FAQs - Digital Thesis Submission


Candidates


How do I submit the digital copy of my thesis?

Go to the UMER website and follow the steps to upload your thesis. The library will advise the Examinations Office at the MSGR that you have submitted the digital copy of your thesis. More detail on the technicalities of submitting your thesis can be found on their web site.


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 UMER?

When your work is published on the internet, via UMER 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, 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. 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, as is currently the case for theses submitted only in hard copy. 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 UMER 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 copies of a thesis to prevent access to them in the library and requires a written application. The 'Restricted Access Application form' can be found on the MSGR forms page.


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 or not you would wish to publish part of your thesis or your entire 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 at from the University Copyright Office.


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, to the MSGR under the University's grievance procedures. The Graduate Student Association (GSA) may be able to assist you with this.


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. If you contact UMER and request that the thesis be made available on open access after 7 years, at this time the entire thesis will be viewable and searchable. 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.


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 choose to only display the citation and metadata for your thesis, you do not need to seek permission for any copyright material included in your thesis.

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 UMER 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 UMER?

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 it made available on open access at some time in the future, you should contact the UMER 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 UMER?

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 UMER 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 UMER?

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 UMER 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.


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 UMER 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 UMER 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 UMER?

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 UMER 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.


I submitted my thesis for examination before receiving the notification about the requirement for the submission of a digital copy of the thesis . Do I still have to submit my thesis to UMER?

The MSGR understands that candidates who submitted their thesis for examination prior to receiving notification of this requirement may not be able to submit their thesis to UMER. Please advise the Examinations Office at the MSGR if this is the case.


Does it really matter if I don't submit my thesis electronically?

Yes. For candidates who commenced their course from 1 January 2007 it is a requirement for completion mandated by the University's Examination of Graduate Research Students Policy (MPF1207) that a digital copy of a thesis that has been passed be deposited in the library. You will not be passed until the Examinations Office at the MSGR has been advised by the UMER Team that your thesis has been uploaded. This means that you cannot graduate and cannot call yourself 'Dr'.The MSGR understands, however, that candidates who submitted their thesis for examination prior to receiving notification of this requirement may not be able to submit their thesis to UMER. Please advise the Examinations Office at the MSGR if this is the case.


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

Yes.You must submit the electronic copy of your thesis as well as the two 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 UMER.

Check with your publisher whether the dissertation part of your thesis can be released on UMER. If that is possible you will need to contact the UMER 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 UMER?

UMER provides statistics which show the country of the person accessing your thesis, what month and year they accessed it and whether they accessed the whole thesis or only the metadata. When in UMER, in your thesis record, click on the statistics icon to view this information.


Who decided that all research candidates should submit a digital copy of their thesis?

The Research Higher Degrees Committee, a committee of the Academic Board, has spent several months working with the library and legal services to develop a process which meets the interests of candidates, staff and the University. This requirement is mandatory for candidates who commenced their research higher degree from 1 January 2007 and is reflected the University's Examination of Graduate Research Students Policy (MPF1207).


What other Universities require their candidates to submit an electronic copy of their thesis to an online repository?

Many universities around the world have introduced this requirement in recent years as technology has improved to make it possible. There is strong interest in getting the research of candidates out into the world rather than buried in libraries. In Australia the University of Adelaide, University of NSW, Murdoch, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, Elizabeth Cowan University, University of Western Sydney are a few of the universities which require a digital copy of the thesis. Around the world University of Auckland, University of Waikato, Massey University, University of Otago, University of Edinburgh, University of Warwick, Newcastle University (UK), University of Exeter, University of Leicester, Washington State University, University of Rochester (USA), Yale University, and Caltech also require digital copies of theses. Several of these universities have had this requirement for a number of years.


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 UMER. 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 releasing the thesis onto open access or embargoing the thesis 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 a thesis is placed on open access it is considered published. If the candidate, yourself or your research group intends to publish findings from the thesis in a journal or book or 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. You do not need to justify your reasons to the UMER Team.


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 UMER. 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 UMER 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 UMER, 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 UMER 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?

No, if the candidate has indicated that the thesis should be made available on open access, once you are satisfied that this may occur, you can notify UMER that you are withdrawing your embargo. If you do not do this within 7 years of submission of the thesis to UMER, the embargo will automatically cease at 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 at MSGR which indicates how much longer the embargo is required for and why.