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Open Access Theses and Dissertations: Guidelines for Students

 

Access to the digital version of NIE dissertations/theses will be made openly accessible from AY 2016/17. You are required to seek permission if your dissertation/thesis contains copyrighted materials, which could be materials that you have published or third party materials.

If there is a need to restrict access to your dissertation/thesis, please indicate in the Dissertation/Thesis Submission Form whiich you have to complete when you submit your dissertation/thesis to the Office of Graduate Studies and Professional Learning Office.  

 

Advantages of open access

  • Indexed by Google Scholar and Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD)
  • Higher visibility & better chance of being discovered, read and cited
  • Increased funding opportunities and collaborations
 

When to request copyright permission

You will need to request permission if you plan to reproduce and use copyrighted materials in your dissertation/thesis. Some examples are as follows:

  • Extensive quotations
  • Music scores / Music lyrics
  • Pictorial works (diagrams, figures, images, maps, tables, etc.)
  • Poetry
  • Questionnaires / Survey instruments

NOTE: The above is not an exhaustive list. If you are not sure, it is advisable that you write to the copyright holder.  

 

How to request copyright permission

You will need to write to the copyright holder to obtain permission for reproducing and using copyrighted materials. In your letter, provide the source (full citation) of the materials, indicate the exact materials you plan to use, and describe how you plan to use the materials. You may wish to attach a copy of the materials or provide a link (URL) to the materials.

For published works, the publisher is usually the copyright holder. Many publishers provide information on obtaining permission to reproduce or use materials on their websites. Some publishers automate permission requests from within their online publications through RightsLink to facilitate copyright clearance.

For some materials, you may need to seek permission from more than one source. For example, if you wish to use a journal article with a survey instrument, you may need to write to the journal publisher as well as the copyright holder of the survey instrument.

Sample letter for requesting permission from:  

It is advisable to seek permission for use of copyrighted materials and keep a record of your correspondence as you go along rather than leaving it till the final stage of your dissertation/thesis preparation.

 

When to restrict access

There may be a need for you to restrict access to your dissertation/thesis, either to both hard copy and digital versions or just the digital version. This is also known as an embargo on your dissertation/thesis. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • You have signed a confidentiality agreement with your sponsor or funding agency, whether for a limited period of time or in perpetuity.
  • You have not been able to seek permission for use of copyrighted materials in your dissertation/thesis.
  • Your dissertation/thesis is due for publication.

NOTE: The above is not an exhaustive list. If you are not sure, it is advisable that you discuss with your supervisor if there is a need to restrict access to your dissertation/thesis. 

 

Additional information

 

Need help?

If you require any clarification, please contact the library staff at Research and Information Services.

Last updated: December 14, 2016  

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