Institutional Repository Guidelines

What is Research Online @ ECU?

Research Online is Edith Cowan University's institutional repository. The repository highlights and provides access to the research outputs created by staff and post graduate students at Edith Cowan University. Research Online provides open access versions of ECU affiliated publications where possible; ensuring ECU research reaches a wide-ranging audience. The repository can also be utilised as a publishing platform for ejournals, conferences and ebooks. The submission, peer-review and publishing processes can all be managed via the platform. Research Online uses the Digital Commons 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.

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Who can deposit outputs into Research Online?

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

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What are the benefits of depositing outputs into a repository?
  • Access to your research is improved
    Research Online is indexed by search tools such as Google, Google Scholar and the Digital Commons Network. Search Engine Optimisation is a high priority for the repository providers, ensuring outputs in Research Online feature prominently in search results. This can dramatically increase the rates at which your research is found and subsequently cited.
  • Alternative Metrics are available on Research Online
    While citation metrics record how the research community is interacting with research outputs, alternative metrics like Altmetric and PlumX indicate the impact the output is having within the wider public. By tracking online mentions in a wide range of sources including the news, social media, library holdings etc, alternative metrics can give a more immediate indication of impact than citation data which can take time to become available. When discussing research on social media always mention the DOI or URL of the outputs to assist with the capturing of alternative metrics.
  • A DOI may be created for your output, enabling automated inclusion in your ORCID record
    If your output has not previously been published, a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be created when it is included in the repository. See "Will my output get a DOI?" for details. A DOI makes it easier for users to reliably find and cite your output and enables collection of alternative metrics. DOIs are created for Research Online outputs via DataCite, allowing for automated population of the output to your ORCID record. See ORCID’s information about enabling Auto-updates in DataCite for details.
  • 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 outputs can be referred to the repository saving you time and effort.
  • Download statistics are available
    Research Online provides all authors with an Author Dashboard, a personalised reporting tool for authors with works published in Digital Commons. It allows easy access to up-to-date information on downloads for a body of work or individual output, as well as global insights into the sources of readership. It's simple to explore recent data, all-time, or choose a custom date range. Data can be shared with others and statistics exported for use in external applications.

To Access the Author Dashboard

  • click on My Account in and register if you don't already have an account
  • once signed in, click on DASHBOARD TOOLS to view the readership (on a world map) and the table of hits and download stats of your Open Access outputs - select the date range of the statistics you wish to view (see top right hand corner)
  • If you have supplied Research Online with the open access versions of your outputs but they don't appear on your dashboard please contact

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    What can be deposited in Research Online?

    Approved materials include the following research outputs:

    • journal articles
    • refereed journal articles and conference papers at the post-peer review stage (author’s accepted manuscript)
    • books and book chapters
    • unrefereed research literature, conference contributions, chapters in proceedings
    • working papers
    • theses by Masters by Research, PhD, Doctorate, and 1st Class Honours candidates
    • research reports
    • datasets
    • published patents
    • software
    • audio-visual outputs
    • images and exhibition contributions
    • presentations and performances
    • other collections or resources as approved by the University Librarian

    Both current and retrospective materials can be added to the repository as long as the materials were created while at least one author was 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:

    • Teaching material or course content
    • Material intended for commercialisation
    • Material containing confidential or 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?

    Outputs in Research Online are sourced from:

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    Will my output get a DOI?

    Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are created via DataCite for outputs that meet the Australian Research Data Commons criteria. This includes datasets, theses, reports, creative works and selected other research outputs that have not previously been published.

    To discuss whether a DOI can be created for your output contact repository staff at .

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    Open Access

    Information about outputs can be provided in the repository with a link to the published version, but where copyright and licencing arrangements allow the full text is included, allowing Open Access to the research.

    Most publishers of journal articles have policies that allow the Author's Accepted Manuscript to be shared on an Institutional Repository, like Research Online, after an embargo period. This is referred to as Green Open Access or Self-Archiving and for this reason it is important that you keep the Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) of your publications. More details about the differences between AAMs and the Published Version are available in ECU’s research library guide.

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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 may jointly own the copyright. 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, provided that all copyright holders consent to this and doing so is not in conflict with a provision in an agreement with a publisher, funder, or other third party.

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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?

    As part 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 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?

    Authors publishing outputs arising from an NHMRC or ARC supported research project must comply with their respective Open Access Policy requirements. The current policy should be consulted before submitting outputs to publishers.

    Including an author's accepted manuscript (AAM) in Research Online is one way in which an output can be made available for open access sharing. Authors must be mindful of the embargo period that publishers require to ensure the AAM can be made available within the time-frame that the funder stipulates.

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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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