Sydney Digital Theses
What is Sydney Digital Theses Program?
Sydney Digital Theses is a digital archive of PhD and Masters (Research) theses awarded at the University.
What about plagiarism?
Unfortunately plagiarism happens.
While it occurs with print material many researchers feel that their work
is more vulnerable in electronic form as it is easy to copy in the digital
environment. While this may be true and while there are certain settings
that can be used to make an electronic document more secure, it is really
very difficult to prevent a determined plagiarist.
Some researchers believe
that making their work widely available via the Internet constitutes a form
of protection. They argue that if more people are aware of the existence
of their thesis and are able to access the full-text, then the possibility
of another researcher successfully plagiarising their material is decreased.
They also argue that
a hard copy thesis that may only be known to a few individuals and kept in
the collection of one library is far more likely to be successfully plagiarised
than one, which is widely available on the Internet.
In the end you will
have to make up your own mind on this issue. Incorporating your thesis into
the ADT database 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. It may make it a little easier for
an unscrupulous researcher to plagiarise your work but remember that plagiarism
has always happened even in the pre-electronic world.
Will I be able to publish articles from my thesis if I include the full-text of it with Sydney Digital Theses?
In practice if text from a thesis is published as a journal article it is rarely exactly the same as the chapter from the thesis it originated from. Journal articles are usually based on a chapter or section of a thesis though heavily edited.
Many research students want to publish all or part of their thesis after it has been accepted. They are concerned that making the full-text of their thesis available on the Internet will be seen as "publishing" the work and may then make it ineligible for later publication.
Many of the major journal publishers such as Elsevier have already accepted electronic publication of theses and are quite happy to publish articles based on these theses. However, some publishers insist on first publication.
Will I be able to publish my thesis as a monograph if I include the full-text of my thesis with Sydney Digital Theses?
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.
Some argue that making a monograph available on the Web does not affect the market for a monograph. They suggest 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.
My thesis is by publication.
If your thesis is by publication this generally means that the bulk of it is made up of published articles or book chapters. Before you can submit your thesis to the Sydney eScholarship Collection to will need to get permission from the relevant publishers to do so. You can use a standard pro forma for this. For assistance please contact the Sydney eScholarship Repository Coordinator.
What are the University Regulations?
The University Regulations regarding
theses are outlined in the University Calendar and in the Academic policy
of the University regarding Higher Degree Theses. Information can also be
obtained from the SUPRA 2000 Thesis Guide.
In brief, the University
allows candidates to submit their thesis either in hard copy, or in electronic
format. Those intending to submit material in electronic format however need
to give early notice of their intention and a hard copy may still have to
be provided at the examiner's discretion. In addition, the Senate Regulations
still require that an archival copy of the thesis on acid free paper be lodged
with the University Library.
Who can copy my thesis now?
Except where an exemption has
been granted, the University requires that any thesis deposited with the
Library be immediately available for use. (The grounds for such exemption
are outlined in the Academic Policy for Higher Degree Theses).
Under the current copyright
regulations 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.
Why should I lodge my thesis electronically?
Print theses are difficult to
access and costly to copy, and your research will end up being underutilized.
Electronic submission means that with your permission, researchers from all
over the world can access your thesis from the web. You can improve the value
of your thesis by adding colour graphics, animation, video and audio clips,
and hypertext links to related literature. This will help promote you and
your research, and the process will give you valuable experience in the
area of electronic publishing.
How do I lodge my thesis electronically?
You can lodge a copy of your thesis at the site Depositing Your Digital Thesis.
You will find information about the requirements, and an easy form to complete
the basic information required by the thesis database.