Your thesis, copyright and ORA – do you know what to do?

If you are an Oxford DPhil, you are probably aware that you are required to deposit a digital copy of your thesis in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA).    Once deposited, your thesis will be embargoed for a short period, but after that it will be become publicly available as an open access thesis.

Making your thesis open access brings lots of benefits not only to other researchers and the public who can benefit from your research but also to you in terms of raising your visibility and impact.  However, it also carries responsibilities. In particular, if you have included materials such as pictures for which you are not the copyright holder, you will need to get permission to reproduce them.    You may be surprised to learn that this not only applies to the more obvious items like pictures, but also to materials that you have authored yourself (e.g. journal articles) if the copyright belongs to a third party such as a publisher.  Our top tip is to be aware of copyright issues as early as possible in your research, as getting permissions as you go along is usually much easier than leaving it until you have finished your thesis.

In addition, if your thesis includes sensitive or confidential material, you may need to apply for a dispensation from consultation for the whole or part of your thesis so that it does not become public.

To find out more about how to handle copyright and sensitive data in your digital thesis, and how to prepare it for depositing in ORA, come along to Bodleian iSkills: Your thesis, copyright and ORA on Tuesday 10 October at the Social Science Library.     Please note that although the session is free, booking is essential.

Book now for Bodleian iSkills: Your thesis, copyright and ORA (Tuesday 10 October 10.00-11.00)