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Theses: Research Theses Access Conditions

Special Collections holds print copies of Research Masters / PhDs theses from 1939-2019. To access Research Masters / PhD theses since 2020 search on CORA.

Digitalisation of Theses Submission

UCC will move to digital submission processes for theses from all research postgraduates from 6th January 2020. Final theses will no longer be required in hard bound format for archiving in UCC Library but will be archived in electronic format in CORA.

Thesis authors will define how their thesis can be accessed when they set out access terms at time of submission of their examination copy to the Graduate Studies Office. For more information on examination copy submission see the Current Research Students section of the Graduate Studies Office website 

The access categories are described in more detail here and thesis authors can contact for any clarifications.

Access categories for thesis authors

Open Access 

Your thesis can be viewed and downloaded by anyone, once any embargo you might have set has expired. You would choose this option if you want to share your thesis openly online. A Creative Commons License should be applied to an open access thesis to indicate how you wish to share your work and you can indicate this on the Research Degree Submission for Examination form. 

Controlled Access 

Your thesis may not be viewed or downloaded openly on CORA. You would choose this option if you do not wish to share your work online at any time but wish to facilitate researchers with access to UCC Library to read your thesis. Any individual who requests access for research or private study will be granted permission once they agree to a copyright declaration. Access will be managed by library staff.  

Restricted Access 

Your thesis may not be viewed or downloaded by anyone at any time. You would choose this option if your thesis contains sensitive or confidential materials throughout the entire thesis. This option is only to be selected in exceptional circumstances and you will have to provide a justification for requesting the restriction. 


Your thesis cannot be viewed or downloaded by anyone from CORA while an embargo is in place.  An embargo can be placed on an open access or controlled access thesis while you publish material from your thesis for example. You will be notified by email 2 weeks before an embargo is about to automatically expire and you should contact if you wish to extend the embargo. 


If there are parts of your thesis which you would like to redact permanently while leaving the remainder of your thesis available through open access or controlled access, you should indicate this on the Research Degree Submission for Examination Form. You may consider redaction when you have used third party copyrighted material for which you did not receive permission for online use or to protect confidentiality or sensitive materials or data in your thesis. 

What do access categories mean for thesis readers?


 Access Category

 Thesis record

 Full text of thesis  Requestable  


 Request   managed by

 Open Access 


 UCC Library catalogue

 Available for download   Not   applicable  Not applicable
 Controlled Access       


 UCC Library catalogue      

 Permanently unavailable for download   Yes  Library staff
 Restricted Access 


 UCC Library catalogue 

 Permanently unavailable for download  No  Not applicable  


 UCC Library catalogue

 Temporarily unavailable for download or request  No  Not applicable  


Creative Commons Licenses

 A Creative Commons License will only apply to a thesis which has been nominated Open Access by the thesis author. 

License Types 

Creative Commons offers six copyright licenses and also provide the CC0 tool which allows an author to waive all rights and place a work in the public domain. The information outlined here has been adapted from the Creative Commons website 

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. 

Attribution ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) image 

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects. 

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Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND) image 

This license lets others reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially; however, it cannot be shared with others in adapted form, and credit must be provided to you. 

Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) image 

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms. 

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) image 

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. 

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) image 

This license is the most restrictive of the Creative Commons main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially. This licence has been applied to UCC e-theses since 2013. 

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