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Theses: Submitting your thesis to Research Online






What to provide in your submission:

Refer to the  Guidance for completing thesis submission for ECU Archives and Repository when completing the form.

  • One complete electronic copy of the thesis.
  • An additional modified version for online access if required.
  • Additional files such as video or audio content, spreadsheets, software etc if required.
  • Copyright permissions for any third-party content included in your thesis.

Images, tables, diagrams etc that you have copied or not created yourself, may not be made available in the online version of your thesis unless you have written permission from the holder of the copyright. A copyright permissions template is available if you wish to request permission from the copyright holder. Alternatively, you can provide a version of your thesis with these items removed.


Format requirements

NOTE: The date on the thesis title page should state the "year all graduation requirements are met" not the year of submission.

  • PDF for the text component of your thesis.
  • No security, password protection or digital signatures on the thesis files.
  • Do not embed rich media ie audio or video in the thesis PDF.
    You may submit your thesis for assessment as a PDF with embedded media but when submitting it to the Library the audio and video content must be provided separately to ensure a better experience for researchers accessing your thesis, including streaming and download options.
  • Additional files may be provided in other formats ie spreadsheets, software etc.


Thesis with publications

If your thesis includes article/s you have previously published and you have transferred copyright of the article to the publisher you can check the publisher's author agreement and policies on sharing the various versions of the published paper. This will provide an indication on:

  • what can be included in the online open access version of your thesis
  • which version of the paper the publisher allows you to share on Research Online. Does the publisher allow you to share a copy of the "Author Accepted Manuscript" (post-refereed, pre-published version) of your article - also known as "green open access"
  • Whether the publisher requires an embargo period to expire before the Author Accepted Manuscript can be shared publicly

You may need to omit the published paper/chapter from the online public version of your thesis. If you have included the published article in your thesis, it can be replaced with:

  • a link to the published article or

  • the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version of a published paper can be made available on Research Online in Research Student's Scholarly Works 

If you intend publishing parts of your thesis as journal articles, a book, or any other type of publication, you may need to embargo access to your thesis while waiting for items to be accepted for publication.

Many journals now use Turn-it-in or other plagiarism checking systems to see if journal articles have been previously published online and may reject articles if similar text is already available within a thesis.


What else can be omitted from the online version of my thesis on Research Online?


  • You may wish to omit the creative component  of your thesis e.g. novel, artwork, etc., if you intend to publish it/ them separately

  • You may omit the parts of your thesis that contain commercial or sensitive material, or parts forming the basis of a patent



Ready to submit?

Masters and PhD thesis - Submitting your thesis to Research Online is part of the Completion of degree process.
Research Assessments, Student Administration will forward the thesis and completed form to Research Online.

First Class Honours thesis - please submit your thesis and completed form to the Honours Co-ordinator in your School.

Can 3rd party Copyright material be included in a thesis?

  • Unless you have written permission from the copyright holder, 3rd party Copyright material should not be included in your thesis.

  • The Copyright permissions template can be used to request permission from the copyright holder to include their material in your thesis.

  • The webpage ECU Copyright information for students and researchers has a section on Thesis and other student works which explains Copyright in relation to thesis and online works

  • MIT Libraries: Thesis content and article publishing.

    Provides a list of links to publisher policies regarding graduate students’ reuse of their previously published articles in their theses, and policies on accepting journal articles that have previously been released as part of a thesis
Theses are made openly accessible because both authors and the University benefit in having higher degree students' research gain worldwide exposure and the potential for research collaborations in the future is increased. However, if you intend publishing parts of your thesis as journal articles, a book, or any other type of publication, you may need to embargo access to your thesis while waiting for items to be accepted for publication.
An embargo is a temporary restriction placed on the access to your thesis. You can extend or shorten the length of the embargo later by contacting the Library. It is important that you keep the Library updated about any developments that affect your thesis during the embargo period. Please ensure you provide an email address on the Thesis submission for ECU Archives and Repository form that you will have long term access to so we can also contact you. If choosing to delay access to your thesis you must also select the level of access that should be provided to your thesis at the end of the embargo period.

An embargo might be appropriate in other circumstances, such as where the research has potential commercial applications and the candidate wants to try a start-up business without competitors having access to the research immediately. The thesis could be embargoed for 3 years to give the start-up time to establish, but then the complete thesis made openly accessible as a contribution to the discipline.

Information for Research Students at ECU is available at For Research Students - Research journey

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