Graduate Research School Policy & Procedure HDR Library Thesis Deposit Procedure

HDR Library Thesis Deposit Procedure

Intent and Scope

To outline how the James Cook University Library receives thesis and how theses are deposited into the University’s institutional repository, ResearchOnline@JCU.


Terms mentioned in this document and not defined here are defined in the Policy Glossary in the Learning and Teaching domain of the University Policy Library, and in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.

Embargo is a restriction placed on access to a thesis for a specified period of time, normally up to 12 months. An embargo period for a thesis is applied to intellectual property and/or a confidentiality agreement relating to publishing of, or access to research, derived from a candidates work.

Exemption is an approval granted to release the candidate from the requirement of having the full or entire copy of the thesis in digital format publicly available in ResearchOnline@JCU. The exemption may be in whole or in part, and is normally applied due to intellectual property or technical limitations, for an agreed period normally no longer than 12 months.


It is a requirement that James Cook University PhD, Professional Doctorate and Masters by Research theses are received by the Library for  deposit to ResearchOnline@JCU as specified in the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements.

1. Depositing the Thesis

1.1 A completed SUB-FORM-01 HDR Thesis Submission and Release Form must be submitted by the Candidate with the thesis at the point of submission for examination.

1.2 Once the award has been confirmed in writing by the Graduate Research School, the Library will receive, from the HDR Academic Services Officer of the Candidate’s College, an electronic copy of the final version of the thesis that has been signed off by the College Dean.

1.3 Library staff will deposit the electronic copy of the thesis in ResearchOnline@JCU.  Thesis in print format are no longer required.

1.4 may be contacted in special circumstances needing a thesis to be processed more urgently. Theses LibGuide contains more information.

2. Availability of the Thesis after Deposit

2.1 The full electronic copy will be made available on ResearchOnline@JCU, the JCU Institutional Repository in accordance with the JCU Research Repository Policy in a Portable Document Format (PDF). The Library will apply read and print only settings before it goes into public view.

2.2  The Library will assign a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to the thesis, and will provide the DOI to the author via the nominated email address.  See the Theses LibGuide for more information.

2.3 Candidates may seek to have an embargo of up to 12 months applied if required on part or all of the thesis. This must be indicated on SUB-FORM-01 HDR Thesis Submission and Release Form. Embargoes longer than 12 months will only be granted in compelling circumstances and must be approved in writing by the Dean, Graduate Research. An extended abstract of 1,000-2,000 words must be provided for loading to ResearchOnline@JCU. All or part of the embargoed digital thesis will not be publicly available from ResearchOnline@JCU during the embargo period.  However the embargoed material will be held for restricted access by Library staff.  Clients who receive permission from the Dean, Graduate Research may be given read only access to the full digital thesis by Library staff.

2.4 Candidates may apply for an exemption from the requirement of having a section of their thesis or their entire thesis due to intellectual property or technical limitations publicly available in ResearchOnline@JCU. In such cases, the exemption is required from the Dean, Graduate Research and an extended abstract of 1,000-2,000 words is provided for loading to ResearchOnline@JCU.

Approval Details

Procedure custodian:

Dean, Graduate Research

Approval authority:


Version no.:


Date for next review:

July 2020

Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date





Amended to reflect change in library process – electronic theses only accepted.

18-1 3/12/18 3/12/18 Reviewed by Library