University regulations require the submission of an electronic copy of the final examined version of all research theses. The final version of the thesis should be deposited in Pure - Abertay's Research Management System. You can access Pure via the Pure Tile on MyAbertay. The theses will then be made available via Pure on an open access basis on the University's research portal. It is possible to request an embargo on your thesis so that it is not publically available for a specified length of time. More information regarding embargoes can be found below.
For help on how to deposit your PhD or MbR thesis have a look at our guide Adding a thesis to Pure. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with the deposit. or have problems accessing Pure.
Why make your thesis available as an e-thesis?
Making your thesis available as an e-theses has many advantages.
- Increased discoverability and access to your thesis. Your thesis will be searchable via search engines such as Google and harvested by external services such as the British Library EThOS service.
- Increased access to your thesis which should in turn should get more people reading your thesis and get your work cited.
- Colleagues, collaborators, job applications and grant proposals and publishers will be able to access your thesis.
- If your research is funded and your funder requires your thesis to be published open access then making your theses available in ARC will satisfy your funder's open access requirement.
- Plagiarism protection.
- Preservation of your thesis.
Are there any implications that I should consider when making my thesis available as an e-thesis?
The University encourages all researchers to make their research freely available at the earliest possible opportunity. However, there will be occasions when you need to restrict (embargo) access to your thesis for a period of time. For example, you may want to publish some papers from your thesis or your thesis contains sensitive or 3rd party copyright material. The FAQs below contain more information on when and how you can request an embargo on your thesis
The advent of digital publication has affected the approach taken by some publishers.
Publication of an e-thesis immediately after successful examination for a research degree may in some disciplines be considered as prior publication by some publishers. If you intend to publish material from your thesis you can initially request a 12-18 month embargo on the e-thesis. If at the end of the 12-18 month embargo period you need an extension to the embargo to complete your publications then it is your responsibility to email email@example.com to request an extension. Failure to notify the University of this request will result in the publication of your e-thesis at the end of the original embargo period on the external research portal. Embargoes should be requested using the Thesis Embargo Request Form available from REIS.
If you require any advice regarding embargoes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and library staff will be happy to help.
The university regulations do allow you to embargo your thesis ( or parts of it) if it contains sensitive material or there is a patent is pending. If this is the case you should discuss the need for an embargo with your supervisor and then request an embargo using the Thesis Embargo Request form (RD08) available from here. In most cases the personal or commercially sensitive material can be redacted and the remainder of the thesis made openly available.
If you are removing chapters or pages from your thesis,it is best to redact material from the PDF version of your thesis rather than the Word version. That way the page numbering in the e-thesis is not changed. If you need help editing /redacting material from your e-thesis, please contact library staff who will be happy to help with this process. Email: email@example.com
Copyright law does allow referenced quotation of other people's work. If you have used 3rd party copyright material you should usually be able to rely on one of the 'fair dealing' exceptions such as illustration for instruction, or criticism, review or quotation to include this material for the purpose of examination. Remember the use must be fair.
The fair dealing exclusions may also cover the use of very small amounts of 3rd party copyright material in the e-thesis but our advice, and best practice, is to contact the rights holder to ask for permission to include the material in your e-thesis. Remember if a copyright owner challenged the use of their material in your e-thesis you would need to be confident that you could defend its inclusion using one of the copyright exceptions if you have not obtained their written consent.
Obtaining permission to use 3rd party copyright content can be a lengthy process so we recommend that you start as soon as possible. If the rights holder does not reply within a reasonable length of time, you should contact them again, as you cannot interpret a lack of response as permission to go ahead. If you need advice on contacting publishers, then email firstname.lastname@example.org and library staff will be happy to advise. You can use or adapt the suggested wording below when contacting the copyright owner for permission.
I am a PhD student at Abertay University and I am contacting you to seek permission to include the following material within the electronic version of my PhD thesis:
[Provide full details of the material you intend to include]
The thesis will be deposited in the university's open access repository, https://rke.abertay.ac.uk/, which is a non-commercial repository and openly available to all. A copy of the thesis will also be available from the British Library Electronic Thesis service EThOS. A full citation will be included to acknowledge the copyright holder of the material included in the thesis.
If you are not the rights holder for this material I would be grateful if you could let me know who I should contact for permission. If you require any further information, please let me know.
Thank you for your help.
If you are unable to obtain permission to include the copyright material in your e-thesis you can choose to submit a redacted thesis with the copyright material removed to an appendix which will be embargoed. The inclusion of copyright material in your e-thesis requiring an embargo should be detailed on the Embargo Request Form (RD08) available from the research support pages. If you need to submit a redacted thesis to Abertay's Open Access repository, email email@example.com for advice.
Students are never expected to pay fees requested by copyright owners to include 3rd party copyright material in their e-thesis.
If you want to include the published version of r research papers or book chapters in your thesis, this may be possible:
- If you retained the copyright of the article or chapter.
- If the article was published under a Creative Commons License.
However, in many cases when publishing their research, authors transfer the copyright of their material to the publisher. If you have not retained the copyright then you will need to write to the publisher to ask for permission to include for example the published article in your e-thesis as it is is unlikely that the fair dealing exception would cover this. ( However, Inclusion of the articles in your examination copy would usually be covered by one of the fair dealing exceptions).
If you are unable to add the published version of the article to your thesis, then it may be possible to add the post-print version of the article to your e-thesis. You can use Sherpa/Romeo service to check the publisher's copyright and self-archiving policies, and library staff are happy to advise on this. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
The ideal is to make your e-thesis openly available with no redacted or embargoed content, and students are expected to make best efforts to seek permission. However, if you are unable to obtain permission because the rights owner does not reply / wants to charge you for using the material / does not reply, or the task of tracing the rights owner is very onerous, then you will not be penalised if you need to redact 3rd party copyright material from your e-thesis. If you need to redact material from your e-thesis then please email: email@example.com for advice.