Research Commons FAQ

Research Commons is a digital repository, which aims to collect, make openly available and preserve research produced at the University of Waikato. It acts as a storehouse for publications and documents or points to where such items are stored remotely. Research Commons is administered by the University of Waikato Library.

  • Research Commons provides freely available full-text access to the University of Waikato's research outputs where possible.
  • The repository is optimised for use with search engines and metadata aggregators so your work becomes much easier to find. Items on Research Commons are picked up by search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. We are also indexed by open access harvesters such as OAIster and the Kiwi Research Information Service.
  • Many potential readers can not easily access the publications in which your work appears but can access the repository.  This is obviously of benefit to readers but also increases your potential readership and citation counts.
  • Research Commons enhances the University of Waikato’s visibility and prestige by bringing together the full range and extent of our research interests.
  • A durable (stable, unchanging) URL is provided.  Care will be taken to maintain this URL in perpetuity.
  • Helps to ensure the long-term preservation of the University’s research outputs.
  • Repository staff can assist authors with rights management.


Any University of Waikato academic staff member, school, research unit, or institute is eligible to participate. Research Commons is organised into collections based on schools/faculties and research institutes.

To deposit your research, contact the Research Commons administrators at You can email a list of your publications, send an article as an email attachment, or contact us to collect any items that you have. We are happy to digitise items you may have in hard copy only.

You can also discuss depositing items with your Subject Librarian.

The Research Commons administrators will investigate copyright issues (to link to the copyright section on this page) before depositing your work and contact you if there are any queries and to request digital copies of the work if necessary. We can also scan items only available in hardcopy.

At present all deposits need to be processed by the Research Commons Administrators.

University of Waikato Higher Degree and Masters Degree students are required to deposit a digital copy of their completed thesis to Research Commons.

The Thesis deposit form is available here:

For further information on how to prepare your files see the Library’s Digital Thesis Deposit webpage.

There are often copyright restrictions we must consider when deciding if a paper can be submitted to Research Commons. When a piece of research is published, the author often assigns copyright to the publisher. The rights the author retains will depend on the type of agreement signed.  The Library will check publisher's copyright policies before putting items on Research Commons. We will not break copyright legislation.

Publishers sometimes require we deposit particular versions of the article:

Submitted Version: The author-created version that has been submitted to a journal for peer review.

Accepted Version: The final author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted-for-publication version.  It is not yet in the format in which it will be published. Often publishers prefer that we host this version on Research Commons. It is sometimes known as a postprint or an author's version. Wherever possible, we link the repository version to any traditionally published version.

Published Version: This is often referred to as the publisher’s PDF. It is the final published version and has been morphed into the style and format of the journal in which it is to appear. Many publishers stipulate that this version may not be hosted on repositories, but we will use it wherever we are able to.

If we are prohibited from hosting the full-text of a piece of research we will link to the full-text if it is available online elsewhere.

Please see Research Commons Copyright Policy for more information on how items in Research Commons are protected by copyright.

Research Commons accepts most kinds of research outputs. Examples include:

  • Journal articles
  • Conference papers
  • Reports
  • Working papers
  • Book chapters

We will accept pre-publication versions of documents (see Research Commons Copyright Policy for further details). Each participating unit will determine content appropriate for inclusion in its part of the IR.

Research Commons can accept most kinds of file formats, including image and video files. Text documents are usually deposited in PDF format. Repository staff are happy to convert files to PDF or arrange scanning of hard copies into digital form.

We house the University of Waikato's digital thesis collection. We include digital copies of University of Waikato Masters and Doctoral theses deposited since 2006. Theses are normally in PDF format, with supplementary material in a variety of file formats available.

Prior to 2006, digitisation of theses for open access was not mandatory. To find older print theses please check the University of Waikato’s Library catalogue. These theses may be requested by interloan through your local library.

Research Commons is organised into a hierarchical structure of communities, sub-communities and collections. Our communities represent the Faculties and Schools of the University of Waikato, plus the theses collection. The collections are groups of related documents, for example, all the papers from a Faculty or Research Unit. The Community and Collection structure may be browsed.

You can search with keywords in the basic search box on the Research Commons Homepage or by using the Advanced Search option. You can also browse for papers by community or collection, titles, authors, dates, subjects, types and degree names.

Research Commons is an open access site, which means that anyone with an internet connection can view the content. In cases where we are prohibited from hosting the full-text of the material, it may only be accessible by those persons affiliated to organisations with subscriptions to the database of the publisher or institution which has published the content. This is why we endeavour to host the full-text of the research output wherever possible.

Authors can find out the number of times their research's abstract page has been viewed and the full text of the work has been downloaded using our easily accessible Research Commons Usage Statistics.