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Copyright and Higher Degree Theses: UWA Profiles and Research Repository

Copyright compliance is an essential part of research and publication for higher degree by research students

Thesis deposit requirement

UWA Higher Degree by Research* students who commenced their candidature after March 2003 are required to deposit their thesis with the UWA Profiles and Research Repository as part of the final submission process, and will have been advised of this requirement by the Graduate Research School.

Depositing a thesis in the Repository does not affect your copyright ownership of the work. The copyright remains yours until you transfer it to another party (for example, when publishing parts or all of the work with a publisher).

If you have included the work of others within your thesis, then you must have their permission to publish the work in the Repository before depositing your thesis. Refer to the Using third party material tab for guidance on seeking permission and the importance of acknowledging third party copyright sources. Should permission not be granted the work must be removed from the thesis prior to depositing in the Repository.

* Note: This includes current PhD, Masters by Research students and Masters by Thesis and Coursework students where the research component is more than 66%. 

Thesis as a series of papers

The UWA PhD and MPhil course rules allow you to format your thesis as a series of papers. You can format your thesis as a monograph, a series of papers, or a combination of chapters and papers. For more information on formatting your thesis, see the Graduate Research School’s Thesis as a series of papers webpage

You should refer back to the publishing agreement/s you signed for each published article/chapter to determine what version of the manuscript you can include in the final version of your thesis. Publishers have differing policies regarding theses, so if you’ve published with multiple publishers you will need to check each individual publishing agreement. For example, some publishers may allow the final published version of a journal article to be included in a thesis, while others will only allow the author’s accepted manuscript version to be included. If you haven’t got a copy of your publishing agreement, you can generally find this information on the publisher’s or journal’s website.

If it is not clear from your publishing agreement, or if permission is needed, you should contact the publisher to seek permission to include your publication/s within the open access repository copy of the thesis. Publishers often have an online permissions process that you will need to follow. If you cannot obtain permission, please contact the Librarian Support Team to discuss your options. 

Publishing your thesis

Publishing your thesis material commercially, or with an open access publisher, requires an understanding of publishers' policies as these will have an impact on your options for current and future use. 

The legitimacy of publisher should also be part of your investigation to ensure you are choosing a quality publisher. The Think - Check - Submit website may help you to determine the legitimacy of a journal. You should also consult the UWA Library's How to Publish and Disseminate Research guide

Ideally such investigation should be done before depositing your thesis in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository. If your thesis material has already been published commercially, you will need to seek the publisher's permission for your thesis to be open access in the Repository, otherwise restricted access may be necessary.

If you have not yet published any parts of your thesis commercially but your thesis is available in the UWA Research Repository, some publishers may consider your research to be pre-published and may not wish to re-publish any of the work. If a publisher will not publish your research after it has been made public, you may wish to consider applying for your thesis to be embargoed, giving publishers the opportunity to be the first to publish your research.

To lean more about publishers' policies, use the SHERPA/ROMEO database of publisher copyright and self archiving policies.

Restricted access

If you have concerns about depositing your thesis in the UWA Research Repository, or if your thesis contains information which must remain confidential, then you can apply for restricted access to your thesis. The Graduate Research School handles applications for restricted access.

Finding theses

You can search for both UWA-authored and non-UWA theses via the Library - visit the Library's Theses webpage for more information.

Support and resources

Contact for support

Email your questions to our friendly library staff.


HDR Students

UWA Staff

More contact options are available on the Library Contact us page.

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