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Frequently asked questions

  1. Is submission voluntary?
  2. What are the benefits of making my thesis available electronically?
  3. Can I deposit my Masters by Coursework thesis?
  4. Can I restrict access to my thesis?
  5. Will digitising my thesis make it easier to plagiarise?
  6. Will I be able to publish my research commercially if I submit my thesis to Adelaide Research & Scholarship?
  7. How secure is the Adelaide Research & Scholarship database?
  8. Can I use copyrighted materials in my electronic thesis?
  9. Do I still need to lodge print copies of my thesis with the Library?
  10. How do I cite an electronic thesis?

Is submission voluntary?

From 2007 it has been compulsory for all postgraduate research students to lodge, in addition to the required printed copies, an electronic copy of their thesis.  The electronic copy will be made available on the Web, via the University's digital research repository, Adelaide Research & Scholarship and the National Library of Australia's Trove service, unless arrangements have been made to restrict access.  The thesis will also be added to the Library catalogue and will be accessible through web search engines.

If you submitted your print thesis before 2007, you are invited to lodge an electronic copy of your thesis to Adelaide Research & Scholarship.

What are the benefits of making my thesis available electronically?

Approximately 4,000 degrees are awarded each year in Australia. Postgraduate theses represent a significant proportion of Australia's research activity. However, lack of easy access to this information means other researchers can wait months or years before papers or books describing aspects of the research are published. These publications do not always comprehensively cover the valuable information in a thesis; information which in many cases is then effectively lost.

Theses are an underutilised information resource. A thesis by its very nature is produced in very limited quantities and normally the only copy available is the archival copy deposited in the Library. It is estimated that copies of fewer than 1,500 per year are requested from the participating libraries, even fewer are supplied as the cost and delay factors are a significant deterrent.

The lack of usage is attributed to a number of factors:

  • lack of knowledge that the thesis exists
  • lack of information about the contents of the thesis
  • lack of ready availability

Increasingly, students are using word-processing and desktop publishing and graphics software to produce their theses. These tools also provide them with the opportunity to include multimedia components. However, use of these technologies is limited by the requirements for theses to be submitted in paper format. By changing the procedures for creating and submitting theses, the deposit of theses can be made more efficient and less costly to the student in terms of cost of making multiple paperbound copies. Many examiners would prefer to evaluate an electronic copy but there would still be the option to print copies as required from the electronic version. Importantly, theses will be readily accessible to all interested, worldwide. Some students are already putting their theses up on the web.

Can I deposit my Masters by Coursework thesis?

Yes, Masters by Coursework theses are accepted by Adelaide Research & Scholarship.  Some conditions apply.  Contact us for more details.

Can I restrict access to my thesis?

There are some circumstances under which it may be appropriate to limit access to your thesis through the granting of an embargo for a specified period of time. Current higher degree research students need to apply to the Dean of Graduate Studies (in advance of submission for examination) for an embargo to be placed on the thesis for a period of 12 months in the first instance. See the Research Student Handbook for more information.

    Will digitising my thesis make it easier to plagiarise?

    Plagiarism will always be a problem and of concern. However, many authors participating in the digital theses program feel that by publishing on the web for all to see (with appropriate document security) is more likely to be a foil against blatant plagiarism. The thinking being that if the thesis is lying in relative obscurity in a university library it is more likely to be susceptible.

    Will I be able to publish my research commercially if I submit my thesis to Adelaide Research & Scholarship?

    Some publishers (notably book publishers) may regard inclusion of a thesis on Adelaide Research & Scholarship as a "prior publication" and consequently may not wish to publish the work themselves.  Some major journal publishers accept electronic publication of theses and are happy to publish articles based on these theses.  If you have a relevant pre-existing contract with a publisher (or some other third party who funded, or collaborated with your research) in regard to your thesis, you are advised to seek further advice on this matter from the publishers concerned.

    If the form of the thesis is a collection of published papers, it is possible that copyright permission may have been transferred to the publisher(s) and explicit permission will be required to include the papers in the digital thesis on Adelaide Research & Scholarship.

    Authors do not require permission from Adelaide Research & Scholarship to publish elsewhere.

    How secure is the Adelaide Research & Scholarship database?

    Theses included in Adelaide Research & Scholarship can be read or printed only.  No changes can be made to the document, and 'copying and pasting' is not enabled.

    Can I use copyrighted materials in my electronic thesis?

    You will need to check your thesis for any material that is subject to copyright. For example, if you have included any diagrams, illustrations, maps, tables, photographs musical notation, images and/or audio-visual recordings (CD or DVD) that are not your own creation, you will need to obtain written permission from the copyright owners prior to inclusion in Adelaide Research & Scholarship. If you cannot obtain written permission, then those items should be clearly identified so that Library staff can remove them.

    Current higher-degree research students only:

    An errata sheet containing a list of pages, sections and/or numbered figures that need to be deleted should be prepared and saved onto the CD together with the final thesis copy (see also the section on Instructions for depositing your thesis).

    Except where copyright is owned by others, copyright ownership of the thesis remains with the author, and will remain so until he/she transfers it to another entity. Submission of the thesis to Adelaide Research & Scholarship in no way transfers copyright ownership.

    Further information on copyright:

    Copyright guide for research students : what you need to know about copyright before depositing your electronic thesis in an online repository / Damien O'Brien and Anne Fitzgerald ; with the assistance of Brian Fitzgerald ... [et al.]
    [Brisbane, Qld] : Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, 2007

    Do I still need to lodge print copies of my thesis with the Library?

    Yes.  When the examination process (including the completion of any required amendments) is complete,  you are required to lodge one hard-bound printed copy and one digital copy of your thesis on a disc, with the Graduate Centre before the degree can be conferred.

    The final thesis copies will be used as follows:

    • 1 hard-bound copy for inclusion in the University Library's collections;
    • 1 electronic copy for the Library for inclusion in the University's digital research repository, Adelaide Research & Scholarship, the National Library of Australia's Trove service and Library Search.

    How do I cite an electronic thesis?

    Example of a citation:

    Bradley, C. 2006, 'Performance of photonic oversampled analog-to-digital converters', School of Chemistry and Physics, PhD thesis, University of Adelaide, viewed 11 October 2010, Adelaide Research & Scholarship, <http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/handle/2440/38835>

     

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