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AUT Scholarly Commons: Scholarly Commons FAQ

Research outputs in AUT Scholarly Commons

Why can't you just use the PDF of my article from the e-journal?

Only a small number of journal publishers permit the use of the publisher-generated PDF in an open access repository such as Scholarly Commons. If you provide us with the pre-print or post-print and we find that we are permitted to use the publisher's PDF, we will use this version.

A list of the publishers who do permit the use of their version in a repository can be found here. Note that some publishers allow use of their version after an embargo period and/or apply other restrictions.

Some publishers stipulate that the publisher-generated PDF is the only version permissible for a repository. Many require that we add a link to the publisher's version which may be viewed by anyone who has access rights.

What sort of rights do I retain in the work that has been added to Scholarly Commons?

You retain any rights that you had prior to your research publications being added to the repository. We only require that you agree to a Deposit Licence which is an agreement between you and AUT University, allowing us to make the work available through the repository and to copy the item for preservation purposes. It is a LIMITED, NON-EXCLUSIVE agreement, meaning no copyright transfer occurs, and you retain all the rights you had before the item was deposited. The licence also asks you to confirm that you do indeed own the copyright on the item and have the right to deposit it in Scholarly Commons.

What is the wording of the Deposit License for research outputs?

The Research Repository Administrators needs permission to store, copy and manipulate the files in the repository in order to ensure that they can be preserved and made available in the future. This licence is designed to give the Scholarly Commons staff the right to do this, and to confirm that you have the right to submit the material to the repository. The licence is non-exclusive; you retain all your rights as copyright owner.


  1. This is my own work and I grant AUT University a non-exclusive licence to store it and make it available freely online.
  2. To the best of my knowledge and belief, the work does not infringe the copyright of any other person.
  3. Where I am not the sole author of the work I have the authority of all the other authors to grant this licence.
Can I link from my own website to my papers in Scholarly Commons?

Yes. Each item in Scholarly Commons has a URI (for example, which is a persistent unique identifier. You may wish to include these web addresses as links on your departmental or personal website, your CV or publications list.

Can my publications prior to joining AUT University be added to Scholarly Commons?

No, these should be included in the repository of your previous institution.

What happens to my entries in the repository if I leave AUT University?

We will retain your research outputs in Scholarly Commons.

Will other researchers want to cite my paper when only the pre-print or post-print version is in Scholarly Commons?

Most researchers prefer to cite the final version as published in a journal, conference proceedings or book. The information displayed in Scholarly Commons includes the publication details of the final version to enable other authors to cite this.

Depositing theses or dissertations into AUT Scholarly Commons

My thesis contains the full text of previously published journal articles of which I am the author or co-author. Are there any special requirements before I can deposit my thesis on Scholarly Commons?

If your thesis contains articles published in a peer review journal (Thesis presentation Pathway Two, see the Postgraduate Handbook), you need to ensure copyright clearance before depositing. If the copyright in the article is held by the journal publisher, the publisher will not necessarily allow the inclusion of the published version in an online open access thesis. The publisher may require you to include the post-print version instead. See the Research Outputs FAQ above for an explanation about versions, post-prints and pre-prints. Contact the Research Support Coordinator for advice about the copyright clearance of journal articles in your thesis.

What happens after I have completed the deposit of my digital copy?

The Research Repository Administrator will check your online deposit to ensure that the process has been successfully completed and the files are readable and will contact you via email if there are any issues that need to be resolved. The Administrator will then make it available for viewing on the Internet, without any password restrictions.

How will the University Postgraduate Centre know I have deposited my digital copy so that I can graduate?

When you have successfully completed the deposit, you will receive a confirmation email from Scholarly Commons. The Research Repository Administrator will also send a confirmation email to the Graduate Research School.

Is there a permanent way of linking to my thesis/dissertation/exegesis on Scholarly Commons?

Your thesis record on Scholarly Common will include a permanent link. You will also receive an email containing this stable URL. You may wish to include this URL in your CV or on a personal website.

I can see details about my thesis/dissertation/exegesis on the Library website but there is no direct link to Scholarly Commons and I have to use a password to get to the full text. I would like my work to be viewable on the Internet without a password.

Your thesis/dissertation/exegesis may have been completed prior to 2007 online deposit. Please contact the Research Repository Administrator to request a consent form so that we can make the full text of your work open access on Scholarly Commons.

I can see details about my thesis/dissertation/exegesis on the Library website but there is no link to a digital copy. I would like my work to be viewable on the Internet without a password.

This situation usually indicates that your work was completed prior to 2007 when deposit of the digital copy was not mandatory. We would be very pleased to receive the digital copy now and to make it available online, please deposit your thesis/dissertation/exegesis on Scholarly Commons.

Do I retain copyright to my thesis/dissertation/exegesis in Scholarly Commons?

Yes, you retain any rights of your thesis/dissertation/exegesis. We only require that you click on a Deposit Licence which is an agreement between you and AUT, allowing us to make the work available through the repository. It is a limited, non-exclusive agreement, meaning no copyright transfer occurs, and you retain all the rights you had before the item was deposited. The licence also asks you to confirm that you do indeed own the copyright on the item and have the right to deposit it in Scholarly Commons.

What rights do I grant AUT University when I deposit my thesis/dissertation/exegesis?

You grant to AUT University the non-exclusive right to:

  • reproduce, translate, and/or distribute your submission (including the metadata and abstract) worldwide, in any format or medium for non-commercial, academic purposes only.
  • translate the submission, without changing the content, to any medium or format, and keep more than one copy of your work for purposes of security, back up and preservation.
What should I do if a publisher contacts me with an offer to publish my thesis/dissertation as a book?

Authors of theses, dissertations and exegeses included in Scholarly Commons may be contacted by "Print on Demand" (POD) publishers offering to publish their research as a book. While you own the copyright in your work and are therefore free to decide what to do with it, we advise that you consider these points before proceeding:

  1. Your research is already available, without cost or restriction, for other researchers and students around the world to read.
  2. You may be asked to sign away the copyright in your own work. Look at the terms and conditions very carefully and consider seeking legal advice before signing.
  3. Publishing in this way is very likely to harm your chances of publishing your research with a traditional and often more reputable publisher.

POD publishers work like this:

  1. They acquire the rights to lots of works, such as theses.
  2. They format each work as a PDF, give it an ISBN, and list it on Amazon and other bookseller sites.
  3. They print a hard copy only when it is requested.

The economies of POD mean that it doesn't matter if there are only five customers in the world who are interested in a particular work, as long as those five are prepared to pay $80 apiece, i.e. there is very little economic risk.

POD is different to "vanity publishing" and "traditional publishing" in the following ways:

  1. Unlike vanity publishing, POD comes at no up-front cost to the author (in vanity publishing, the author bears the economic risk).
  2. Unlike traditional publishing, the author receives no advance on the publication (in traditional publishing, the publisher bears the economic risk).
  3. Unlike traditional publishing, the works are not vetted, peer reviewed or professionally edited.

In addition to requesting a copy of their author-publisher agreement, here are some things you should try to ascertain before making a decision:

  1. What is the quality of the printed books (jackets, binding, etc)?
  2. What is the royalty share you will receive? With POD, as with vanity publishing, you have very little certainty as to the number of books that will be sold.
  3. What will the publisher do to market/promote your thesis?
  4. Will people be able to obtain your thesis only through this publisher from now on? Will they require that your thesis be removed from ScholarlyCommons@AUT? [Note: from 2007 onwards, it is mandatory that all AUT University doctoral and masters theses and dissertations be deposited on ScholarlyCommons@AUT unless permission for an embargo has been sought and approved by the Associate Dean (Postgraduate) of the appropriate faculty. Such approval should be sought before the work is submitted for examination.]

If you have received such a publishing offer and want advice on the terms of the author-publisher agreement you have been sent, contact AUT's Commercialisation Manager,Mitali Purohit,