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Theses @ Macquarie University

Thesis FAQs

Publishing digital theses at Macquarie University

Answers to frequently asked questions about how to access higher degree research theses, and how to publish your thesis.

Macquarie University theses

The Library holds copies of Macquarie theses for PhD, professional, masters and MRes in print, microfilm or digital formats. Limited honours theses are collected on advice of the Faculty. Submission of print theses is no longer required by the University.

Macquarie University Theses collection, contains digital versions of Macquarie University higher degree theses deposited with the Library. Records of the Macquarie University theses are also searchable in MultiSearch. Mandatory submission of digital theses commenced in 2011.

Theses available in print only are located in the Library's Thesis Collection. Access to the Thesis Collection is restricted, and items must be used under supervision. For more information see our Theses Finding guide

The Macquarie University Digital Theses Collection

 
What is the Macquarie University Digital Theses Collection?

Macquarie University Theses is the open-access digital collection of the University’s research and scholarly output and contains digital versions of Macquarie University higher degree theses deposited with the Library. Records of the Macquarie University theses are also searchable in MultiSearch. Mandatory submission of digital theses commenced in 2011.

Thesis records are also available in Trove Australia, Google and Google Scholar.

For more information about finding theses, see our Theses Finding guide

Who is eligible to deposit a digital copy of their thesis?

All higher degree research candidates must submit a digital copy of their thesis.

You are eligible to deposit a copy of your thesis if:

  • your thesis has been approved

  • you completed a Master of Research, Master of Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy or Professional Doctorate degree

  • you completed your degree at Macquarie University.

The Library will accept theses created as part of a Master degree by coursework on a request basis by the student.

Theses created as part of an Honours degree will be accepted on a request basis by the student, where the deposit is authorised by the Dean of the Faculty.

How do I submit a copy of my thesis?

A digital copy of your higher degree research thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Research Academy (GRA). It should not be submitted directly to the Library.

Read and complete the Digital Thesis Guideline and Submission Form before submitting the digital copy of your thesis to the GRA. For further information, contact gr.exam@mq.edu.au.

The Library will accept theses created as part of a Master degree by coursework on a request basis by the student. Contact researchonline@mq.edu.au if you would like to submit your Master by coursework thesis.

What if I completed my thesis before the Digital Theses Collection began in 2011?

If you have a digital copy of your thesis it can be submitted to the Macquarie University Digital Theses Collection along with the Digital Thesis Submission Form contact Research and Scholarly Information Services team at researchonline@mq.edu.au

If you do not have a digital copy of your thesis, contact Research and Scholarly Information Services team at researchonline@mq.edu.au to discuss options for making your thesis available.

What are the acceptable file formats?

Acceptable file formats for the digital copy are PDF, Word and RTF, with PDF being preferred. The Library will convert the thesis to PDF format if it is submitted in another format.

When submitting in PDF format, do not incorporate any security or access protection measures into the file as the library may need to make minor formatting adjustments.

If your thesis is in another format other than those listed above, the Graduate Research Academy (GRA) will contact the Library on your behalf to ascertain whether or not other formats are acceptable.

For multimedia theses, contact researchonline@mq.edu.au.

 

Benefits and potential issues

 
What are the benefits of submitting a digital copy of my thesis?

A digital thesis:

  • has a greater potential readership than a thesis stored in hard copy; it is accessible in any country at any time of the day.

  • is cited more often than a hard copy version and has a greater research impact.

  • is protected from destruction by disasters such as fire or flood because it is stored in Macquarie University Theses Collection's secure digital environment.

Why should the Library keep a digital version of my thesis?

The Library uses commercial software that is specifically designed for storing digital objects. It has the following advantages over other options like a personal website:

  • Availability – a thesis in the Library’s repository is sent to other repositories such as TroveGoogle Scholar, NDLTD and OAISTER and is more accessible to academic searches. The thesis is assigned a persistent identifier so that a link to the thesis will always be current and resolvable.

  • Preservation and security – specific preservation and metadata standards are adhered to so the digital objects can be viewed well into the future and are easily migrated to new systems with no data loss. A comprehensive data protection policy will also protect the thesis to ensure backup and security. Storing your electronic thesis outside the repository may make it more vulnerable to loss or tampering.

  • Access rights – the ability to view or hide the thesis in a repository can be tightly controlled.

  • Document presentation – the repository can deliver additional viewing tools to enhance the viewing of the thesis. It can also create various relationships between digital objects such as images, video and sound files to create an enriched presentation.

  • Searching – the repository has powerful database indexes created from standardised metadata and full-text extraction. This allows full-text searching and controlled searching similar to a library catalogue. The search results can be sorted, limited and emailed in a citation format.

  • State of the art systems – the repository will be upgraded regularly with new developments to ensure that all of the above features are continually enhanced.

What is the risk of plagiarism for theses available online?

Plagiarism will always be a concern. While it can occur with print material, some researchers feel that their work is more vulnerable in electronic form because copying in a digital environment is inherently easy.

Many participating thesis authors consider publishing on the web for all to see (with document security applied) a strategy for counteracting plagiarism. A thesis lying in obscurity in a university library is possibly more susceptible.

Incorporating your thesis into Macquarie University’s Digital Thesis Collection:

  • will bring your work to the attention of a greater range of interested readers

  • will publicise your research

  • has the potential to enhance your professional reputation.

Publishing to the web may make it a little easier for an unscrupulous researcher to plagiarise your work, but it will also make it easier for them to be caught.

Remember that plagiarism has always happened, even in the pre-electronic world. If you have further concerns, contact copyright@mq.edu.au.

How can I find out about copyright related to my thesis?

Check Macquarie’s information on copyright, and contact copyright@mq.edu.au if you have further concerns. Parts of your thesis may be subject to copyright, and access restrictions may be applied to whole or part of the work.

Will I be able to publish my thesis, or parts of my thesis, if I include the full text in Macquarie University Theses Collection?

When considering publication always check the publisher's policies before signing an agreement. Many publishers have no objection but it is important to confirm.

The concern is that making the full text of a thesis available on the internet will be seen as “publishing” the work and may then make it ineligible for later publication.

Monographs

A thesis and a monograph published subsequently are rarely identical. Monographs are often based on a thesis but are usually rewritten to include new information, such as comments from examiners and reviewers and to incorporate new information.

It is worth remembering that the market for many academic books is extremely small, and publication is often economically marginal. The internet may well be the easiest way of disseminating your research. Some argue that internet availability may even increase the eventual sales of printed work by raising awareness of its existence.

Sections of a thesis

In practice, published articles or chapters are usually considerably different from the corresponding section of your thesis. They are usually rewritten to include comments from examiners, reviewers or editors and incorporate new information.

Negotiating with a publisher

If you are in negotiations with a publisher, you should advise the publisher that you are required to make your thesis available digitally. If required by the publisher, certain embargoes can be considered. You should contact researchonline@mq.edu.au to discuss your options.

If you have not commenced negotiations with a publisher, you must contact the Library to discuss your plans. If an embargo is agreed to, it will be only for a limited time.

 

Access and availability

 
Who can make a copy of my thesis now?

Except where an exemption has been granted, Macquarie University requires that any thesis deposited with the Library be immediately available for use.

Under the current arrangements, the Library is free to make a copy of a thesis, in whole or in part, if an individual requests this for the purposes of research, criticism or review.

My thesis contain material that should not be made publicly available. What should I do?

If your thesis contains material that should not be made publically available such as culturally sensitive or commercial in confidence content.  These matters need to be addressed at the earliest possible point during a student’s candidacy.

If required, a request can be submitted to the Graduate Research Academy (GRA) and the Research and Research Training Committee (RRTC) requesting a moratorium. Depending on the agreements between the student and other parties, a full moratorium may be agreed to. If a moratorium is agreed to, your digital version of the thesis will be suppressed from public access, under the terms set by the GRA and the RRTC. For further information, contact gr.exam@mq.edu.au.

Can I include my published articles in the digital version of my thesis?

Yes, you can include your published articles in your thesis. If they were included in the original digital copy submitted for examination, they must be included in the digital version submitted for inclusion into Macquarie University Theses Collection as these versions must be the same.

Some publishers will allow published articles within digital theses to be available in Macquarie University Theses Collection. The Library will check the publisher conditions of any published articles in your thesis and follow any conditions the publisher imposes, including suppressing articles from your digital thesis if required.

Who do I contact with queries about access to my thesis?

Contact the GRA at gr.exam@mq.edu.au.

If your digital thesis contains third party material (eg images from external sources), advise the library. An embargo on the thesis is not required as the Library has multiple strategies to deal with these situations.

Theses will not be automatically embargoed. However, if:

  • you are in negotiations with a publisher, certain embargoes can be considered

  • you have not commenced negotiations with a publisher; you must contact the Library to discuss your plans

  • an embargo is agreed to; it will be only for a limited period.