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Open Access

Open Access Thesis Deposit

All UEA PhD theses are submitted electronically and are made openly available via the UEA Digital Repository and the British Library EThOS Service.

All theses are now submitted electronically (see Submission and Presentation of Theses page) and will be available in the public domain via the UEA Digital Repository and the British Library EThOS service.  You can request an embargo (temporary restriction on access).   If you require a longer restriction, please speak to your supervisory team (see also the Research Student Concessions information page). 

You should email/OneDrive your submitted thesis both to your usual Graduate School team email address and to (as a backup).  Please ask for an electronic receipt to confirm your thesis has been received. 

There is a 10MB limit on most email systems, and zip files attached to emails will be automatically blocked. 

Further information can be found on the Postgraduate Researcher Information page. 

An electronic thesis is regarded as a form of publishing, therefore you should check if any of the following apply: 

  • Does your thesis contain confidential information? This is sensitive personal information that you have gathered with the promise of confidentiality.  This material can sometimes be included for examination purposes (with access limited to your supervisors, markers and external examiners), but not for open access online to the rest of the world 
  • Does your thesis contain 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 This refers to material created by other parties which is still in copyright, whether published or unpublished.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 (made available for your supervisors, markers and external examiners), it cannot be provided online to the rest of the word without permission from the rights holders 
  • Does your thesis contain commercial information? Is there any commercially sensitive material in your thesis?  For example you may be researching in an area where patents are pending, or there may be an agreement with sponsors not to make certain findings open for a period of time 
  • Is there a related publication pending which includes substantial parts of the findings or outputs of your thesis? 

  • Obtain the rights you need and submit as normal. 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".  However this might not always be possible depending on the time available and availability of rights holders 
  • Restrict access to your thesis for up to 3 years (embargo). You can request an embargo when you complete the Research Degree Entry Form, (under 'Submitting your Thesis for Initial Assessment'. Your deposited thesis will be added to the repository on closed access and the full text 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. 

Your thesis should be submitted in PDF format.  The PDF should be given a filename in this way: YearLastnameInitialsDegree.pdf, for example: 2020BloggsJBPhD.pdf. 

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. 

Please see the Rules for the Submission of Theses for Research Degrees for further guidelines. 

If you'd like more information about e-theses, please contact Jane Helgesen, Head of Education and Research Engagement 

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

Further information for Postgraduate Researchers 

All born-digital UEA theses are now uploaded into the  UEA Digital Repository. Older UEA theses that were submitted in print format are stored in the Library and can be located by searching Library Search.   

You can search other UK institutional theses via the British Library EThOS service. [Note- currently this service is unavailable (January 2024). Please try Digital Repository at the holding institution as an alternative].