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Copyright at UNSW


UNSWorks is the UNSW Open Access institutional repository which enables UNSW researchers to make their research outputs freely available and accessible.

Materials deposited in UNSWorks are protected by the Copyright Act 1968 and are licensed under a Creative Commons Licence, which allows for materials to be shared. 

Research output types

Australian Research Council (ARC) defines research as knowledge creation or innovative use of existing research to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions, and understandings.

ARC categorises two types of research outputs that embody research:

  • Traditional research outputs including published books, book chapters, journal articles or conference publications.
  • Non-traditional research outputs (NTROs) including creative work (written or non-textual), curatorial outputs, media, reports, software, and more.

Non-traditional research output (NTRO)

NTROs differ in their form and mode of production from traditional research outputs and are often published by non-traditional outlets i.e., they are usually not published by commercial book and journal publishers.

NTROS can be grey literature i.e., published by an outlet whose primary activity is not publishing, provided it meets the definition of research.

The following NTRO publication types can be deposited via ROS and made available in UNSWorks:

  • Creative Work (non-textual)
  • Creative Written Work
  • Curatorial Output 
  • Design/Architecture
  • Media
  • Music Composition
  • Other Resource
  • Patent
  • Performance (music, theatre, dance)
  • Recorded/Rendered Creative Work
  • Report (including submission to public inquiry)
  • Software/Code  
  • Working Paper

For more information, contact:

Deposit licences for research outputs in UNSWorks

Thesis deposit

If you are a Higher Degree Research candidate depositing your thesis using the Thesis deposit form in UNSWorks you will be prompted to agree to the deposit licence as a condition of deposit: 


Data deposit

If you are a data creator or data steward publishing your dataset to UNSWorks using the Data deposit form you will be prompted to agree to the deposit licence as a condition of deposit: 


Research output deposit via ROS

If you are an author/creator who is uploading your own publication to UNSWorks via ROS, you will be prompted to select a licence agreement before you can submit the publication.

The author/creator licences available are:

NTRO deposit via ROS

Follow the steps in the decision and action tree below to deposit an NTRO in UNSWorks.

Unless otherwise stated, research outputs deposited into UNSWorks are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence International 4.0 (CC BY). This licence lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material, even commercially, as long as they credit the author of the original material. 

You can select other licences from the Reuse Licence dropdown menu. Consider how you would like your output to be reused, and the different licencing norms for types of NTROs. You can use tools like the Creative Commons (CC) License chooser or GitHub's Choose an open source license tool to help decide. If there are co-creators or third-party creators/owners involved, discuss reuse when requesting permissions.

Download the NTRO Copyright Log to keep track of third party copyright material. For more information, contact


NTRO path to open - decision and action tree*



Removing theses from UNSWorks

In 2015, the UNSW Library commenced an ambitious project to improve access to 60 years of higher degree research at UNSW. This project has now been completed. Theses that were previously available only in print have been digitised and made publicly available through UNSWorks.

As part of this project UNSW Library endeavoured to contact the authors and copyright owners of the theses involved to provide them with the opportunity to opt out. If your thesis was a part of this project and you wish for it to be removed from UNSWorks, use the copyright takedown request form to contact UNSW and request removal.

If your thesis was deposited in UNSWorks as a requirement for your degree, contact the Graduate research school for UNSW Sydney students or the Research student unit for UNSW Canberra students for any queries regarding removing the thesis from UNSWorks.

Copyright infringement

When authors deposit works into UNSWorks, they declare that they have the authority to do so. They also warrant that they have removed any third-party materials for which they have not received the appropriate licence or permission to use.

UNSW neither endorses nor accepts the claims of depositors regarding copyright, licences, or suitability of the content of works for publication.

If there is any content in UNSWorks that you reasonably believe to be infringing your copyright, use the copyright takedown request form to contact UNSW. The content will be taken down while the claim is investigated.

For more information on publishing materials using an open access licence or self-archiving, please see:

Need help?

UNSW staff and students can contact for assistance with a copyright query or to arrange a copyright information session.