Skip to Main Content

Theses and Dissertations

Finding Guide

Publishing Your Thesis: Submitting Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation to StFX Scholar

All theses or dissertations submitted to the Library must be in electronic format and will be deposited to StFX Scholar. StFX Scholar is the university's institutional repository, where academic and research materials are stored and made openly accessible to the public. 

Dissertations and graduate theses submitted to StFX Scholar after September 2023, will also be deposited into Theses Canada

The process for submitting theses or dissertations is as follows: 

1. Prepare Your Thesis or Dissertation: 

  • Ensure your thesis or dissertation is in electronic format and saved as a .pdf file.
  • The thesis or dissertation should not include any personal information other than the student's name (e.g. do not provide a student number, any signatures or contact information on the thesis) as this is what will be publicly posted online.

2. Sign a Non-Exclusive License Form: This form grants the Library permission to make your thesis or dissertation available to others. By signing this form, you're allowing the Library to share your work on StFX Scholar and deposit in Theses Canada, making it discoverable to a wider audience. (This form is for internal documentation only.)

3. Attach your Dissertation Defence Form or the Graduate Thesis Approval Form. If this form is attached to your thesis or dissertation, please remove it and attach it as a separate document (This is for internal documentation only.)

  1. Online Submission: Use the Graduate Thesis or Dissertation Deposit form, which is available online. This step involves filling out the necessary information and uploading your thesis/dissertation file, the license form, and your Dissertation Defence form/ Graduate Thesis Approval Form. 

Deposit to StFX Scholar: Once submitted, your work will be deposited into StFX Scholar by the Library. This process may take a few weeks. You will be notified through the email you provided on the form with a link to your thesis/dissertation once the deposit is completed.

It's important to follow these steps carefully to ensure your thesis or dissertation is properly submitted. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the submission process, contact

Please note: The Angus L. Macdonald Library no longer accepts bound and/or hard-copy theses. If you or your department wishes to bind your thesis, contact Page for Page Thesis Publishing


Re-using Third Part Materials: Limits to Copyright and Your Thesis

Copyright and Third-Party Content: Thesis Submission vs. Scholarly Publishing


Stop and ask yourself: Are you including third-party material in your thesis?


If No, everything I've used is insubstantial or my own work  Yes, but I do not plan to publish any part of my thesis Yes, and I do plan to publish some or all of the content
  • StFX Fair Dealings Guidelines  will still apply to the version you submit for graduation, but commercial publication may change the balance of the fair dealing factors
  • Publishers are often very conservative when it comes to relying on "users' rights" to publish third-party materials commercially
  • You may need to seek permission to reproduce these materials in an article or book


Fair Dealing and Other Limitations on Copyright

Fair Dealing

The fair dealing provisions in sections 29, 29.1, and 29.2 of the Copyright Act permit dealing with a copyright-protected work, without permission from or payment to the copyright owner, for specified purposes.

“Fair dealing” is not defined in the Act. The concept has evolved significantly over the last decades through case law, including at the Supreme Court level through cases such as CCH Canadian v. Law Society of Upper Canada in 2004, and Alberta (Minister of Education) v. Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright), and Society of Composers, 2 Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Bell Canada, both in 2012. These decisions set out a multi-factor analysis for assessing whether a particular copying activity or other dealing falls within the ambit of fair dealing.

For a dealing to be fair, it must pass two broad tests:

  • The dealing must be for an allowable purpose:
    • Research, private study, education, parody, satire, criticism, review, or news reporting
  • The dealing must be fair - consider these six factors
    1. The purpose of the dealing
    2. The character of the dealing
    3. The amount of the dealing
    4. The nature of the work
    5. Available alternatives to the dealing
    6. The effect of the dealing on the work

The relevance of the factors depends on the context. Sometimes, certain factors will be much more significant than the others. Occasionally other factors, beyond these six, may be relevant. It is not necessarily the case that all six factors need to be satisfied.

See the copyright guide section on user rights for more information. 

More information can be found:

Seeking Permission

I need to seek permission from a copyright owner. Any advice?

  • Securing permission may take time. It is possible you’ll never get a response to your request
  • If you are using substantial portions of works in your manuscript, think about permissions early in your thesis preparation process
  • In some cases, a rights holder will ask you to pay for the material you are using
  • TIP: Keep a record of the permissions you’ve received (you will be asked to upload a record of these permissions during the thesis submission process)
  • TIP: When using works available through the internet, look for sections labeled ‘copyright’ or ‘terms of use’ – these pages will usually outline how you can use the work and when you need to ask for permission

Where do I ask?

  • Trade/Scholarly Book Publishers will generally have a unit devoted to ‘rights and permissions’ which may be contacted via automated forms or an email address
  • You might have to track down an individual, their agent, or a rights organization and send them a permissions request
  • For more ephemeral material (such as material contained in social media posts), you might have to do some digging and contact users directly
  • A copyright agency or copyright collection might represent the rights holder
  • Make sure that your publisher doesn't already have a reciprocal permissions policy in place with the publisher of the material you would like to reuse. The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) has Permissions Guidelines which grant permission for a limited number of reproductions of third-party materials published by STM members who are signatories.

Sample text adapted from from University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Copyright Permission Request


Re: Permission to Use Copyrighted Material in a Undergraduate/Master/Doctoral Thesis

Dear [_____], I am a St. Francis Xavier University student completing my Doctoral / Master’s / Undergraduate thesis entitled “____***_____”.

My thesis will be available in full text on the internet for reference, study and / or copy. Except in situations where a thesis is under embargo or restriction, the electronic version will be accessible through the StFX Institutional repository, and also through web search engines.

For masters and doctoral works only: I will also be granting Library and Archives Canada and ProQuest/UMI a non-exclusive license to reproduce, loan, distribute, or sell single copies of my thesis by any means and in any form or format.

These rights will in no way restrict re-publication of the material in any other form by you or by others authorized by you. I would like permission to allow inclusion of the following material in my thesis: [insert copy or detailed explanation including the title of the article or book, the figure or page numbers of the material used, the journal name, year, volume number or unique publication identifier, the publisher and year]. The material will be attributed through a citation. Please confirm in writing or by email that these arrangements meet with your approval.

Thank you,

[your name]

The above was copied and adapted from the University of Toronto Libraries guide Submit and Publish Your Thesis, Re-using Third Party Materials with permission.