Research theses tend to be underused in scholarly communication; they have a very low visibility and are difficult to locate. The University of Salford requires that an electronic copy of all new research theses should be deposited in the University of Salford’s Institutional Repository (USIR). Any student who has submitted their declaration 1 form prior to this date will continue to submit under the old regulations.
Making research theses openly accessible through USIR aims to make them more discoverable and easier to access. The new system will therefore allow researchers to disseminate their scholarly work to a wider audience to the benefit of the University and themselves, as well as the wider research community.
By having a digital version openly accessible online, and readily searchable through Google and other search engines as well as the University of Salford’s Library Search, the visibility of a researcher is greatly enhanced and so is the research reputation of the University of Salford.
Using USIR as an e-Theses repository also aids the long-term preservation of research theses.
What is an electronic thesis?
An e-Thesis is an electronic version of a printed thesis, either scanned from print or converted directly from the word processed file into PDF format.
Who does the digital theses mandate apply to?
Any current or newly registered PhD student or masters by research student submitting their thesis after October 2012 will be required to submit one electronic copy into USIR as well as two print copies of their completed, corrected work. The courses referred to are;
- Doctor of Science (DSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
- Engineering Doctorate (EngD)
- Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
- Professional Doctorate (DProf)
- Doctor of the Built Environment (DBEnv)
- Doctor of Real Estate (DRealEst)
- Doctor of Construction Management (DConsMgt)
- Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
- Master of Science by Research (MSc)
- Master of Research (MRes)
- Master of Law (LLM)
What is USIR?
USIR is the University of Salford’s Institutional Repository. Effectively, it is an online database showcasing research that is carried out by researchers at the University of Salford. It is openly accessible to anyone with internet access from anywhere in the world. You do not need to be a member of the University of Salford to see theses in USIR and it does not require any username or password to see content.
Do I still have to submit a paper copy of my thesis?
Under the current Research Award Regulations you have to submit two paper copies as well as one electronic version of the final corrected version of your PhD or masters by research thesis.
How do I find my electronic thesis online?
University of Salford theses can be searched for via the Library Search which brings together all of the Library's collections and allows them to be accessed from a single interface, regardless of format, type or location. Major search engines such as Google and Yahoo will also find our digital theses.
Additionally, your thesis is stored securely and USIR uses persistent links which will stay live permanently to avoid the problem of broken or dead links. You will be able to quote the URL of your thesis in communications and in your CV and so make the thesis more discoverable to any potential employer or research colleague.
Benefits of depositing your thesis
By having a digital version openly accessible online, and readily searchable through Google and other search engines as well as the University of Salford’s Library Search, your visibility as a researcher is greatly enhanced and so is the research reputation of the University of Salford.
Using USIR as an e-Theses repository also aids the long-term preservation of research theses.
Is there a permanent way of linking to my thesis on USIR?
Once you deposit an electronic copy of your thesis in USIR you will receive an email with a unique identification number for your e-Thesis. This number is important so make sure you keep it somewhere safe. You will use it when you submit the two print copies of your final corrected thesis to indicate to the Student Information Directorate that you have fulfilled the requirement to deposit an electronic copy in USIR. Once the exam board meets and your degree is awarded, the USIR team will receive notification that we can now make your record live and openly accessible. At this point, your thesis will be given a persistent URL – a permanent web address for your thesis and you will be sent an email giving you this address.
USIR uses persistent links which will stay live permanently to avoid the problem of broken or dead links. You will be able to quote the URL of your thesis in communications and in your CV and so make the thesis more discoverable to any potential employer or research colleague.
Where do I submit an electronic copy of my thesis?
Go to http://usir.salford.ac.uk/etheses/ from where you will be able to login and start the deposit process.
How do I log on to USIR?
You log on to USIR using your University of Salford username and password - you will then be taken to your homepage, where you should select ‘manage deposits’ and ‘new item’ to deposit your item.
Please remember that you do not need to log on to USIR to access research theses and papers. You only need to log on to USIR when you wish to submit a research paper, your thesis or other research outputs.
What file formats do I need to use?
Only digital items will be accepted (currently resources are not available to offer a digitisation service). If material is not able to be provided in a digital format we will accept an electronic image (for example, a photograph of a statue).
File types currently supported by USIR are:
|HTML||Postscript||Rich text (RTF)|
|Microsoft Excel||Image (JPEG)||Image (GIF)|
|Image (TIFF)||Video (QuickTime)||Video (WMV)|
|Archive (TGZ)||Audio (WAV)||Audio (OGG)|
|Audio (WMA)||PDF / PDF/A||Plain text|
|Microsoft PowerPoint||Microsoft Word||Image (PNG)|
|Image (BMP)||Video (MPEG)||Video (AVI)|
|Video (MP4)||Video (AVCHD)||N3|
|Archive (BZ2)||Archive (ZIP)||Audio (MP3)|
While the above list represents the preferred formats, all file types will be considered for acceptance (some older, obsolete and obscure file formats may present compatibility problems. In such cases USIR staff will contact the depositor).
Files may be converted to more common /current formats by USIR staff for compatibility (cross platform) reasons.
How do I create a PDF?
Once you have collated all the pages of your thesis you need to convert it into a PDF file. You can use Word to do this.
- Go to File
- Then Save As
- And select PDF or XPS
Note: The PDF conversion in Word may have trouble saving some characters, such as diacritics and formulas. If this happens, you may need to use Adobe Acrobat. The USIR team can help with this – you can contact them at: email@example.com
Can I submit related multimedia files?
Yes. Under a single USIR e-Thesis record you can submit a number of elements.
If the Regulations allow and if your supervisor agrees it is appropriate to do so, your thesis may include 3-d models, audio or video files, musical scores, computer data or various other formats.
How do I submit multimedia files in the recommended formats?
Multimedia files can be uploaded to USIR in exactly the same way as text files – when you get to the ‘Upload’ page of the deposit form, browse and select the required files, and click ’Upload’. The format should be automatically recognised, however if it is not, please select the relevant option from the drop-down list.
Are there limits to the size of files I can submit?
No - There are no set limits, but dependant on your internet connection you may find it difficult to upload very large files, and similarly users may find it difficult to download them. If you have any problems uploading, try splitting your files into two (or more) smaller files, and upload them one after another on the same record. Please add a note in the ‘Description’ field beneath each file to clearly label the contents.
Are there limits to the number of files I can submit?
No. As you are required to submit your complete thesis into USIR, if there are separate parts to your thesis or even a combination of text and multimedia files then these will all need to be uploaded into the same record.
What is metadata and why is it required?
Metadata literally means 'data about data' and is all the information that describes your thesis. You will be asked to provide certain pieces of applicable metadata about your thesis during your submission. These are: Item type, Title, Thesis type (qualification), Author, Status, Date, Institution, Department, and School.
The abstract field isn’t currently mandatory but it is advisable to include a succinct summary of your thesis. It will assist other researchers who are sifting through references to better highlight research that is of particular interest to them.
A good metadata record for a thesis improves its visibility on the web by providing search terms that readers can use when locating your thesis.
Will I get an acknowledgement confirming my submission?
Yes. The USIR team will send you an email acknowledgement with a unique USIR e-thesis ID number for your electronic thesis. You need to enter this number on the “Declaration 2 Form – Declaration for submission of hardbound thesis (final version)” which will enable the Student Administration to confirm that you have fulfilled the award criteria before the Postgraduate Research Awards Board is able to confirm your award.
Do I need to inform the Student Information Directorate once I have submitted my e-Thesis?
Yes. The USIR team will send you an email acknowledgement with a unique USIR e-thesis ID number for your electronic thesis. You need to enter this number on the “Declaration 2 Form – Declaration for submission of hardbound thesis (final version)” which will enable Student Administration to confirm that you have fulfilled the award criteria before the Postgraduate Research Awards Board is able to confirm your award.
What happens after I have deposited my thesis/dissertation?
When you submit the two hardbound copies of the final version of your thesis along with Declaration 2 Form – Declaration for submission of hardbound thesis (final version), Student Administration will use the unique USIR e-thesis ID number that you have entered on your form to look at the full electronic version you have submitted. They need to check all your copies carefully (both print and electronic) to confirm that you have fulfilled the award criteria before the Postgraduate Research Awards Board is able to confirm your award.
Where can I get help to submit my thesis?
Will deposit affect the copyright of my thesis?
All works, even unpublished ones, are protected by copyright.
The University, initially, owns the copyright to theses submitted. It does so to ensure that the intellectual property in the thesis and any commercial value contained therein is protected on behalf of the author and, where applicable, the University. In the majority of cases, the thesis will have little or no commercial value and in such instances the University will readily assign copyright to the author. Where there is significant, realisable commercial value, the University will work with the author to ensure that it is exploited as advantageously as possible and that where the University has a legitimate claim, the appropriate division of income is agreed with the author. (For enquiries about how to request having copyright assigned to you, please contact the IP Commercialisation team).
Once submitted and it has been made live your thesis will be discoverable via Library Search (the University of Salford’s single search interface for resources). It will be openly accessible via Library Search and the internet more generally.
When you make your thesis electronically available by depositing it in USIR you are putting it into the “public domain”. Although technically it is still an unpublished work, some commercial publishers may take a different view and this may have an impact if, in the future you wish to publish your thesis as a book, or publish individual chapters as journal articles.
A few commercial publishers will not accept work that has been published or otherwise put into the public domain previously, so if you are intending to publish your thesis in future you are advised to request a moratorium (embargo) being placed on it. If your request is granted then even though you deposit it in USIR, access will be restricted for an initial period of two years. After that period, annual extensions will be considered up to five years in total on application.
(Please also be aware that to have a journal article published you do not have to sign over the copyright to the publisher. The SPARC website has lots of useful information about your rights as an author: http://www.arl.org/sparc/author/index.shtml). The USIR team can also provide help and advice on matters of copyright.
Using 3rd Party copyrighted material
While you were researching and writing your thesis you will have made use of many copyrighted items: books, journal articles, reports, etc. and possibly illustrative material such as images, graphs, tables, and maps. “Fair dealing” allows the use of this material for the purposes of study, research and examination, so as a research student, you can use this material in your thesis without infringing copyright.
However, this refers to the two bound copies which you will deposit with the University. By depositing an electronic copy in USIR you are effectively making someone else’s intellectual property freely available online – and it may be necessary for you to seek copyright permission. See below for guidance.Written material: short extracts
In your thesis, and especially in your literature review, you will have referred to the writing of others. This will include direct quotations, paraphrases and summaries of other authors’ ideas. Generally, these will be short extracts from a number of different sources. Because you are only using a small proportion of the source you do not need to seek copyright permission for this material – but bear the following in mind:
- You must acknowledge this material correctly, in citations and a bibliography, in an appropriate reference style for your discipline (your supervisor can advise you about which style to use). A bibliographic management tool such as EndNote will help you reference information correctly. This is freely available on-campus, and the Library provide training courses throughout the year.
There are instances where you may need to quote long extracts from a copyrighted source, for example, your whole thesis might be about the work of an author or composer. A general rule is that if you use more than 1% of the original work you should seek copyright permission.Illustrative material
As with written material, fair dealing means that you can use illustrative material, such as photos, diagrams, tables, charts, graphs and maps, in your bound thesis without breaching copyright. With a copy of your thesis being electronically available in USIR you should seek copyright permission to use this material.
Remember, if the creator of the work you are citing or reproducing has been dead for over seventy years, copyright will have expired and you will not need to seek permission to use it.
Obtaining 3rd party copyright permission
If you need to obtain copyright permission for any third party material, do it as soon as you decide you want to use the material – try to avoid leaving it all until you are writing up. It may take some time to obtain permission, and you don’t want to add to your stress load.
To seek copyright permission you must contact the rights holder. This might be an author, illustrator, composer, etc., or the publisher. For material you have found in books and journal articles, contact the publisher. Look at the publisher’s website – look for a link called something like copyright or permissions. This should provide you with details of their copyright policies, and a contact address.
You must put your copyright request in writing. Be as clear as you can about identifying exactly what it is you wish to use. The publisher’s website might have an online permission request form, which you should use. If not, write a letter or send an email. Below is an example of the wording you might use.
I am a PhD [or appropriate degree] Candidate at the University of Salford.
I am contacting you to seek permission to include the following material within my thesis:
[Provide as much detail as you can about what it is you wish to use, for example, author, date, title, journal title, page numbers, description if it is an image, etc.]
Following completion of my degree I will make my thesis electronically available in the University of Salford's Institutional Repository, USIR: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/. USIR is an open access, non-commercial repository.
If you are not the rights holder for this material I would be grateful if you would advise me who to contact.
Do not expect an immediate response. If you have heard nothing after about six weeks you should write to the publisher again.
If 3rd party copyright permission is granted
Keep a copy of any letters or emails you receive from the rights holder. Indicate that copyright permission has been granted at the appropriate place in your thesis, for example, if you have used an image, add a footnote or caption stating “Permission to reproduce this [image] has been granted by [publisher/author name].
Remember that you must also acknowledge the reproduced material fully, in the appropriate style, in a citation and reference list.
If 3rd party copyright permission is denied
It is possible that permission will not be granted. You might receive notification that you cannot use the copyrighted material, or you might not hear anything at all. Either way, you will not be able to use the copyrighted material in an electronic version of your thesis. Please remember that copyright fair dealing allows you to use it in your bound copy - so you can still use the information you need and write the thesis you want.
You might be asked to pay to use the copyrighted material. If this happens, instead of paying you may want to consider depositing an edited version (see separate FAQ Depositing an edited version).
If you have used third party copyrighted material in your thesis, for which permission has been denied, you must still submit your complete thesis in USIR. However, if third party copyright cannot be obtained then it will be retained in the repository but access to it will be restricted indefinitely. If you are in this position but would still like your work to be published you may deposit an edited copy (with the copyrighted material removed) if you wish.
Depositing an edited version
If you still wish to make your thesis available in electronic form, you may deposit an edited version of it.
Please note that this is in addition to your final, complete electronic copy.
Save a second copy of your thesis - this must be a copy of the final passed version with all corrections included. Give this file a different name to the first version.
The first version is your complete thesis, including any copyright-restricted or confidential material, which is the one you will have hard-bound and deposited in the Library.
Edit the second version:
- If you have used images, etc. for which you do not have copyright permission, remove the image and replace it with a placeholder stating, for example: Diagram [image/chart/graph, map etc.] removed due to copyright restrictions.
- Do not remove your caption. This describes what the image was, and will make your edited thesis more meaningful to read (see example).
- Try to make the placeholder the same size as the image it replaces. This will keep the formatting of your original thesis intact, and avoid any problems with page numbering, contents page, etc.
- If your thesis contains confidential information you may need to remove whole pages or a whole chapter. In this case you should still leave placeholders where the information has been removed, and if possible, a description of what has been removed. Do not make this description so explicit that it breaches the original confidentiality.
- Once you have removed all the copyright-restricted and/or confidential material from your thesis, have a look at what is left. Is your document now riddled with holes, with much of its meaning and substance gone? If so, it might be preferable not to deposit an electronic copy.
- If you have a substantial amount of confidential information in your thesis you might find it necessary to restrict access to the entire document. Please see the next section, Placing a moratorium on your thesis, for information about this.
Restricting access to your thesis
Placing a moratorium on your thesis means that you can delay the time when it is made available.
As the author you may request that a moratorium be imposed preventing the consultation, loan and copying of the thesis for an initial period of not more than two years from the date the Award was conferred. The period of moratorium may be extended for further periods each not exceeding one year at the discretion of the College Research and Innovation Committee provided that the total period of the moratorium does not exceed five years.
You can request a moratorium on your thesis at the time you submit your three soft bound copies for examination. A special form is available from Student Administration; it must be signed by your supervisor and the Director of your Research Centre.
Some reasons why you might consider requesting a moratorium:
- Your thesis has been commercially sponsored, or carried out with an industrial partner, and you have signed an agreement stating that the research must remain confidential for a given number of years.
- You, your sponsor or the University has filed (or intends to file) a patent application based on a new discovery or method revealed by your research.
- Your thesis includes information that was obtained under a promise of confidentiality and disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of confidence.
- Your thesis contains personal information, for which disclosure would breach the Data Protection Act or otherwise endanger the health and safety of an individual.
- The material in your thesis is due for publication (either in book or journal article form), and making your thesis available electronically would be in breach of your contract with your publisher.
A moratorium means that the USIR team will not make your thesis available until after the stipulated time. (Normally, a thesis is made live and publicly accessible immediately after graduation.)