Publishing work prior to submission

You should be aware that the University does not permit the submission of theses comprised solely of published papers.  You may, however, include in your thesis some of your own work that has already been published, in part or in whole, but should take into consideration the following copyright implications.

Publishing a paper in a journal or conference proceedings or chapter in a book may mean that you have signed a copyright transfer agreement, by which you transfer the copyright to the publisher. Be aware when publishing that you can negotiate to keep your copyright, or to give a licence to publish.  Some publishers allow you to retain certain rights, which might include reprinting the whole paper or part of the paper in a thesis. Make sure that you confirm this with the publisher at the time of publication or you will need to write for permission retrospectively before submitting the eThesis. You will need to document in your eThesis that you have permission from the publisher or have retained the right to publish the material.

If the paper you wish to include has multiple authors, you will also need to obtain the permission of your co-authors before you can incorporate it in your 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 your department and you have 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 your department, then then the only alternative to embargoing your ethesis is to rewrite the material in your own words and reference it appropriately. If you choose to embargo your thesis you should submit a printed copy as well.

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. You 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.

You 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 you 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 (see guidance at: www.sheffield.ac.uk/rs/mypublications/oa).