Thesis FAQs

Thesis FAQs

What is the Macquarie University Digital Theses Program?

The Macquarie University Digital Theses Program is a collection of digital versions of Macquarie University Higher Degree Theses deposited with the Library. Records of the theses are included in MultiSearch and in Macquarie University ResearchOnline, the open access digital collection of the University's research and scholarly output.

Thesis records are also available in Trove Australia, Google and Google Scholar.

Who is eligible to deposit a Digital Copy of their Thesis?

All higher degree research candidates, including Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, Professional Doctorate, Master of Research degrees, are required to submit a digital copy of their thesis together with a print version.

Theses created as part of a Master degree by coursework will be accepted on a request basis by the student. Please contact researchonline@mq.edu.au if you would like to submit your Master by coursework thesis.

Theses created as part of an Honors degree will be accepted on a request basis by the student, where the deposit is authorised by the Dean of the Faculty.

You are eligible to deposit a copy of your thesis if:

  1. your thesis has been approved
  2. you completed a Master of Research, Master of Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy or Professional Doctorate degree
  3. you completed your degree at Macquarie University

Is it mandatory to submit a digital copy of my thesis?

Higher degree research candidates completing from 2011 are required to submit a digital copy of their thesis so that it may be added to the Digital Collection. Completing candidates will be sent information and a form relating to the submission of digital theses.

Higher degree research candidates completing prior to 2011 are invited to submit a digital copy of their thesis so that it may be added to the Digital Collection. These candidates should have been sent information and forms relating to the submission of digital theses as part of their award letter.

A Digital Thesis Guideline and Submission Form (rtf, 6mb) is also available online and can be submitted to hdrexam@mq.edu.au for PhD/MPhil and Professional Doctorate degrees and exam.mres@mq.edu.au for MRes.

How do I submit a copy of my thesis?

Print and digital theses must be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. They cannot be submitted directly to the Library.

Read and complete the Digital Thesis Guideline and Submission Form (rtf, 6mb) before submitting the digital copy of your thesis.

Submit the Digital Thesis Submission Form along with relevant documentation to the Higher Degree Research office. For further information, contact hdrexam@mq.edu.au for PhD/MPhil and Professional Doctorate degrees and exam.mres@mq.edu.au for MRes.

What if I completed my thesis before the Digital Theses Program began?

If you have a digital copy of your thesis it can be submitted to the Macquarie University Digital Theses Program along with the Digital Thesis Submission Form (rtf, 6mb).

All completed forms and documentation should be forwarded to the Higher Degree Research Office, contact hdrexam@mq.edu.au

If you do not have a digital copy of your thesis, please contact ResearchOnline to discuss options for making your thesis available.

What are the benefits of submitting a digital copy of my thesis?

  • a digital thesis has a greater potential readership than a thesis stored in hard copy, it can be read in any country at any time of the day
  • a digital thesis is cited more often than a hard copy version and has greater research impact
  • it is also protected from destruction by disasters such as fire or flood because it is stored in Macquarie University ResearchOnline's secure digital environment

Why not just use my website to display a digital version of my thesis?

The Library uses commercial software that is specifically designed for storing digital objects. It has the following advantages over a website:

  • Availability - a thesis in the Library's repository is sent to other repositories such as Trove, Google Scholar, NDLTD and OAISTER and is more accessible to academic searches. The thesis is assigned a persistent identifier so that a link (URL) to the thesis will always be current and resolvable.
  • Preservation and Security - specific preservation and metadata standards are adhered to so the digital objects can be viewed well into the future and are easily migrated to new systems with no loss of data. The thesis will also be protected by a thorough data protection policy to ensure backup and security. Storing your electronic thesis outside the repository may make it more vulnerable to loss or tampering.
  • Access Rights - the ability to view or hide the thesis in a repository can be tightly controlled.
  • Document Presentation - the repository can deliver additional viewing tools to enhance the viewing of the thesis. It can also create various relationships between digital objects such as images, video and sound files to create an enriched presentation.
  • Searching - the repository has powerful database indexes that are created from standardised metadata and a full text extraction. This allows full text searching and controlled searching similar to a library catalogue. The search results can be sorted, limited and emailed in a citation format.
  • State of the Art Systems - the repository will be upgraded regularly with new developments to ensure all of the above features and more are continually enhanced.

Will there be more risk of someone plagiarising my work if it is available on the web?

Plagiarism will always be a concern. While it can occur with print material, some researchers feel that their work is more vulnerable in electronic form because copying in a digital environment is inherently easy. Many participating thesis authors consider publishing on the web for all to see (with document security applied), a strategy for counteracting plagiarism and that a thesis lying in obscurity in a university library is possibly more susceptible. Incorporating your thesis into Macquarie University’s Digital Thesis Collection will bring your work to the attention of a greater range of interested readers, will publicise your research and has the potential to enhance your professional reputation. Publishing to the web may make it a little easier for an unscrupulous researcher to plagiarise your work but it will also make it easier for them to be caught.

Remember that plagiarism has always happened even in the pre-electronic world. If you have further concerns please contact copyright@mq.edu.au

How do I know whether there are any copyright issues related to my thesis?

Check Macquarie's information on copyright, and contact copyright@mq.edu.au if you have further concerns. Parts of your thesis may be subject to copyright and access restrictions may be applied to whole or part of the work.

Will I be able to publish my thesis as a monograph if I include the full-text of my thesis in Macquarie University ResearchOnline?

A thesis and a monograph published subsequently are rarely identical. Monographs are often based on a thesis but are usually re-written to include new information such as comments from examiners and reviewers and to incorporate new information. It is worth remembering that the market for many academic books is extremely small and publication is often economically marginal. The Internet may well be the easiest way of disseminating your research. Some argue that Internet availability may even increase the eventual sales of the printed work by raising awareness of its existence. Again it would be wise to check your publisher's policy on this issue.

Will I be able to publish sections of my thesis as articles or chapters if my thesis is in Macquarie University ResearchOnline?

Yes, however you should check the publisher's policies prior to signing any publishing agreement. Many publishers have no objection but it is important to confirm.

The concern is that making the full-text of a thesis available on the Internet will be seen as "publishing" the work and may then make it ineligible for later publication. In practice, published articles or chapters are usually considerably different from the corresponding section of your thesis. They are usually re-written to include comments from examiners, reviewers or editors and to incorporate new information.

If you are in negotiations with a publisher, you should advise the publisher that you are required to make your thesis available digitally. If required by the publisher, certain embargoes can be considered, you should contact researchonline@mq.edu.au to discuss your options. If you have not commenced negotiations with a publisher, then you must contact the Library to discuss your plans. If an embargo is agreed to, it will be only for a limited time period.

Who can make a  copy of my thesis now?

Except where an exemption has been granted, Macquarie University requires that any thesis deposited with the Library be immediately available for use. Under the current arrangements the Library is free to make a copy of a thesis, in whole or in part, if this is requested by an individual for the purposes of research, criticism or review.

What are the acceptable file formats?

Acceptable file formats for the digital copy are PDF, Word and RTF, with PDF being preferred. The Library will convert the thesis to PDF format if it is submitted in another format. If your thesis is in another format other than those listed above, HDRO will contact the Library on your behalf to ascertain whether or not other formats are acceptable. For multi-media theses, please contact researchonline@mq.edu.au. If submitting in PDF format please do not incorporate any security or access protection measures into the file as the library may need to make minor formatting adjustments.

My thesis contains culturally sensitive material that should not be made publicly available, what should I do?

These matters need to be addressed at the earliest possible point during a student’s candidacy. If required, a request can be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office (HDRO) and the Higher Degree Research Committee (HDRC) requesting a moratorium. Depending on the agreements between the student and other parties, a full moratorium may be agreed to. If a moratorium is agreed to, the print and digital versions of the thesis will be suppressed from public access, under the terms set by the HDRO and the HDRC. For further information contact hdrexam@mq.edu.au for PhD/MPhil and Professional Doctorate degrees and exam.mres@mq.edu.au for MRes.

My thesis contains commercially confidential material that should not be made publicly available, what should I do?

These matters need to be addressed at the earliest possible point during a student’s candidacy. If required, a request can be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office (HDRO) and the Higher Degree Research Committee (HDRC) requesting a moratorium. Depending on the agreements between the student and other parties, a full moratorium may be agreed to. If a moratorium is agreed to, the print and digital versions of the thesis will be suppressed from public access, under the terms set by the HDRO and the HDRC. For further information contact hdrexam@mq.edu.au for PhD/MPhil and Professional Doctorate degrees and exam.mres@mq.edu.au for MRes.

Can I include my published articles in the digital version of my thesis?

Yes, you can include your published articles in your thesis. If they were included in the original hardcopy submitted for examination they should be included in the digital version as these versions should be substantially the same. Some publishers will allow published articles within digital theses to be made available in Macquarie University ResearchOnline. The Library will check the publisher conditions of any published articles in your thesis and follow any conditions the publisher imposes, including suppressing articles from your digital thesis if required.

Who do I contact with queries about the access of my thesis?

Please see this diagram to find the appropriate contact details.

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