eThesis explained

There is some important information you need to know in relation to the submission of your thesis in electronic form (eThesis), so before you go to the official university website, read below for a clear explanation of your rights and responsibilities.

What is an eThesis?

An electronic copy of your thesis.

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What is the Monash University research repository?

The Monash University research repository is an electronic repository for holding research, including theses. However there are two distinct parts to the repository:

    1. The restricted access section – this is for research stored by Monash University primarily for archival purposes. Research stored in this part of the repository is made available to authorised persons for non-commercial personal research purposes, in the same way that anyone would access a hardcopy thesis stored in the library.

    2. The open access section – this is for research stored on the world wide web. Research stored in this part of the repository is accessible by anyone with access to the internet. For example, it can be pulled up through a Google search. Research in this section is considered to be 'published'.

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What has been made compulsory for research students at Monash?

You must submit an electronic copy of your thesis to the library once your examination is complete. Your eThesis will be held in the restricted access section of the Monash University research repository. However, there are some parts of your thesis that will be held in the open access section of the repository and they are: bibliographic details, title and abstract.

Candidates enrolled under a cotutelle arrangement, Staff PhD, MD (unsupervised) and MPhil degrees are exempt from submitting an eThesis.

Candidates who enrolled before 2005 are also exempt from submitting an electronic copy of their thesis.

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What is third-party material?

Third party works means any material you are using in your thesis that was created by someone else. This could be text quotations of substantial length, photographs, artworks, computer programs, technical illustrations etc.

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Do I have to secure copyright permission for third-party material used in my thesis even if I'm not publishing in the open access part of the Monash University research repository?

If you have instructed that your thesis is to be placed only in the restricted access section of the Monash University research repository, then you can still rely on the fair dealing provisions in the Copyright Act to protect you from breach of copyright when reproducing third-party works in your thesis. The fair dealing provisions allow a researcher to reproduce or adapt a copyright work without permission, for the purpose of their private research or study. The library release form you are required to complete is confusing in this respect (and we are lobbying to have this changed).

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Can postgraduates choose to publish their entire thesis in the open access section of Monash University research repository?

Postgraduates automatically own copyright in their research and thesis, unless they have assigned all or part of that copyright to the university or any other body.  If you retain copyright in your thesis you can elect to publish the full text of your thesis online in the open access section of the Monash University research repository. This means that:

  • Your thesis will be publicly available

  • You retain copyright but grant the university a non-exclusive licence to publish on Monash University research repository

  • You change your thesis from being considered an ‘academic document’ to a ‘publication’ in relation to the copyright act. Once the thesis is classified as a publication, you can no longer rely on the fair dealing provisions in the Copyright Act to protect you from breach of copyright when reproducing third-party works* in your thesis. Therefore you will need to seek permission to reproduce third-party material that would have normally fallen under the fair dealing provisions when submitting a hardcopy thesis.

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Can I withdraw or submit my thesis from/to the open access part of the Monash University research repository at any time after I have signed the form to the contrary?

If you have initially chosen not to publish your thesis in the open access section of Monash University research repository but would now like to do so, email etheses@monash.edu and a voluntary submission package will be sent to you.

If you have initially chosen to publish your thesis in the open access section of Monash University research repository and would now like to withdraw the thesis from publication, email etheses@monash.edu requesting restricted access for your thesis.  The thesis text will be withdrawn from the open access section of Monash University research repository and only the bibliographic details, title and abstract will remain.

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What is an embargo?

You can apply for a 3 year embargo which means that your thesis cannot be accessed by anyone without your permission, for three years. You must still submit an electronic copy to the library for archiving in the restricted access section of the Monash University research repository repository. However, only your title and abstract will be made available on the open access section of the Monash University research repository. You can choose to remove confidential material from your abstract if necessary.

When any embargo expires, publication of an e-thesis will still depend on whether you have opted for publication or not in your release form.

This means:-

  • If you have not opted for publication, the library cannot automatically publish your theses at the expiration of the embargo but it will be accessible through the restricted access section of the Monash University research repository.

  • If you have opted for publication your thesis will automatically be published at the expiration of the embargo and will be accessible through both the restricted and open access sections of the Monash University research repository.

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Will I be notified when my embargo is about to expire?

No, the library will not provide any notification.

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Can I extend my embargo when it is due to expire?

When the 3 year embargo expires, you have the option to apply to the GRS Steering committee to extend the embargo for a further three years. You can do this by emailing your request to the Examinations Unit.

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Can I change my mind at any point and opt in or out of the embargo when I have signed the Library release form to the contrary?

You can apply to the GRS Steering committee to change your initial decision regarding an embargo, by emailing your request to the Examinations Unit.

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Useful links

University website on eThesis (with links to relevant forms)

Monash University research repository

University eThesis policy

Copyright guide for research postgraduates

Research postgraduates - online support

The Learning Support unit offers online guide for higher degree by research postgraduates.

Getting involved with MPA committee

If you are wondering what is involved in being a committee member, or about the annual election process, vist our Committee FAQ and our election process FAQ page.