I am in two minds about signing the agreement to deposit my thesis to EThOS, or even to the university repository without restricting access. What are the pros & cons, how did you make your decision? I would be grateful for your opinions. By the way, I plan to publish some work from my thesis but I will not publish it as a whole. Thanks...
It depends on the circumstances and the potential interest in your data.
1) If you want to publish work from your thesis to journal for which you'd not receive royalties, it doesn't matter whether or not you sign the agreement to put it on the University Open Repository or on Ethos. You will not gain financially therefore there is no benefit from withholding your thesis.
2) If you plan to sell on information from your thesis as part of a book or collected works that may gain you royalty payments, or sell the information on to a third party, then I would restrict access as people will not pay if they realise they can download the core document for free. This latter course of action you might consider if you believe there will be a very high level of interest in your data.
3) Apart from this, the only other practical reason for restriction is commercial confidentiality for a fixed period (say five years) if an industrial sponsor has been involved.
4) I know some others consider their work as private and personal and restrict it for that reason. Others perceive that their intellectual property might be put at risk if they chose to make the data available (including my direct predecessor on my project) even if interest is minimal, however, this can be addressed by publishing the work to journal.
Unless the reasons are financial or commercial, I don't see the point in restricting thesis access as a large collection of data gathers dust and never sees the light of day as a consequence. All the work contained therin has thus been done for nothing in my opinon.
I settled for making it publically available, but also publishing the key data to a reputable journal ensuring my copyright and intellectual property rights were protected. My name was associated with the work in print and could thus be proven as such.
If I'd thought a significant financial return was possible from sale of the information to a third party, or by book or collected works , then I would have restricted access. I did a little investigation to see if this was possible, however, people are loath to pay up if they think they get the information for free making this option a non-starter if your audience is a niche interest.
My thesis is locked in a cupboard, in a locked office, with no possibility of publication ever due to the nature of it. If I had had the choice I would have made sure I had at least one article from it before I let 'let in into the real world' just so, as beefy says, your rights are established. It is too easy for people to obtain the whole thing once you have allowed it on EthOS.
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Thanks Ian, I think I understand. I'll look into it and see if I can make a take down request (it's already bound). I nearly asked on here but thought it was a done deal that it had to be open. It's not rational but I get really annoyed when people assume this topic is my area of interest.
Personally, I'd restrict access until you've had a chance to publish, unless you have already. I've had people asking me for a copy already - so far I've just ignored their emails, as they're people who will probably then use my lit review and findings to support their consultancy and they'll make a ton of money by spouting MY research badly (as they won't really read it properly and take everything at face value, rather than taking time to understand my work).
Thank you for the suggestions. And thanks Mackem_Beefy for explaining different scenarios. I have published some work from it before, but there is one interesting project in the thesis I have not got a chance to find ways of publishing yet. Would the submission or award date of my PhD be a good enough evidence to prove ownership if someone decided to do the same work? I am not exactly proud of my PhD but it doesn't deserve to spend rest of its life in a dark shelf either. hmmmm, decisions decisions...
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i never even thought about these things until this thread! Not I'm not sure what to do. I have two concerns (1) a lot of unpublished data. Now my thesis wasn't totally ground breaking and as I studied a patient population there isn't much that could be stolen, but I do wonder if I should be concerned. Also when you submit for publication they ask if data is published elsewhere. Will this count? (2) I have cpyrighted material as I included copies of questionnaires and tasks as appendices. these are all things that are amostly available elsewhere online, but I am concerned about copyright issues with some of them. I don't know if I could have the thesis available but restict access to the appendices.
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