Digital thesis submission

Having your thesis in the University of Melbourne ePrints Repository (UMER) is an excellent opportunity to make your research available to the world to inspire and inform others and for your research to be readily available and accessible to the academic and wider community.

Communication and sharing of information is occurring increasingly by electronic digital means rather than paper-based media.

All candidates completing a Research Higher Degree who enrolled in the course from 1st January 2007 must now submit an electronic copy of their thesis to UMER as a requirement for completion mandated by the University's Examination of Graduate Research Students Policy (MPF1207). When depositing their thesis, candidates will be able to choose between making the full text available on open access or only making a citation and metadata for the thesis available. To find out more, please follow the links below.

Issues to be considered by candidates and staff when a thesis is deposited into UMER

The important issues that must be considered when submitting your thesis to the UMER include:

  • Does your thesis include confidential material or copyright belonging to others*?
  • Do you intend to publish material from your thesis in another form such as a journal article or a book?
  • Have parts of your thesis already been published and does the contract prevent you from re-publishing it on the repository?
  • Do you want your entire thesis accessible to the world immediately?
  • Is your research part of a larger project or funded by a research grant which have agreements regarding publication of the research?
  • Will publishing your thesis now have implications for your supervisor/research group/lab/department?
  • Are you applying for/going to apply for a patent of your findings?

* If your thesis contains any copyright material created by other people (sometimes referred to as third party copyright material), you will generally need to seek permission from the creator or copyright owner to include the material in your thesis if you are making it available on open access.

Information about choosing open access and managing copyright is available on the Copyright Office website or by contacting the Copyright Office.

MSGR's Upskills program also offers seminars and workshop to support the final stage of candidature. Programs relating to examinations are under Navigating Your Degree and Research Skills.

Discuss the submission of your thesis to UMER with your Supervisor

It is very important that you discuss the implications of open access with your supervisor(s). You will own copyright in your thesis and as such have the right to choose not to make your thesis available on open access, in which case only the citation and abstract will be made available. There are many reasons, including those listed above, for which you may choose or be required to withhold your thesis from open access either temporarily or permanently. You must not place your thesis online for public access, which includes all online repositories and websites inside and outside the University without the agreement of your Principal supervisor and/or Head of Department. When submitting your thesis the online form will ask you to select:

  • Whether you want your thesis to be on open access; or
  • Whether you want only a citation and abstract for your thesis made available

Your thesis can be made available on open access subject to copyright clearance and with the agreement of your Principal supervisor and/or Head of Department.

Once your thesis has been received the UMER staff will send an email to your Principal supervisor to ask them to indicate whether they want the thesis to be embargoed.

Open Access

If your thesis is placed on open access it will be searchable through search engines such as Google and will be linked from the University of Melbourne library catalogue.

Embargoing a thesis

If you choose to make your thesis available on open access, it is possible that your thesis may be embargoed by your supervisor due to reasons including contractual obligations, confidentiality requirements or the need to withhold disclosure pending journal publication.  Only citation and abstract will be viewable in the repository for theses that are embargoed. 

How and when to submit your thesis to UMER

Once permanent binding has been approved by the Chairperson of Examiners the thesis must be submitted to UMER.  The MSGR Examinations Office will be informed that the thesis has been submitted to UMER. When all other requirements have been met, including receipt of the permanently bound copies of your thesis and a citation from your department, your thesis will be passed and a letter confirming this will be posted to you.


Frequently Asked Questions which answer questions regarding submitting a digital copy of the thesis are available.  Information on how to submit your thesis is available from UMER.

Seminar: Compulsory Digital Thesis Submission - What Does it Mean for You?

A seminar was held on 1 June 2009 for all interested candidates and staff to find out more about this important policy change. Speakers included: Professor Dick Strugnell (Pro Vice-Chancellor Graduate Research), Associate Professor Mary Wlodek, (Associate Dean MSGR), Jenny Ellis (Director, Scholarly Information), Helen Thomson (Copyright Office) and Jennifer Warburton (Research Consultant, MSGR).

View the Seminar