Amendments to the Open Access Policy were approved by the Board for Graduate Studies and by the University Research Committee in February 2016, along with the supporting document Guidelines for OpenUCT: Publication of Theses and Dissertations after Conferment of the Degree.

Highlights of the Guidelines are:

  • The default position of UCT is that theses and dissertations should be available through open access immediately after graduation in OpenUCT as research findings should be in the public domain.
  • Research reports submitted by candidates for professional master’s degrees are exempt from being added to OpenUCT.
  • A supervisor, with agreement from the student, can defer the deposit of a thesis or dissertation for up to 24 months from the date of graduation in order to allow the submission for publication of work, arising from the dissertation or thesis.
  • Where IP protection is sought, a thesis/ dissertation will be kept confidential for up to 24 months, with an extension of up to 36 months. Only the metadata and abstract will be available in OpenUCT  during this time.
  • The Senate Executive Committee can defer publication of a dissertation or thesis on OpenUCT for a defined period or indefinitely at the student's request, but in such cases, the student will be required to deposit a print copy of the thesis or dissertation in the Special Collections section of UCT Libraries.

The supporting guidelines were approved by the Senate Executive Committee on 3 February 2015.