed on open access if you wish to do so.


I want to apply for a patent based on the findings of my research and do not want my thesis published on the internet. What do I do?

When uploading your thesis you should select the option to only display the citation and metadata.


What are the benefits of putting a digital version of my thesis in Minerva Access?

Your thesis is being placed into an open access repository which allows your work to be found through internet search engines such as Google. Previously when a thesis was only submitted in hard copy it was unlikely to have a significant audience outside the University of Melbourne as it was placed in the library. Having your thesis in Minerva Access will increase the accessibility and profile of your research. You will also have a permanent URL for your thesis which you can distribute to those interested in reading it and allow for citation of your work.


What if I change my mind and no longer want my thesis on open access or wish to make the full text available instead of the just the citation and metadata?

Contact the Minerva Access team by email and they will change the status of your thesis. Please note that if you are changing the status from citation and metadata only to open access, you will need to ensure that there is no reason why the thesis should permanently be withheld from open access, such as the inclusion of confidential material or third party copyright material for which you do not have written permission. If you wish to change to open access less than 7 years from submission, your supervisor will be offered the opportunity to request an embargo.


I enrolled in my research degree before 2007. Do I still need to submit an electronic copy of my thesis?

No, but we strongly encourage you to submit it to Minerva Access to improve the accessibility and profile of your research. In addition it is useful for the University of Melbourne to store for its own records an electronic copy of the thesis for archiving purposes. Please ensure you consider any copyright implications and whether you are planning on publishing content from your thesis in a book or journal article before uploading your thesis


How can my thesis be found on the internet once it is in Minerva Access?

Your thesis can be found via search engines such as Google and will be linked from the University library catalogue.


What if I have some material that cannot be included within my thesis document e.g. maps, creative works, audiovisual material?

Please contact the Minerva Access team by email who will be able to advise on converting the material to digital format. If the material has been created by other people, you will need permission from the copyright owners. More information is available from the University Copyright Office.


Do I still need to submit hard bound copies of my thesis?

Yes.You must submit the electronic copy of your thesis as well as the required hard bound copies of your final thesis.


On the form when I upload my thesis, there is a question about the year of initial submission of my thesis. What should I enter here?

Enter the year you initially submitted your thesis for examination. In cases where the examiners recommend that the thesis be rewritten and resubmitted the year of resubmission should be entered.


My thesis includes a novel/creative work which has been published. My publisher does not want it on open access in Minerva Access.

Check with your publisher whether the dissertation part of your thesis can be released on Minerva Access. If that is possible you will need to contact the Minerva Access team to ensure it is uploaded correctly. If your publisher does not want the dissertation or creative work on open access you will need to select the option to only display the citation and metadata.


How do I know who is accessing my thesis once it is on Minerva Access?

Minerva Access provides statistics which shows how many times the full text has been downloaded, by month and by year. When in Minerva Access, in your thesis record, click on the statistics icon to view this information.



Supervisors and Head of Departments


I have received an email requesting I authorise the submission of the digital copy of my candidate's thesis to Minerva Access. What do I have to do?

Candidates will have the option of placing the full text of their thesis on open access or only displaying a citation, abstract and metadata for their thesis. If the candidate has selected open access, you will need to either authorise the release of the thesis onto open access or embargo the thesis for up to 7 years by following the appropriate link. Please discuss the implications of both options with the candidate before acting on the email request.


Under what circumstances should I request that my candidate's thesis be embargoed?

You only need to consider an embargo on your candidate's thesis if the full text is being made available on open access. If only the citation and metadata is being displayed, you do not need to do anything. It is very important that you discuss this issue with the candidate. These conversations need to happen early in candidature. If the candidate, yourself or your research group intends to publish findings from the thesis in a journal or book you should check the policies of prospective publishers. If you intend to apply for a patent you should embargo the thesis. The option to embargo the thesis has been provided to allow the interests of the research group and the candidate to be taken into account before the thesis is placed on open access.


My candidate still has papers / a book to write based on their research and the thesis should therefore not be released electronically to the public. Can I stop it being released and for how long?

Your candidate may already have indicated that only the thesis citation, abstract and metadata (keywords which describe the thesis which search engines use to locate information) will be displayed on Minerva Access. However if the candidate has indicated open access and you do not believe the thesis should be on open access to allow for the papers or book to be published, you should indicate that the thesis should be embargoed.


I believe my candidate ought to submit their thesis to Minerva Access and make their research publicly available, but they only want to make the citation and metadata available, which I don't support. Who has the final say?

The candidate will own copyright in their thesis. Under the Copyright Act 1968, the candidate has the exclusive right to determine that their thesis should be withheld from open access.


The research included in the thesis has been funded by a grant which I have obtained and forms part of the work of a larger research group. I want the thesis to be embargoed so the other work can be completed and published. What do I do?

Your candidate may already have indicated that only the citation, abstract and metadata (keywords which describe the thesis which search engines use to locate information) will be displayed on Minerva Access, However if the candidate has indicated open access and you do not believe the thesis should be on open access to allow other work to be completed and published, you should indicate that the thesis should be embargoed.


How much time do I have to consider whether the thesis should be on open access or embargoed or if I go on leave and cannot respond to the email?

If after 4 weeks the Minerva Accecss team have not received a response to the email requesting your advice as to whether the thesis can be on open access or should be embargoed the request will be forwarded to your head of department for action.


If, at my request, an embargo is placed on publication of my candidate's thesis, can I specify how long the embargo will last?

You can specify an embargo period of up to 7 years.


If, at the end of 7 years, there is a valid reason to continue withholding the thesis from open access, am I able to request that the embargo be continued?

Yes, a detailed case should be submitted to the Examinations Office which indicates how much longer the embargo is required for and why.