The provision of access to information and technology is a defining feature of Athabasca University (AU). The University supports the principle of academic freedom and free access to the results of University research, which includes research conducted by AU students. Dissemination of research results is a primary function of Athabasca University.
It is the responsibility of the student’s supervisor, in early discussions about their research topic to advise:
Anonymity and confidentiality of participants and data in research is paramount. Approval from the AU Research Ethics Board will ensure that the anonymity of the sample (whether individuals, groups, or organizations) is maintained. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulation also dictate that personal information not be included in documents that are considered to be public.
There may be specific situations in which the student and supervisor are obliged to restrict the publication of the student’s thesis/dissertation for a temporary period of time. A request for approval from the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies must be made. Valid reasons to restrict the publication of the thesis or dissertation include:
A plan to submit chapters of the thesis or dissertation for journal publication is not, by itself, grounds for withholding a thesis or dissertation from publication in the AU DTheses repository or being harvested by Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Many journals and book publishers accept a thesis for traditional publication even if it is already available electronically on the website of an educational institution. It is the responsibility of the student to become acquainted with the policies of a prospective publisher to determine if there is a publication restriction. If the publisher specifies a restriction period this should be entered as a reason for temporary restriction under the ‘other’ category.
The thesis or dissertation will not be available for student or public access or harvesting by LAC until after the restricted period. Upon expiration of the restricted period, the thesis or dissertation will automatically be released into the AU DTheses repository and made available for harvesting by LAC.
Updated October 29 2014 by Student & Academic Services