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Q&A on Publication of Doctoral Dissertations in HUSCAP

  Following are frequently asked questions in the helpline.

Q1. Why must doctoral dissertations be published on the Internet?

  According to the revised degree regulations, making it mandatory for those who were awarded a doctoral degree on or after April 1, 2013 to publish their doctoral dissertations via the Internet. In order to make doctoral dissertations widely available to the public and to pass them on to future generations, Hokkaido University has decided to publish them in the institutional repository (HUSCAP). Publication in HUSCAP must be done within one year of the awarding of the degree.

Q2. Are doctoral dissertations published before April 1, 2013 ineligible?

  Although not subject to the revised degree regulations, it is possible to publish on HUSCAP upon application by the author. For more information, please click here.

Q3. What should I do if I cannot publish my doctoral dissertation on the Internet?

  If you have unavoidable circumstances, you may publish a summary of the doctoral dissertation instead of the full text and withhold publication of the full text by applying to and receiving approval from the graduate school to which you belongs. However, when the reason for not being able to publish the full text is resolved, you must promptly report this and publish the full text. If the full text cannot be published after five years, an application for an extension of the withholding of publication must be filed.

Q4. What are "unavoidable circumstances"?

  For example, the following cases are applicable.

  1. The doctoral dissertation includes content that cannot be made public via the Internet due to reasons such as the inclusion of expressions in three-dimensional form.
  2. The doctoral dissertation includes content that cannot be published on the Internet for more than one year from the date of award of the doctoral degree due to copyright protection, personal information protection, or other reasons.
  3. The publication of the full text of the doctoral dissertation via the Internet will cause obvious disadvantages to the person who was awarded the doctoral degree for more than one year from the date of award of the doctoral degree, in relation to publication, publication in an academic journal that prohibits multiple publication, or application for a patent, etc.
Q5. What is a "summary of the doctoral dissertation"? Is there a guideline for the amount of content?

  There is no specific guideline, but a summary that shows the structure and overall content of the doctoral dissertation is required, to the extent that "unavoidable circumstances" are not affected.

Q6. What happens if I submit the contents of my doctoral dissertation to a journal in the future?

  Please check the submission guidelines of the journal to which you are submitting your dissertation to make sure that you are not violating any duplicate submission rules. If you suffer a disadvantage in relation to publication, it is considered a "unavoidable circumstances" not to publish the full text of your doctoral dissertation. If the publisher or academic society to which you plan to submit your dissertation prohibits the submission of papers published in institutional repositories, or if you plan to submit your dissertation but have not yet decided on a specific journal, please consider applying for withholding publication.

Q7. I have used all or part of an article published in a scholarly journal in my doctoral dissertation. Is there any problem regarding its publication on the Internet?

  In many cases, copyrights for articles published in scholarly journals are transferred to the publisher or academic society by contract. Therefore, it is necessary to check the copyright policy of the publisher in order to determine whether the published article can be used as a doctoral dissertation and whether it can be published on the Internet (see Q8). If there are co-authors, it is necessary to obtain the consent of all co-authors for use in the doctoral dissertation and for publication on the Internet.

Q8. How can I check copyright policy?

  You can check the copyright statement on the publisher's website or in the Copyright Transfer Agreement or License Agreement that you signed when you submitted your paper. Please check mainly the copyright-related statements. For example, "Rights retained by journal author..." , "Authors can use...", etc., and in some cases, the author's rights are retained even after the copyright is transferred, and deposit and publication in institutional repositories such as HUSCAP are permitted. The same procedure can be used to check for open access publications. If you are unsure, you need to contact the publisher (see Q9).

Q9. How can I contact the publisher?

  Inform the contact person or editor listed in the Copyright Transfer Agreement or other documents of the following information.

  • Whether you are allowed to use the material in your doctoral dissertation. Be specific about how you will use it; e.g., using of reprint (PDF), reproduce and reprint the article, using parts of the text or figures
  • Whether the doctoral dissertation can be published on the Internet, via institutional repository.
Q10. How can do if I reproduce figures, tables, etc. of others in my doctoral dissertation?

  If the material is considered to exceed the scope of "quotation" under the Copyright Act, permission from the copyright holder must be obtained for reproduction and publication.

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