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Theses: Submit your final thesis

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

Students: How to submit your e-thesis

UCC Library together with the Graduate Studies Office and the Dean of Graduate Studies has established an e-thesis programme for UCC research postgraduate students. E-theses are stored and made available online through the UCC institutional repository, CORA. From January 2020 onwards, hard copy theses are no longer required by the University. 

If you are a doctoral or research masters' student approaching your final thesis submission deadline, you will need to:


Q. What is an e-thesis?

A.  An e-thesis or electronic thesis describes a thesis in digital form that is generally accessed via the internet.  Access to, and storage of, electronic theses is usually facilitated by open access repositories such as the UCC institutional repository, CORA.

Q. Why is UCC supporting the development of an e-thesis programme?

A.  UCC is developing an e-thesis programme to ensure that postgraduate research conducted in UCC is widely disseminated.  In many countries, a move has been made in recent years to electronic submission of theses, in parallel with hard-copy submission, enabling theses to be searchable and readable online. Numerous studies have shown that electronic access to theses, as well as resulting in much greater access through consultation of theses online and downloading, also results in a significant increase in citations to a University’s theses, showing how theses become valuable practical academic publications with the increase in accessibility.

E-theses programmes are in place in all Irish universities including DCU, NUIG, NUIM, TCD, UCD, UL as well as DIT and WIT and are widespread around the world, for example, as of August 2017 the DART-Europe E-theses Portal  provides access to over 731,444 open access research theses from 610 Universities in 28 European countries.

Q. Where is my e-thesis stored?

A.  Your e-thesis is stored in CORA, the UCC institutional repository. 

Q. Who can see my e-thesis?

A.  Anyone with access to the internet can view and download your e-thesis providing you have decided to make it available open access. 

Q. What URL should I use when referring to my e-thesis?

A.  You should use the persistent identifier given on the cover page of your thesis in CORA e.g.

Q. Where can I see usage statistics for my e-thesis?

A.  Click on the Show Statistical Information link at the end of the thesis record page in CORA 


Q. How do I submit my e-thesis?

A.  You can upload your e-thesis file to CORA. Detailed guidelines are available below.


Q. Who is eligible to submit an e-thesis?

A.  Doctoral and Research Masters' students submitting theses from January 2020 from all academic units in UCC are required to submit their thesis in electronic form to the repository.


Q. What should the title page of my thesis look like?

A.  The title page of your thesis shall give the following information:

  1. The full title of the thesis and the subtitle, if any.
  2. The total number of volumes if more than one, and the number of the particular volume.
  3. The full name of the author, followed, if desired, by any qualifications and distinctions.
  4. The qualification for which the thesis is submitted.
  5. The name of the institution to which the thesis is submitted:
    • National University of Ireland, Cork.
  6. The department, school, faculty or organisation in which research was conducted.
  7. The year of submission.
  8. Name of the head of the department or school concerned.
  9. Name of the supervisor of the research.

Q. What format should my e-thesis take?

A.  You may deposit your thesis in any file format but you should include:

  1. The file in the original format that you used to create your thesis e.g. Microsoft Word, Open Office Writer, LaTEX without any security settings such as password protection and with fonts embedded.  This file is required for preservation purposes.
  2. A single pdf file.  This is required for dissemination and will be modified if a redaction has been requested.

If you have any supporting files or additional data that you would like to include with your e-thesis, please contact


Q. How do I create a pdf file?

A.  There are different applications available for creating PDFs and these are outlined here:

  • In Word 2010, go to ‘File > Save As’. In the window that pops us, select PDF from the ‘Save as type’ drop down list. In Word 2013, go to ‘File > Save As Adobe PDF’
  • If you use OpenOffice (all platforms) or NeoOffice (Mac) there is an “Export PDF” option on the File menu which allows you to save your document in PDF format.
  • If you are using LaTeX, make sure your editor toolbar is set to create a PDF document. If you use a typed command, use "pdflatex” instead of "latex".
  • Check with your supervisor or department to see if they have a local copy of Adobe Acrobat Pro (Adobe PDF creation software).
  • Download the trial version of Adobe Acrobat Pro from


Q. I have requested a redaction on part of my e-thesis, do I still submit the entire thesis?

A.  For preservation purposes, it is important that you submit your entire thesis.  Library staff will remove the relevant section and insert a placeholder page into the thesis to inform users that the section has been removed.  

Q. Will making my e-thesis available through an open access repository disqualify me from future publication elsewhere?

A.  Students retain copyright for their theses and are free to publish or distribute their thesis elsewhere.  Since an e-thesis is disseminated widely via the internet, it could be considered a publication.  While most publishers do not regard e-theses as prior publication, it is not possible to speak for all publishers in all disciplines.  The best advice is that if you intend to publish a book or journal article from your thesis, then you should request an embargo on your e-thesis until you have had the opportunity to arrange publication.

The United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories (UKCORR) maintains a list here of monograph publishers' policies with respect to open access theses and prior publication.

Q. Are the rules governing the use of third party copyright materials any different for e-theses compared to hard-copy theses?

A.  No, copyright regulations with regard to the use of third party copyright materials apply to both hard copy and electronic copy theses.  Third party copyright material is any material where copyright is held by another person or entity, other than yourself.

You should not infringe copyright in your thesis.  Unless your use of the third party copyright material comes under the fair dealing exemption in the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, you should seek permission to use it in your thesis.

Under fair dealing (Sections 50-52), use or reproduction of copyright material for ‘the purposes of research or private study’ and ‘for the purposes criticism or review of that or another work or of a performance of a work’ is allowed providing it is accompanied by sufficient acknowledgement.  Such reproduction is deemed acceptable if it is ‘for a purpose and to an extent that will not unreasonably prejudice the interests of the owner of the copyright’.

While there is no exact definition given in the Act as to the amounts that may be reproduced under the fair dealing exemption, the general view is that copying an insubstantial amount of third party material without the permission of the owner of the copyright would not infringe copyright.

However, whether the amount of a third party's work that has been used is insubstantial requires both a quantitative and a qualitative assessment.  For example, a diagram or a table may constitute a small part of a third party's work quantitatively but may convey significant information which is central to the third party's work.  Its use by the student might therefore be regarded as use of a substantial amount of the third party's work and therefore outside the protection of the fair dealing exception.  Each proposed use of third party material therefore has to be examined carefully on its own particular facts in order to determine whether its use would constitute fair dealing.

Adapted from:

CONUL Subcommittee on Copyright and Regulatory Matters, 2008.

O’Brien, D., Fitzgerald, A., Fitzgerald, B., Chisholm, S-K, Coates, J., Pappalardo, K., 2007. Copyright Guide for Research Students: What you need to know about copyright before depositing your electronic thesis in an online repository [Online].

Advice provided to the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs, UCC by Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors, personal communication (10 January 2010).


Q. What if I want to include a journal article that I have authored or contributed to as a chapter in my thesis?

A.  This will depend on whether you have assigned copyright for the article to the publisher.  If you have transferred copyright to the publisher, then this is an instance of the use of third party copyright material in your thesis.  You will need to check the publisher’s policy on author’s rights and/or re-use of articles or request permission where the policy is not clear.  Journal publishers are generally fairly explicit about re-use of their articles and have statements in the copyright transfer agreement or on their websites, for example in their Author Services guidance, the publishers, Taylor & Francis encourage authors to “Include your article in a thesis or dissertation” .

In their copyright transfer statement, the publisher, Springer states that “The author retains the right to use his/her article for his/her further scientific career by including the final published journal article in other publications such as dissertations and postdoctoral qualifications provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication.”

While some publishers may not allow you to use the published version of an article in your thesis, most will allow you to use the accepted version i.e. the author created version that incorporates referee comments and it the accepted for publication version.  You can check the Sherpa RoMEO service for publisher copyright policies & self-archiving.

Additionally many journal publishers use the RightsLink service whereby you can request permission from the article on the journal publisher’s website.

If you need any further advice please contact:


Q. Will my thesis be easily plagiarised because it is available online?

A.  It is difficult to prevent plagiarism of print or electronic theses effectively but it is easier to detect plagiarism when theses are made available online.  It is possible to find text snippets by entering them into a search engine such as Google and plagiarism detection software like Turnitin compares work against freely available internet sources like open access e-theses.

Additionally, users of your thesis will be made aware of the rights of the author through the copyright information on the record of the thesis.  The uses that they are allowed to make of the thesis are outlined in the Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) applied to all UCC e-theses.

Research and Digital Services

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Gillian Cotter
Research and Digital Services,
UCC Library,
University College Cork.

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