Top Five Referencing Tips for publishing your thesis online: this document, below, outlines some of the most important things to remember when doing your research and writing up your thesis. Bear in mind that when your thesis has been passed by the examiners, it is usual for it to be put in City's institutional repository, City Research Online, from where it is also made publicly available online.
It is important therefore that all material that you have used from other sources is properly referenced, as authors whose work has influenced you can expect to be given credit by you. More detail can be found on the pages in this section of the Guide (see the menu on the left).
It is now normal practice to include completed PhD theses on our institutional repository, City Research Online, and they will also become available on the British Library service EThOS. This benefits you and society as it makes your research available to a worldwide audience. (They can be withheld temporarily or permanently if there is a good reason to, subject to approval.)
However, it is important to be aware of copyright considerations from an early stage in your research, as you go about selecting material for inclusion in your thesis, otherwise this may be problematic. It is permissible to use a certain amount of copyrighted material in your thesis for criticism and review (see box below), and for illustration. However, it is important that an excessive amount is not used from any one work, as well as material that is not strictly necessary.
If using material from archives:
It is normal practice for checks to be carried out by Library staff to ensure that there is no material in theses made available online that may infringe copyright or any other laws when made publicly available online. In some cases, you may find it necessary to put material into the assessed version of your thesis that cannot be included in the version that is placed on City Research Online. We recognise that this is unavoidable, but we will need to discuss this with you.
It may be necessary for us to blank out (redact) certain material when the thesis is made available online. We will notify you if we feel this is necessary, explain the specific reasons, and discuss this with you if necessary.
We aim to upload your thesis to City Research Online within a month of receipt by the library, unless we need to discuss copyright issues with you, in which case we aim to contact you about this within this time.
If you are still unsure, contact the Copyright Librarian for advice.
You will need to contact the rights holder which may be an author, illustrator, photographer, translator, composer, or other creator. For material from books and journals, the copyright holder will usually be the publishers and their website should list a contact address or mailbox, sometimes with information on seeking permission. Look for a section entitled "rights", "copyright clearance" or "permissions".
You will also need to ask permission of any archive where you reproduce material held by them, adjusting the sample text below accordingly.
Ask for permission in writing, by letter or e-mail. Here is some sample text which you may use:
Keep a record of any letters or e-mails you receive granting you permission and indicate that permission has been granted at the appropriate place in your thesis, for example: "This [item] has been reproduced with the permission of…". The template linked to at the bottom of this box may be of use in keeping records.
If you do need to include certain copyrighted material in your thesis but do not receive permission to do so, you may need to omit it from the open access version. Remember that it is not an infringement to include third-party copyright material in the version of your thesis which gets passed to your examiners. Doing this will have no bearing on the outcome of your examination.
Bear in mind that if your permission request receives no reply, this does not mean that you are permitted to use the material.