Contribute your thesis

The University maintains a collection of online ANU theses in its Open Research repository. The University supports the wide dissemination of ANU research into the academic and wider community, and all theses deposited in Open Research appear in the National Library of Australia's Trove service and are discoverable by search engines such as Google.

Your thesis is a major research output, and there are many benefits to making your thesis available open access.

To support the University's commitment to open access to research, the University requires a copy of all Higher Degree by Research student theses and all Undergraduate Honours theses receiving a mark of First Class, to be deposited in Open Research.

NOTE: If you have submitted your thesis via the Thesis Submission eform in ISIS please do not use this form, as your thesis will be automatically deposited in to Open Research once your award has been granted. For further information please refer to Submitting a thesis.

Requesting permission

It is your responsibility to request permission for third-party materials that you wish to appear in the online version of your thesis.  You should allow a significant amount of time for the request process, as it often takes many months to confirm permissions.

Your requests to copyright owners for permission should explain that the work will be included in a thesis that is required to be made publicly available online. Contact details are often included on publishers' web sites and forms for copyright permission requests are occasionally available as well.

If no form is provided, this ANU template can be used to request permission.

You should retain copies of permissions for your own records. Copies of permissions do not need to be submitted to ANU.

If permission has not been obtained by the time your thesis is to be submitted to Open Research, please remove the materials for which permission was not received from the public version of your thesis. In the place of the redacted material/s, you may include a short statement, such as: Figure (Text/Chart/Diagram etc.) has been removed due to copyright restrictions.” 

If possible, include a reference or a link to the source of the material to enable readers to access the removed content.

Thesis by publication

If you are submitting or have submitted your thesis by publication, you must obtain publishers' permission to include each publication in the public version of your thesis in ANU Open Research. Often in your agreement with the journal or book publisher, you have assigned them all rights to the work, although each publisher's policy differs.

When submitting your request to the publisher:

  • Put your request in writing
    • Check to see if the publisher has an online permission form on their website
    • If the publisher does not have a form, this ANU template can be used to request permission
  • Tell them the amount of the work you wish to use
  • State clearly that you are seeking permission to use the work for non-commercial purposes
  • Be conscious that the copyright owner has the right to say no
  • Be aware that a copyright owner may charge a fee or ask you to sign a licence agreement
  • Allow plenty of time, as it may take months for the permission to be granted

If permission has not been obtained at the time your thesis is submitted, please remove the materials for which permission was not received from the public version of your thesis. In the place of the redacted materials, you may include a short statement, such as: "Publication has been removed due to copyright restrictions.” 

If possible, include a reference or a link to the source of the material to enable readers to access the removed content.

Restricting access to your thesis

If you wish to restrict access to all, or part of your thesis you can elect to do so, for up to 12 months, as part of the online submission process. If, after that period, you require an extension to that restriction you will need to make a new application. In the case of a Higher Degree by Research thesis, approval is required from the Dean, Higher Degree Research and can be sought by filling out an Extension of Thesis Restriction of Access Request Form or emailing If approved, the Open Research team will be notified and restrict access to the online version of your thesis in line with the decision made.

For an Undergraduate Honours thesis, please send an email to the Head of School, detailing the reasons for the extension of the restriction and the time period being sought. If your request for an extension is approved please send a copy of the approval email to and we will action the restriction approval accordingly.

Concerns over publication refusal and plagiarism

Increasingly publishers across a range of disciplines are willing to accept submission for books, or journal articles, where the associated thesis is available via open access. This is also been proven by a number of studies:

It is also worthwhile noting that by publishing your thesis open access it will make it available to more potential publishers, as indicated by Harvard University Press Assistant Editor Brian Distelberg in his blog posting 'Can't Find It, Can't Sign It: On Dissertation Embargoes

"I'm always looking out for exciting new scholarship that might make for a good book, whether in formally published journal articles and conference programs, or in the conversation on Twitter and in the history blogosphere, or in conversations with scholars I meet. And so, to whatever extent open access to a dissertation increases the odds of its ideas being read and discussed more widely, I tend to think it increases the odds of my hearing about them."

ANU graduate Barbara Dawson successfully published a book through the prestigious ANU Press, based on her PhD thesis "In the eye of the beholder : representations of Australian Aborigines in the published works of colonial women writers'

Depositing your thesis in an open access repository such as the University's Open Research repository establishes your identity as the author and makes it much more difficult for others to claim your work as their own. 

Useful videos and blog posts