About UCT

DSpace/Manakin Repository

  • >

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

What is an ETD?

What is open access, and how does it apply to my ETD?

Does UCT have an Open Access Policy?

What is an institutional repository and does UCT have one?

What are benefits to having my ETD in OpenUCT?

What is copyright?

Who owns the copyright of my ETD in OpenUCT?

What protection would I have if I want to commercialise (for example, patenting) my ETD?

Will having my thesis or dissertation in OpenUCT at the time of graduation compromise my ability to publish the research in a journal at any future point?

Can I defer or otherwise limit the release of my thesis or dissertation?

My research findings are sensitive and the data is confidential. I do not want my ETD available in OpenUCT

Isn’t it true that having my ETD freely available online can reduce my chances of securing a book deal and/or publishing portions as journal articles?

Will my thesis/ dissertation be easily plagiarised because it is available online?

There is an error in my thesis, what do I do?

What is an ETD?

An ETD is an Electronic Thesis or Dissertation, which allows for the creation, submission, and dissemination of post-graduate research in digital form. The components and structure of an ETD are essentially the same as a traditional paper thesis/dissertation.  It should be noted that the thesis/dissertation is an artefact of the examination process and it is not a publication or publishing. 

What is open access, and how does it apply to my ETD?

Articles, books, theses and dissertations are said to be ‘open access’ when they are “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions." By making the ETD open access, the ETD is made available to the widest audience possible in repositories, such as OpenUCT.  Visibility is enhanced as anyone with access to the internet can view and download your thesis/dissertation.

Does UCT have an Open Access Policy?

In June 2014, UCT adopted an Open Access Policy, which showed its commitment to preserving the scholarly work of UCT scholars and making this scholarship discoverable, visible and freely available online to anyone who seeks it. The delegated authority to manage the implementation of the Policy is UCT Libraries.

What is an institutional repository and does UCT have one?

UCT has an institutional repository, called OpenUCT. The repository is the collection of the research and teaching output of the institution and is freely available online. The express purpose is to share UCT’s scholarly output with the widest audience possible.

What are benefits to having my ETD in OpenUCT?

  • A persistent link is automatically assigned to the thesis file, which will not change and can be used in an e-mail signature, added to a CV or added on social networking sites, such as ResearchGate and Academica.edu.
  • ETDs are easily discovered in search engines like Google Scholar or Yahoo and are fully indexed.
  • Creative possibilities are expanded, since more vivid diagrams, maps, hyperlinks, audio, video, animation, etc. can be incorporated into the document.

What is copyright?

Copyright is the law of authorship. Under copyright owners control the reproduction, distribution, performance and display of their works. A wide range of works can be copyrighted: literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pictorial, sculptural works, motion pictures, sound recordings and computer code.

Who owns the copyright of my ETD in OpenUCT? 

As the author of your thesis/dissertation, you own the copyright, and making your ETD available in OpenUCT will not change that.  Although the student retains copyright, in terms of the Open Access Policy, UCT is granted the right to make your ETD publically available in the repository (Rule GP8).

What protection would I have if I want to commercialise (for example, patenting) my ETD? 

The ETD will be deferred or a prescribed period of up to 24 months before it is available in full text in the repository. However, the metadata and the abstract will be available immediately after graduation. When  IP  protection is required, an amended abstract that will not compromise IP should be provided by the candidate and his/her supervisor.

Will having my thesis or dissertation in OpenUCT at the time of graduation compromise my ability to publish the research in a journal at any future point?

No: the online availability of your thesis or dissertation in OpenUCT must be seen in the same light as placing it on the open library shelves. It does not compromise your ability to publish it in monograph form or to publish from it in the form of journal articles.

Can I defer or otherwise limit the release of my thesis or dissertation?

Most students will want to make their ETD available as soon, and as widely, as possible, but some may want to delay or limit their release. This is commonly referred to as deferred publication (that is, the ETD will only appear in full text in the repository after a prescribed period) and may be appropriate when you want to prepare work for publication from your ETD. 

Your supervisor, with your approval, can request a deferment of your thesis/dissertation, prior to graduation, for 6, 12 or 24 months from the date of conferment of your degree. Once determined, this period of deferment cannot be extended. The metadata describing the thesis/dissertation and the abstract will be available in OpenUCT immediately after conferment of degree.

The publication of MBA minor dissertations will also be deferred for 6, 12 or 24 months from the date of conferment of the degree, where company in-house information had been provided on the basis that it would not enter the public domain for a prescribed period.

My research findings are sensitive and the data is confidential. I do not want my ETD available in OpenUCT.

Research findings should be in the public domain, but in rare instances, if the findings are sensitive, the ETD will not be publically available in OpenUCT. The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) has to approve this recommendation by the faculty’s ethics committee. A hard copy will to be placed in the UCT Libraries’ Special Collections. This copy will not be circulated. A decision will be made by SEC whether the metadata and abstract will be available in OpenUCT or not.

Isn’t it true that having my ETD freely available online can reduce my chances of securing a book deal and/or publishing portions as journal articles?

It should be noted that the thesis/dissertation is an artefact of the examination process..   If you are concerned that having your thesis/dissertation online would impact your ability to later publish from it, studies of publisher practices have shown that this is not the case. Publishers recognise that work described in theses/dissertations is often preliminary and may require additional research and writing before it can be submitted to the journal. In a 2011 Publisher's Survey, only 6% of monograph publishers and 3% of journal editors would "never" consider a work derived from a publicly available ETD. If you have concerns, you can defer your thesis/dissertation for up to two years.

Will my thesis/ dissertation be easily plagiarised because it is available online?

It is difficult to prevent plagiarism of print or ETDs effectively but it is easier to detect plagiarism when theses/dissertations are made available online. It is possible to find text snippets by entering them into a search engine, such as Google, and plagiarism detection software like Turnitin compares work against freely available internet sources such as open access theses/dissertations.

There is an error in my ETD, what do I do?  

The Libraries cannot revise or replace ETDs that have been accepted as the final approved research output. In such instances, the Libraries would have to be instructed by an appropriate authority, such as the Dean in the case of a Masters’ or the Doctoral Degrees Board in the case of a doctoral degree, to allow a student to make changes to the version available online in the repository.

Institutional Repository

What are the benefits of an institutional repository?

What type of scholarly output can I add to OpenUCT?

How easy is it to place my scholarly work in the repository?

What is a Creative Commons licence?

Will publishers allow me to place my article in a repository?

What do I do when the publisher’s embargo period is different to that of the funder’s embargo?

What does the NRF require from the UCT grant holder in terms of articles published as per the grant requirement?

Can I submit my datasets to OpenUCT?

How can I be sure that placing my article in a repository will actually make it more widely available?

I put my published papers on my own/departmental website, so why should I deposit them in a repository?

I am new to the University; can I add my previous work to OpenUCT?

What are the benefits of an institutional repository?

An institutional repository benefits the institution, the researcher and anyone interested in scholarly outputs. From an institutional perspective it provides a record of scholarly activity taking place within the university. For a researcher, it creates stable and reliable records of your work, managed and stored in ways which meet international technical standards. Each item in the repository has a unique Internet address (called a Handle) and it can be found easily on major search engines.

What type of scholarly output can I add to OpenUCT?

The Repository includes:

  • Journal articles, authored or edited books, book chapters
  • Conference papers, textbooks
  • Working papers, policy briefs and technical reports
  • Teaching and learning materials and OERs such as lecture slides and course notes.
  • UCT’s electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).

Authors should use SHERPA/RoMEO to confirm individual publisher copyright policies and permissions.

How easy is it to place my scholarly work in the repository?

Follow the steps in the OpenUCT submission guidelines. If you have any enquiries please send us an email.

What is a Creative Commons licence?

UCT’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy states that it vests copyright in most work produced by its employees back in the creator. As the copyright owner of the work, you get to decide how it is distributed and what others can and cannot do with it. Creative Commonswebsite provides a set of licences, which allow you as a creator to tell potential users of your copyright work how they can use it. They come with various provisions and levels of ‘openness’, and are a valuable tool for protecting both your rights as a creator and the rights of users and consumers of your work. You can find out more about copyright generally and your IP rights as a UCT employee at the UCT Research Contracts and Intellectual Property Services page.

Will publishers allow me to place my article in a repository?

Most journal publishers now allow authors to deposit their papers in repositories. However, many publishers request that you DO NOT use the publisher version. You can negotiate with publishers to keep certain rights to your work, such as the right to redistribute, via an ‘author addendum to publication agreement’. Some publishers have an embargo period between publication and deposit in a repository. The SHERPA/RoMEO website gives details of publisher's current policies on self-archiving and copyright.

What do I do when the publisher’s embargo period is different to that of the funder’s embargo?

If there is no agreement with the publisher on the embargo period then the publishers prescribed embargo period applies. Authors are urged to negotiate with the publisher via an ‘author addendum to publication agreement’ granting the publisher distribution rights.  In this way, the author retains copyright and gives the publisher rights to distribute the article. You make seek assistance from the Libraries in this regard.

What does the NRF require from the UCT grant holder in terms of articles published as per the grant requirement?

The NRF recommends that the grant holder make the articles available, in full text, accessible via an institutional repository (at UCT, the repository is OpenUCT). The NRF stipulates that the research data is preserved by the grant holder’s institution.

Can I submit my datasets to OpenUCT?

There are practical considerations to keep in mind: for example, if your files are very large, users might have trouble downloading them. UCT Libraries will offer services and information relating to data management planning. If you have a dataset you would like (or if it is a funders’ requirement) to archive and/or make available to the public, please contact UCT Libraries and we will work together to determine the best way to do that.

How can I be sure that placing my article in a repository will actually make it more widely available?

Internationally agreed standards for repositories ensure that they are interoperable. Metadata in a format compliant with the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) can be collected into databases of worldwide research, which users can then search.

I put my published papers on my own/departmental website, so why should I deposit them in a repository?

First, your paper will be easier for others to find if it is in a repository using general search engines, such as Google, and academic search engines, such as Google Scholar and Oaister. Second, the repository will offer services you might otherwise find difficult or time consuming to access. For example, it is has better schemes for archiving and curation (digital preservation) than personal or departmental web pages. Third, the information held in a repository can be mined for a variety of purposes, for example, bibliometric analysis.

I am new to the University; can I add my previous work to OpenUCT?

The repository, OpenUCT, is intended to be a showcase of research undertaken at the University of Cape Town or by scholars associated with the University. We recommend that you deposit earlier work in the repositories of the institutions where you have previous affiliations.

Open Access Publications Fund

Does UCT fund open access journal publications?

What are the criteria to apply to the Open Access Journal Publication Fund?

Does UCT fund open access journal publications?

UCT Libraries oversees the Open Access Journal Publication Fund and awards publishing fees if all the criteria have been met.

What are the criteria to apply to the Open Access Journal Publication Fund?

  • Applications may only be made once the article has been accepted for publication.
  • Only UCT-affiliated corresponding authors may make an application.
  • Applicants who are beneficiaries of financial support for the publication of research, DO NOT qualify for funding.
  • The journal should be part of the Department of Higher Education and Training list of accredited journals.
  • UCT authors must represent a minimum of 25 of the total number of authors of the article.

The Open Access Journal Publication Fund is available for 2015 applications.

Open Educational Resources

What are Open Education Resources?

Where do I find Open Education Resources?

Where do I share my Open Education Resources?


What are Open Education Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OERs) can be briefly defined as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and/or re-purposing by others”. Adapted from:Open Educational Resources, Hewlett Foundation

The most frequently used intellectual property rights mechanism used to indicate the permissions for the creation and re-use of OER are the Creative Commons licenses which allow for reuse (copying), revision (customisation, including translation), remixing (or combination) with other materials and redistribution of the original or adapted materials.

Where do I find Open Education Resources?

Open Education Resources (OERs) have been made available through a range of OER global initiatives, repositories and portals (e.g. MIT Open CoursewareOpen University’s OpenLearnWashington State’s Open Course Library and the Open Education Consortium. In South Africa there are a growing number of OER initiatives, repositories and/or portals (e.g. OpenUCT has OERs in its institutional repository).

Where do I share my Open Education Resources?

Lecturers can produce their own Open Education Resources (OERs) individually or work with colleagues in the institution to design, create and curate (i.e. store and make visible through accurate meta-data) OER on an institutional websites, open repositories and/or cloud-based services.

You can contribute in the following ways:

  1. Contribute to the institutional repository, OpenUCT
  2. Select an open repository: Various repositories welcome contributions from multiple locations. JORUM, for example, welcomes submissions that support the British curriculum at further and higher education levels. OER Commons has a facility to allow users to contribute materials.
  3. Build the OER online: It is also possible to build a resource online. A few sites that encourage development of OER within their online environments. They can then automate processes such as acquiring a Creative Commons licence and adding the resource to the database. Two examples are Connexions and WikiEducator.
  4. Exploit social networks. The world of social networking has also opened new possibilities for publishing OER online. A site such as Flickr allows its users to publish photographic materials with Creative Commons licenses, while YouTube allows the same for digital video materials.

NRF FAQs

 

What is an institutional repository and does UCT have one?

UCT has an institutional repository, called OpenUCT. The repository is the collection of the research and teaching output of the institution and is freely available online. The express purpose is to share UCT’s scholarly output with the widest audience possible.

What are the benefits of an institutional repository?

An institutional repository benefits the institution, the researcher and anyone interested in scholarly outputs. From an institutional perspective it provides a record of scholarly activity taking place within the university. For a researcher, it creates stable and reliable records of your work, managed and stored in ways which meet international technical standards. Each item in the repository has a unique Internet address (called a Handle) and it can be found easily on major search engines.

Will publishers allow me to place my article in a repository?

Most journal publishers now allow authors to deposit their papers in repositories. However, many publishers request that you DO NOT use the publisher’s version (version of record). If a publisher does not allow the publisher’s version in the repository, authors are urged to negotiate with via an ‘author addendum to publication agreement’ granting the publisher distribution rights.  Some publishers have an embargo period between publication and deposit in a repository. The SHERPA/RoMEO website gives details of publisher's current policies on self-archiving and copyright. The NRF encourages the post-print in an institutional repository.

How can I be sure that placing my article in a repository will actually make it more widely available? Users of other repositories need to be able to access my paper and I need to access theirs

Internationally agreed standards for repositories ensure that they are interoperable. Metadata in a format compliant with the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) can be collected into databases of worldwide research, which users can then search.

Can I submit my datasets to OpenUCT?

UCT Libraries will offer services and information relating to data management planning. If you have a dataset you would like (or if it is a funders’ requirement) to archive and/or make available to the public, please contact UCT Libraries and we’ll work together to determine the best way to do that.

What does the NRF require from the UCT grant holder in terms of articles published as per the grant requirement?

From 1 March 2015, the NRF mandates that the grant holder make the articles available, in full text, accessible via an institutional repository (at UCT, the repository is OpenUCT). The NRF stipulates that the research data is preserved by the grant holder’s institution.  

What do I do when the publisher’s embargo period is different to that of the funder’s embargo?

If there is no agreement with the publisher on the embargo period then the publishers prescribed embargo period applies. Authors are urged to negotiate with the publisher via an ‘author addendum to publication agreement’ granting the publisher distribution rights.  In this way, the author retains copyright and gives the publisher rights to distribute the article. You make seek assistance from the Libraries in this regard.