Theses: Benefits and rights
University of Leicester doctoral (PhD and equivalent) students are required to place a digital copy (eThesis) of their completed, accepted thesis into Leicester Research Archive (LRA), in addition to providing a hardbound paper copy. The Graduate School provide guidance on layout and formatting.
Benefits from eTheses
Theses are an often untapped source of information, usually hidden away in library stacks. As such there are many benefits to you from making a thesis available electronically, as there are for sharing any publications via open access. For example by making your eThesis available it:
- Enhances accessibility: eTheses are also more easily found, and you may gain more readers and increased visibility as a researcher.
- Increases citations: Substantially raises the number of times your thesis will be consulted and referenced.
- Raises visibility: Helps ensure that you and your work will become well known by your peers.
Additionally there is a benefit to the research profile and recognition for the University of Leicester as well. The Graduate School site has more details on the benefits.
eTheses mandated submission
The University requires doctoral students to place a digital copy of the accepted version of their thesis into LRA which applies to students submitting from 2008 on. While you must provide and license an eThesis copy for the LRA, you still retain all of your own IPR and copyrights within the work. Further information on the eThesis submission process is available.
The University is aware that you may have concerns about archiving your work, for example due to restrictions from your funders or plans for future publication. As such there are options available for postponing or restricting the availability of your eThesis. The Graduate School also provides guidance.
All doctoral students must provide an electronic copy of their final thesis to the LRA, along with completed paper work, as part of the graduation process.
Third party copyright
In the UK an author automatically has copyright in what they write. Authors do not need to apply for or mark their work with the © mark to have their work copyrighted. In your thesis you may well want to quote material by other authors and as a result this material may well be subject to copyright.
Authors can assign their copyright to someone else, for example, a publisher. Ideas and facts are not copyrighted, but presentation of ideas and facts may be. There may even be copyright in content, and also in format (typography). The rule of thumb is, unless it says otherwise you must assume an item is copyrighted.
If the item, and this includes periodical articles, is from an EEA country, copyright in that item lasts until 70 years after the end of calendar year in which the author (or the last surviving author, if there is more than one author) dies. If the item is published outside the EEA, it gets the same protection as it would get in its home country.
If you are not sure whether an item is subject to copyright, contact us for advice.
Keeping your thesis legal
The Library runs regular workshops on dealing with copyright within your thesis. A booklet that accompanied the latest sessions is available below.
- Keeping your Thesis Legal: Booklet (Nov 2012)
- Copyright, Open Access & Practical Issues for Doctoral Supervisors (Feb 2011)
Contact us is you would like to arrange for these to be delivered to a specific College or Department or for more details on these sessions.
We currently participate in the British Library EThOS project, which is digitising older theses. These theses are made available on the LRA and the EThOS site. If you would like to have a copy of your University doctoral thesis available on the LRA, please contact us.