Understanding Permissions for Electronic Honors Theses

Understanding Permissions and Access to Electronic Honors Theses

This page explains the access and permissions options you can set for your e-thesis and any accompanying materials (such as supporting video or images).

A good first step is to discuss these options with your thesis advisor, since he or she will be most familiar with your work. You, with the help of your advisor, need to decide how others should access your thesis based on its content. 

Please contact DAPS if you have any questions. We’re here to help!  And if you change your mind about the category after you submit your thesis, just send us an email and we’ll move it for you.

Access categories: Public or Restricted

During the thesis submission process you will choose which category to submit to: Public or Restricted. You also have the option to set an embargo on your thesis for up to seven years from the date of submission.

Public category

  •  Available to anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Anyone may read or download a copy of your thesis and any accompanying materials.
  • All of the descriptive information about your thesis, such as the title, subject(s), or abstract, is fully accessible, will be added to the Library and Five College catalog, and may show up in search engine results.
  • You will contribute to the body of scholarly work in your field in an open and sustainable way, potentially allowing others to cite and use your work in further research.
  • LITS will archive and generate a permanent url directly to your thesis, enabling you to easily link to it and share it.

Restricted category

  • Only accessible to current MHC faculty, students, and staff. Theses in this category require a valid MHC login in order to read or download. It is not dependent on IP range or even through VPN access; a login is required.
  • Descriptive information about your thesis, such as the title, subject(s), or abstract, remain fully accessible, will be added to the Library and Five College catalog, and may show up in search engine results, but your thesis, and any accompanying materials, cannot be viewed or downloaded unless the user has a valid MHC login.
  • LITS will archive and generate a permanent url directly to your thesis, but you will not be able to share it unless the recipient is a current MHC student, faculty, or staff.
  • If your work contains sensitive data or content, this collection strictly limits the number of people who can access it.

Embargo:

You can choose to embargo, or delay access to your thesis, and any accompanying material, for a period of up to seven years from the time of submission. If your thesis contains very sensitive data or content, you can set an embargo to temporarily restrict access to your work. Once the embargo date passes, the thesis and any accompanying material will be available within the access category you originally submitted it to.  

Please remember that even if you set an embargo for your thesis, the descriptive information about it (your name, the title, and the abstract) will still be viewable and searchable.

Creative Commons

Our system offers you the option to apply a Creative Commons license to your thesis.  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 aren’t familiar with Creative Commons, watch this very short video!

A description of the licenses can be found here.

Some things to think about before you apply a Creative Commons license can be found here.

Remember, this is an optional step only.  Please be sure you understand the Creative Commons licenses before you apply one to your thesis.

If you wish to retain “All Rights Reserved” for your thesis, you should NOT apply a CC License.