Graduate Research School Policy & Procedure HDR Thesis Library Deposit Guide

HDR Thesis Library Deposit Guide

Intent and Scope

To outline how James Cook University Library receives and deposits theses into the University’s institutional repository, ResearchOnline@JCU and the conditions of access to online theses, including Candidate responsibilities throughout the process.

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

Depositing the Thesis

What You Need to Do

You must complete a SUB-FORM-01 HDR Thesis Submission and Release Form to be submitted with the thesis for examination.

You must enter your ORCID iD on the Submission and Release Form (this should also be linked to your JCU account). If you do not have an ORCID iD or you have one that is not currently linked to your JCU account click here to create and/or link your ORCID iD.

If you have incorporated published papers, either as manuscripts submitted or accepted for publication or you have inserted the final published versions of journal articles within the thesis, you must also complete the Thesis Publications, Copyright and Sensitivity Declaration and attach to the Submission and Release Form. See the Thesis with Publications section, below, for more information.

See the Thesis Embargoes section, below, for eligibility criteria and Candidate responsibilities regarding embargoes.

Post-examination, you should make any necessary revisions or corrections to the thesis and remove any digital signatures. You must ensure that the HDR Academic Services Officer for your College has received an electronic copy of this final version of the thesis that has been approved by the College Dean.

What the Library Will Do

Once the award of a degree has been confirmed in writing by the Graduate Research School, the Library will receive, from the HDR Academic Services Officer in your College, the final electronic version of your thesis.

The Research Data Coordinator will be alerted to your degree completion, and if necessary will then follow up with you about your research data for inclusion in Research Data JCU.

Library staff will check your submission documentation for any embargo requirements, publication and copyright/sensitivity declarations and will deposit the electronic copy of the thesis in a Portable Document Format (PDF) in ResearchOnline@JCU. Read and print only settings are applied before the thesis is made publicly available in accordance with the JCU Open Scholarship Policy.

You may contact if a thesis needs to be processed more urgently. The Theses LibGuide contains more information.

Availability of the Thesis after Deposit

Open Access

Theses in ResearchOnline@JCU are deposited as open access resources to enable worldwide dissemination of your research, and facilitate greater discoverability and impact. Open access research benefits industry, practitioners, fellow researchers and the whole of general society with equitable access to scholarly information. See the Open Access Libguide for more details. However, in certain compelling circumstances public access to the thesis may need to be delayed. See the Thesis Embargoes section below for more information.


Your thesis will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which is a unique and persistent identifier that you should use when sharing or citing your work as it will help to track citations and online mentions (and generate an Altmetric score) for your work. You will be notified of the DOI and availability of your thesis via email, so it is important to provide a personal email as well as your JCU email on the Submission and Release Form.

Redactions of Copyright and Sensitive Material

Some third party or sensitive material that is integral to the research in the thesis, and necessary for the thesis examination, may not be permitted for use in an online, open access thesis. Where permission was not obtained for certain third party copyright materials or for culturally sensitive material (e.g. photos, images, tables, maps, diagrams, quotes, other text, questionnaires, sacred information, transcripts, unpublished correspondence etc.) please indicate what these materials are and where they can be found in the thesis by completing a Thesis Publications, Copyright and Sensitivity Declaration. Library staff will assess the content and make redactions where necessary before making the thesis publicly available.

Thesis with Publications

If you have included publications (either as an author submitted/accepted manuscript or the final published version) as chapters or appendices in your thesis, you must complete a Thesis Publications, Copyright and Sensitivity Declaration. Library staff will assess the information provided and check whether or not the publications may be included in an open access thesis. If the publisher requires an embargo on the version you have included, Library staff will check and apply this while processing your thesis for ResearchOnline@JCU. If the publications are not permitted in an open access thesis, they will be redacted and a notice stating ‘Content has been removed due to copyright restrictions’ will be placed on the redacted pages. Please note: you should deposit any published or accepted/in press papers separately in ResearchOnline@JCU.

Thesis Embargoes

An embargo is a restriction placed on access to a work (or sections of a work) for a specified period of time. It is important to understand the embargo process before submitting your thesis for examination and to only apply an embargo when absolutely necessary, for an appropriate time frame.

If you decide to request an embargo it must be for 12 months or greater. You will need to write to the Dean, Graduate Research, outlining the reasons for a request to embargo your thesis, and this must be attached to the Submission and Release Form. Embargoes will only be granted by the Dean in compelling circumstances.

Compelling Criteria for Embargo Requests

  • A contractual obligation with a third party sponsor or agency that requires a restriction on access.
  • Release of the thesis may compromise the safety or wellbeing of the author or others.
  • Release of the thesis may compromise national security.
  • The thesis contains confidential legal, cultural or sensitive material.
  • A contractual requirement by a prospective publisher that the thesis is not publicly available. (Evidence must be provided from the publisher that their policy, or your contract with them, requires that the thesis is unavailable at the time of publication. Most journal publishers accept that the awarding institution will host the thesis publicly as an open access work. See also, Thesis with Publications section above)

If an Embargo is Approved

Library staff will check your public visibility preference (see options below) and will process your thesis for ResearchOnline@JCUaccordingly.

You should be mindful of your embargo expiration date. If your thesis has a restricted-access record in the repository, the system will automatically release your thesis for public access once the embargo expires. If your thesis has no public record, repository staff will create a publicly accessible record once the embargo expires. It is your responsibility to apply in writing to the Dean, Graduate Research, for an embargo extension at least one month before the current embargo expires if an extension is required.

Public Visibility of an Embargoed Thesis

As well as suggesting a specified duration for the embargo you must also select, on the Submission and Release Form, the level of public visibility of the thesis during the embargo period.

Repository record with thesis file restricted: A record for your embargoed thesis will be created in ResearchOnline@JCU. The public will only be able to see citation information, abstract, keywords etc. The full thesis file will be restricted until the embargo period expires, after which it will automatically become available as an open access document. Any member of the public who receives permission from the Dean, Graduate Research may be given read-only access by Library staff to theses with a visible repository record.

No public record: No public record of your thesis will be visible for the duration of the embargo. If you choose this option, you must include a justification in your embargo request to the Dean, Graduate Research.


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.

Hyperlinked Resources on this Page


HDR Thesis Preparation Guidelines

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Requirements

JCU Research Repository Policy

Open Access Libguide

ORCID create and link

Policy Glossary

Research Data JCU


Submission and Release Form

Theses LibGuide

Thesis Publications, Copyright and Sensitivity Declaration