Publishing work prior to submission

Students may include in their thesis work that has already been published, in part or in whole, but should consider the following copyright implications.



Publishing a paper in a journal or conference proceedings or chapter in a book may mean that the student has signed a copyright transfer agreement, by which they transfer the copyright to the publisher. Students should be aware when publishing that they can negotiate to keep their copyright, or to give a license to publish.

Some publishers allow students to retain certain rights, which might include reprinting the whole paper or part of the paper in a thesis. This should be confirmed with the publisher at the time of publication or they will need to write for permission retrospectively before submitting the eThesis. Students will need to document in their eThesis that they have permission from the publisher or have retained the right to publish the material.

If a student wishes to include a paper that has multiple authors, they will also need to obtain the permission of any co-authors before it can be incorporated into the eThesis.

Turnitin will identify any previous publication of the text in a journal or conference paper in the originality report. If the resubmission is accepted practice within a department and the student has retained the right to publish the article and obtained permission from the publisher and any co-authors, this match can be excluded from the results.

If any of the above conditions cannot be met, i.e. the publishers or a co-author does not give the necessary permission and/or resubmission of material is not accepted practice within a department, then the only alternative to embargoing the eThesis is to rewrite the material which they have authored and reference it appropriately in order to avoid self plagiarism. 

Students should ensure that they properly reference any published papers within their thesis, even if they are the author.

Publishing or posting research online

Academic publishing is growing and developing with new journals and publishing platforms emerging, many of them offering open access options. This has led to a rise in 'predatory publishing' - publications lacking in identifiable scholarship, academic rigour or credibility. Students are advised to check the credentials of any unfamiliar publisher or journal before proceeding to publish with them. Use the guidance from Think, Check, Submit.

Students may also be interested in Think, Check, Attend, which is a similar initiative aimed at helping students avoid fake or fraudulent conferences.

Students should also check they own any content before posting it on a social network or website. It is advisable not to post published papers or research that they intend to publish. The best way to make previously published research available online is through White Rose Research Online (WRRO) via myPublications, which can be accessed from the services menu in MUSE.

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