FAQs about submitting your thesis electronically FAQs about submitting your thesis electronically

Why is the second (Library) copy now electronic only?

As theses are now produced digitally, it is fairly easy to generate an electronic version and saves students the expense of providing two bound copies. It also makes it much easier for others to find and access theses (bound theses can only be accessed at the awarding institution and the British Library no longer facilitates their interlending).

What are the advantages of theses being available online?

An online thesis saves readers from having to visit a host university library. It potentially enhances your reputation as a researcher, enabling you to disseminate your research more widely with minimal effort. You can point people to the electronic copy and could use the usage statistics from the repository in convincing a publisher that there is value in publishing your work. Electronic theses help make the institution’s research outputs more visible, enhancing the reputation of UEA. They also contribute to wider efforts to make the output of research openly accessible to the public, supporting further research and collaboration and producing other social, economic and cultural benefits.

What are the challenges of theses being made available online? What do I need to check before submitting?

The difference between a bound copy held in a closed access section of the UEA Library and an electronic version in the UEA repository is that the electronic version is regarded as a form of publishing.

For many this will not be an issue, but all researchers submitting their electronic (Library) version will need to be careful to check whether any of the following apply:

  • Confidential information. Is there any confidential information in your thesis? This is sensitive personal information that you may have gathered from under a promise of confidentiality. This material can sometimes be included for examination purposes (for which the audience is limited to your supervisors, markers and external examiners), but not for open access online to the rest of the world.
  • Third party copyright material. This refers to material created by other parties which is still in copyright, whether published or unpublished. It might include lengthy quotations, images, photographs, graphs, tables, maps, etc. While this material can be permitted for examination purposes, and made available to your supervisors, markers and external examiners, it cannot be provided online to the rest of the world without permission from the rights holders.
  • Commercial information. Is there any commercially sensitive material in your thesis? You may be researching in an area where patents are pending or there may be an agreement with sponsors not to make certain findings openly available for a period of time.
  • Related publications. Is there a related journal article or book pending which includes substantial parts of the findings or outputs of your thesis.

What do I do if my thesis does include confidential, non-cleared copyright, commercial, or pre-publication material?

You have three options:

  • Obtain the rights you need and submit as normal. Ideally, you should first see if you can obtain the necessary permissions. Further guidance on obtaining permissions is given in this booklet "UEA: Your thesis and copyright". We realise obtaining all the rights needed may not always be possible depending on the time available.
  • Restrict access to your thesis for up to 3 years (embargo). You can request an embargo when you complete the Research Degree Entry Form. Your deposited thesis will be added to the repository on closed access and will be marked as embargoed. It will not be made available in UEA's repository or via EthOS until the end of the restricted period. You will need to make it clear on the Research Degree Entry Form that you have chosen this option and the reasons why and also obtain sign-off from your supervisor and Head of School.
  • Remove material from the electronic copy of your thesis (redaction). If only small parts of your thesis are affected, you could consider providing an additional redacted electronic copy which has the sections of concern edited or redacted. This redacted version can then be made available on open access, without an embargo, enabling you to secure the benefits of open access.

How do I deposit my thesis?

You will need to complete a signed Research Degree Entry Form and return it to the Postgraduate Research Service when you first submit your thesis. The entry form will apply to both the hard copy and electronic copy/ies of your thesis.

After the examination process has been completed and confirmation has been received from the examiner(s) that any corrections required have been satisfactorily completed, one hard bound copy and one electronic copy in PDF format on a CD, DVD or USB flash drive should be deposited with the Postgraduate Research Service.

What format does my thesis need to be in (file type, filenames etc)?

The electronic copy should be submitted as one file in PDF format on a CD, DVD or USB flash drive.

The disc or memory stick should be labelled with your name, school and thesis title. It can be returned if you provide a stamped addressed envelope (otherwise it will be disposed of appropriately).

The PDF should be given a filename in this way: YearLastnameInitialsDegree.pdf, for example: 2020BloggsJBPhD.pdf . The electronic copy/ies must be submitted at the same time as the final version of the printed copy and should be identical to the printed version.

Depending on circumstances, you may additionally wish to submit a redacted electronic version for open access. You may also include Excel or other additional data files if appropriate.

How can I get further help?

Please see the UEA Academic Calendar < https://portal.uea.ac.uk/academic-calendar?> for the regulations governing thesis submission.

If you'd like more information about e-theses, please contact Jane Helgesen <j.helgesen@uea.ac.uk> , Head of Academic Liaison.

If, after reading "UEA: Your thesis and copyright" , you have any further queries about copyright, please contact Dave Palmer, the University Information and Policy Compliance Manager.