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Thesis publication

Does WRAP deposit affect publisher interest in my thesis? - this depends on the publisher and what they plan on publishing from your thesis.

Some publishers ask authors to sign agreements stating that they have not previously published their work elsewhere, and some publishers do consider availability in a repository like WRAP, or any availability online, to be a form of publication. A publisher can't claim ownership of the copyright in your thesis, but they could consider that, since the work is already available, there would be little demand for their version. To this end, you should also consider embargoing access to the print version of your thesis and discuss this with your supervisor.

Some publishers are not concerned about theses in repositories: your work would be formatted differently and marketed if published by them. You could put your thesis in the repository and then demonstrate that people are looking at it already (contact us publications at warwick dot ac dot uk for stats), and use that as evidence of interest. We have had more than one case where a student was approached by a publisher because they had seen their thesis in WRAP.

Publishers survey

The WRAP team initiated a small scale survey of 33 publishers. They were given a number of options to assess their attitude to thesis publication. We received 15 responses. Below are the results of the survey as well as the names of the publishers if they gave us permission to make their responses public.

Option No. of Publishers Including:
a. Thesis must not have been deposited. We require authors to state that their work has not been previously published in any way, and this means that they must not have deposited their work online in any publicly accessible way. Any author who has put their thesis online could not get a book based on their PhD research published through us. 3 Equinox Publishing Ltd.

b. Thesis can have been deposited but must not remain on public access. We require authors to state that their work has not been previously published in any way, but if it has been previously deposited online and made publicly accessible this would not jeopardise chances of publication. We would be likely to request a permanent take-down at the time that we accept the title for publication as one of our books.

3 MIT Press

c. Thesis can have been deposited but must temporarily be removed from public access. We require authors to state that their work has not been previously published in any way, but if it has been previously deposited online and made publicly accessible this would not jeopardise chances of publication. We would be likely to request a time-limited take-down at the time that we accept the title for publication as one of our books.

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d. Thesis can be deposited and remain publicly available. We require authors to state that their work has not been previously published in any way, but we are not concerned about the deposit or otherwise of the original PhD thesis as we require the work to be substantially worked in order to be publishable as one of our books and do not consider online availability of a thesis in an institutional repository to be an equivalent publication.

5

Springer ; Berghahn Books ; Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications Ltd.

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f. Other

4
Elsevier Science & Technology Books


In most cases the publishers who chose the final option (other) were not willing to state a single response but rather wanted to consider theses on a case by case basis, however they did give the impression they would prefer that the thesis had not been made available.

As you can see there is little consensus in approach between the publishers.

If you would like more information or to discuss your options please contact us publications at warwick dot ac dot uk.

What to do next

You could phone round the publishers you are considering approaching, to ask for their policy on this matter and should consult with your supervisor. It would be best to consider the policies of specific publishers you are approaching because as we have seen there is no consistency of approach, and there isn't a tool collating publisher policies all in one place.

If you are looking to publish your thesis we would advise you to select the option that asks for an embargo period of at least two years to find a publisher. It is worth discussing the most appropriate period with your supervisor as they may be aware of the attitudes of the specific publishers most important to your discipline. If it comes to the end of the embargo period and you are still in discussions with publishers contact us publications at warwick dot ac dot uk to discuss the possibility of extending the embargo period – but this would only be possible with the agreement of the Board of Graduate Studies.