Many academic institutions maintain an institutional repository. These repositories increase access to the scholarly work produced by their community by gathering it in one online location and providing the public with no-cost full-text downloads to the extent possible under copyright law. Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, Michigan Technological University’s institutional repository, has published master’s reports, master’s theses, and dissertations (ETDS) since 2013. The graduate student authors of these works have the option to make their works available Open Access (OA) for free. To date the repository features over 1,800 OA ETDs which would otherwise exist behind a publisher’s subscription paywall unless the author paid a fee.
New this year, students that opt to publish their work OA will also have the option to apply a Creative Commons (CC) license to the work. These free, standardized licenses allow authors to explicitly state how and under what conditions their copyright-protected works may, or may not, be used by others. Works with a CC license are still protected by U.S. copyright laws and authors retain their copyright. The addition of the Creative Commons license option provides graduate student authors with a simple way to control the reuse of their work. Additionally, all six CC licenses require attribution to the original author, ensuring ethical standards in publishing are maintained. The six CC licenses available to Michigan Tech graduate students can be viewed here: https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/ For more information on copyright and licensing in relation to master’s reports, master’s theses, and dissertations, see the Van Pelt and Opie Library’s guide here: https://libguides.lib.mtu.edu/copyrightTDR
Check out the entire collection of Michigan Tech’s ETDS on Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech here: https://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/etdr/