Upon award of a research degree by the ACCE (Academic Council Committee for Examinations), a digital copy of a UCD research thesis is automatically deposited in the Research Repository UCD (RRU) and, without an embargo being set, is immediately publicly available to view.
UCD is a signatory to the National Principles for Open Access and all research degree theses completed at the university are expected to be made publicly available as soon as possible following the award of a degree. This allows the University to demonstrate the quality of its research and the rigour of its research degree programmes. Therefore, the default position of the university is to not place an embargo on a research thesis.
However, should the author of their research thesis wish to delay its online dissemination via the RRU for a valid reason including future publication of some or all of the content of the thesis or the thesis contains confidential or sensitive materials, an application for an embargo can be made to the University Graduate Research Board. Please note that an embargo on a thesis can only be sought prior to submission of the thesis for examination which is normally three months in advance of the expected thesis submission date. The application must have the support of the student’s Principal Supervisor and be accompanied by relevant supporting documentation
To seek an embargo on a research thesis, you apply to the Graduate Research Board via Google Form providing supporting documentation that evidences that the research thesis contains personal, security or commercially sensitive information or the thesis contains material intended for future publication and the publishers specifically require that the thesis is restricted.
In certain circumstances, an application to extend the initial embargo beyond the period approved will be considered. This request must be submitted by the School of the graduated author. This can be the author’s Principal Supervisor or the relevant Head of the School where the graduated student had been registered. The application must be accompanied by substantive supporting documentation. Evidence must be provided that the research thesis contains personal, security or commercially sensitive information or the thesis contains material intended for future publication and the publishers specifically require that the thesis is restricted.
UCD promotes compliance with Irish copyright law as regulated by the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 and the Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019. However, in accordance with the Thesis Embargo Policy if the owner of the copyrighted material in a research degree thesis in the UCD RRU and does not consent to the use of their work, they can seek a takedown of the relevant thesis by submitting a request to UCD Library, who will withdraw the material immediately. Subsequently, the Library will carry out an investigations to ascertain if there has been a breach of copyright and provide a recommendation to the Graduate Research Board (GRB) to uphold the request or otherwise.
A useful summary of guidance and policies on research degree programmes at UCD