Institutional Repository Guidelines

What is Research Online @ ECU?

Research Online @ ECU is the official repository that highlights and promotes access to scholarship and research outputs created by staff and post graduate students at Edith Cowan University. Research Online uses the Digital Commons software platform and can be found at

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What is an institutional Repository?

Institutional Repositories bring together a university's published research output in electronic form. The aim of a repository is to preserve and provide open access to that research. Access to research is enhanced via improved discovery as searches conducted in common internet tools such as Google will locate material held in repositories.

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Who can deposit information into Research Online?

All ECU staff, postgraduate students and authors affiliated with the university can make approved materials available within the repository.

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What are the benefits of depositing papers into a repository?
  • Access to your research is improved
    Adding materials to a repository ensures that research is freely available. Often research is locked away within expensive journals that require a subscription to access. Ensuring copies of your work are located in open access repositories makes this available free to anyone on the internet.
  • Enhanced research impact
    Wider access often leads to higher citation. Repositories are indexed by search tools such as Google and can dramatically increase the rates at which your research is found and then subsequently cited. Download statistics can also be provided to authors as another indication of the impact of your work.
  • Safe Archiving
    Repositories are a safe archival record of your research output. Strict backup and archival protocols are followed to ensure a lasting record of research output at ECU.
  • Facilitate Research Sharing
    Requests for copies of your papers can be referred to the repository saving you time and effort.

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What can be placed in Research Online?

Combine all the sections together as one Microsoft Word file or PDF file and submit that.

Approved materials include the following research outputs:

  • books and book chapters
  • research papers
  • journal articles
  • conference papers
  • working papers
  • data sets
  • theses
  • published patents
  • multimedia objects

Both current and retrospective materials can be added to the repository with the only restriction being that materials must have been created while you were affiliated with ECU.

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What should not be placed into the repository?

The following materials should not be made available via the institutional repository:

  • Unpublished works (i.e. class notes)
  • Material intended for commercialisation
  • Papers containing confidential or culturally sensitive information
  • Research outputs that do not involve ECU staff, postgraduates or affiliated authors
  • Material which, if disseminated, would infringe a legal commitment by the University and/or author

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How does material get placed within the Institutional Repository?

Material is added to the repository in two ways:

7.1 Automated process exists whereby bibliographic detail of research that has been added to the University's Research Activity System is drawn into the repository. No action is required from staff. Library staff then asses the viability of making this material available for open access by assessing the copyright issues involved. If items can legally be made available Library staff will contact authors to discuss if they wish to turn full text access on for their research objects. This may involve sourcing different versions of the research from staff to meet legal requirements. It is recommended that authors keep pre and post print versions of published materials as well as the final published version to facilitate the Libraries ability to legally give full text access to research outputs (see section 8.2).

7.2 A voluntary stream also enables staff, postgraduate students and affiliates to nominate materials for upload into the repository. This involves emailing the repository team in the Library with this request. Batch loads of large amounts of material can also be undertaken via coordination with repository staff. Library staff will also ensure all copyright obligations are met before actioning requests made in this way. Repository staff can be contacted at

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What about Copyright?

8.1. Library staff will be responsible for managing copyright issues with materials placed into the repository. The majority of publishers (90+%) allow some form of published work to be placed into an institutional repository (often referred to as self archiving). Library staff will assess material deposited for self archiving rights and will contact publishers directly to determine precise conditions. The Library will work closely with depositing staff during this process.

8.2. To enhance your ability to place material into a repository it is highly recommended that staff keep the pre print and post print versions of a submitted article as well as the final publisher version. This is because most publishers stipulate a certain version be used when making materials available in a repository.

Preprint - the version of a paper that was initially submitted before it was peer reviewed.
Post print - the version of a paper that is ready for publication after the peer review process. It will either be accepted with no change or be the version accepted after changes are made.

8.3. It is also good practice to attempt to retain your right to deposit a copy of your work in a repository at the point at which you publish. A number of steps can be taken:

  • Check the publishers self archiving policy as this may influence your decision on how to manage your copyright.
  • If possible amend the publication agreement with the publisher so that you keep your right to self archive the post print version. Consider retaining rights to your article by attaching the SPARC Addendum to your publisher's contract. For more information on licensing see the Australian Copyright Council's information sheet: Assigning and Licensing Rights (PDF).

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Do I need to inform co-authors of an intention to add materials to the repository?

You should seek permissions from co-authors to add materials to the repository as they jointly own the copyright. At the very least you should seek the permission of the first listed author to make materials available online. It is likely that your co-authors will also be looking to add their research to their own repository.

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Can material be deposited in the institutional repository of more than one university

Yes, an item with multiple authors can be deposited by co-authors in the institutional repositories of their universities.

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Can I deposit my research material from ECU in the repository of another university after I leave ECU?

In depositing material in Research Online you grant ECU a non-exclusive licence. This means you are free to deposit it in other institutional or subject-based repositories. You will need to refer to the policy of the institutional repository at the new university to check whether research work from previous institutions is accepted.

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What rights do I give to ECU when I deposit material in Research Online?

At the end of the deposit process, the author or creator agrees to grant Edith Cowan University necessary non-exclusive rights to make the material available permanently online, at no charge and with no access restrictions, and that ECU has the right to alter the format of deposited work, if deemed necessary for preservation and enduring accessibility.

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Does Research Online satisfy NHMRC and ARC requirements for dissemination of grant outcomes and research findings?

Research Online is an institutional repository and therefore enables researchers to meet recommendations of funding bodies to deposit research output in an institutional or subject-based repository.

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If you need any assistance or advice with regard to the Institutional Repository or associated issues please contact the repository team at .

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