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GUIDELINES FOR THESES: OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING INSTRUCTIONS

From Spring 2017 the Registrar requires students depositing their thesis in digital format. As such, they are available only for administrative purposes. This guide provides instructions on how to publish your thesis in open access, making it readable and downloadable by anyone and anywhere in the world. 


According to the law (for Italy Law 633/1941, Protezione del diritto d'autore e di altri diritti connessi al suo esercizio), students own the copyright to their theses or dissertations.  To make your work publicly accessible, you need to

  • Sign a non-exclusive license with John Cabot University that authorizes the Library post your  thesis in our Electronic Theses collections
  • grant that you are not infringing third party copyrights. 

If you decide to do so, the full text of your thesis will be made accessible  and preserved for the future. Its description (author, title, abstract) and a link to the full text will be added in JCU Discovery and Worldcat

BENEFITS OF OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING

  • You will be able to share what you have learned or created
  • JCU departments, students and researchers will find it convenient to have your work available
  • You can include a link to the full text of your thesis on your resume

UNDERSTANDING YOUR COPYRIGHTS

Like in other civil law based countries, the Italian law in effect for John Cabot University regulates  author's rights. It is slightly different than the copyright law, and covers

  • MORAL RIGHTS, connected to the author's personality, inextinguishable and not transferable (regarding authorship, work integrity, recall from commerce)
  • ECONOMIC RIGHTS, transferable and limited in time (regarding reproduction, publication, distribution, translation, public display). The assignment of economic rights depends on you. It can be partial, exclusive or non exclusive, and requires a written agreement. Caution in transferring these rights is always recommended: you may still need them in the future, for several uses (to deposit your thesis in a repository, publish your work, distribute copies for teaching, create derivative works).

As copyright owner, you must also grant that all the materials included in your thesis are not violating  third party copyrights. However, you may need to  include  published items like pictures, graphs, or art examples in your thesis. What can you do in such cases? 

  • USE MATERIALS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN 
  • ASK FOR PERMISSIONS
  • INCLUDE SMALL QUOTES, AND LOW RESOLUTION SOUNDS OR IMAGES Art. 70 of Law 633/1041 provides for the right to cite, including small excerpts or low resolution or "degraded" music and images from copyrighted works, as long as they are properly cited. (For a detailed information on this article, in Italian, see the related chapter in the Guida al diritto d'autore edited by Giovanni Ammassa).

CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

Copyright protection does not require any form of registration; it is effective as soon as your original work is fixed in a tangible medium. However, to inform people about how they can use your work, you could take advantage of a Creative Commons license. There are several, from the most restrictive, which only permits sharing,  to the most open, which allows creating derivative works. 


TO KNOW MORE

  • The  Guida al diritto d'autore edited by Giovanni Ammassa is a very clear, regularly updated online manual on the Italian law. 
  • Tesi di dottorato e diritto d'autore, a document developed by the Open Access Group of the Italian Conference of University Rectors, provides detailed guidelines for the open access publishing of PhD theses and dissertations.

 

WHEN NOT TO PUBLISH OPEN ACCESS

Some cases require special consideration. You may restrain from open access publishing, or require an embargo, when

  • your work contains information that could risk the confidentiality of subjects from whom it was obtained
  • your paper is part of a larger research project involving others and should not be publicly accessible yet
  • you plan on turning your thesis or dissertation into a book

An embargo temporarily restricts access to the full text of your thesis for a period of  three years from the time of submission. All the descriptive information about it, such as the title, subject(s) or abstract, will be visible  in our pages and in Worldcat. Only the actual thesis file and accompanying materials will be inaccessible for the established period.

 

SUBMITTING YOUR THESIS

WHAT IS OPEN ACCESS?

CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

A Creative Commons license allows you to communicate to users the ways in which you want your thesis shared and your work cited.  It is a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to your creative or scholarly work. If you are not familiar with the Creative Commons licenses, watch this very short video!