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Deposit your thesis with the library

Advice for higher degree students for submitting a print and online copy of your completed thesis to the library for archiving and access by a wider audience.

The webpage you are looking at here is advice for the submission of an archival copy of your thesis to the University Library.

Doctoral students looking for advice about submitting their final thesis to the Doctoral College should first review this webpage Finishing Your Doctorate - a guide for students approaching the end of their studies

Who is this information for?

This information is for University of Bath higher degree candidates, meaning research postgraduates including those completing a MPhil, PhD, DBA, EdD, EngD, DHealth, DClinPsy, MS or MD, who need to submit an archival copy of their work to the Library in print and online.

Information about submitting your Masters dissertation (MA, MSc, MRes) online can be found on the Library’s Dissertations page.

What is required?

The University regulations require you to provide both a hard-bound copy and an electronic copy of your final corrected thesis to be kept and made available by the University Library.

Detailed guidance on the presentation of your thesis is given in the Specification for Higher Degree Theses and Portfolios document.. These specifications cover general presentation; essential elements of the title page; binding; electronic file formats etc.

IMPORTANT! Please ensure that the electronic version of your thesis meets the accessibility standards and can be used by as many people as possible. See our Digital Accessibility guidance.

After your viva, but before the Board of Studies meeting that will approve your award, you should:

  1. Upload two electronic copies of your thesis, one in Word or LaTeX format (zip file if necessary) and one in PDF format, to the University’s research information system Pure. See page 2 and 3 of the HD3 form for step-by-step instructions. You may need to deposit a redacted version of your thesis as well (please see important guidance below).
  2. Complete the HD3 form Higher Degree Thesis Final Submission After Examination.
  3. Email your completed HD3 form to your Doctoral College.

Your Doctoral College will certify that your degree has been awarded and forward your HD3 form to the Library.

What will happen to your thesis?

The hard-bound copy of your thesis will be kept by your department until it can be delivered to the University of Bath Library. Once in the library, your work will be catalogued and shelved. Theses can be referred to by members of the University and its visitors in print and online.

When will the thesis be available via Bath Research Portal?

The Library will check the details of the electronic copy of your thesis in Pure and will add an embargo (restriction on access) if specified in the HD3 form. See more information below on restricting access to your thesis.

Once the award of your degree has been approved by the Board of Studies, the thesis will be made publicly available on the internet via the University of Bath’s research portal and library catalogue.

The British Library may make your electronic thesis publicly available from their electronic theses database Ethos. If there is an embargo on the thesis, it will not be available until the embargo date has passed.

A Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND-ND) licence will be applied to your thesis by default when it is published via the Bath Research Portal. If you would prefer a less restrictive licence such as CC BY, please select this from the licence drop-down menu or email

Your e-thesis opportunities and challenges

As the electronic copy of your thesis will be freely available online, it will be accessible to everyone, not just members of the University of Bath. This is a great opportunity and we hope this wide exposure will enhance your prospects for collaboration and sponsorship and heighten the impact of your research in your field of study.

The final copy of your thesis that you submit for academic assessment can contain any kind of information. This 'full' copy must be deposited with the library. However, if it contains any kind of information that cannot be published (see below) you must also create and deposit an edited (redacted) copy, which can be shared.

Any documents you deposit which cannot be shared will be stored securely in Pure but not made publicly available. Please ensure that your redacted version has REDACTED at the beginning of the file name so that it is clear which version is which.

When making your thesis publicly available online it is extremely important that you carefully consider:

  • Confidential or sensitive information - is there any sensitive information in your thesis that should not be made publicly available? This might include people’s personal details such as names and addresses, phone numbers, or your own signature on the Author’s Declaration page. Or it might be information which relates to religious, ethnic or political sensitivities. If in doubt, please contact the Open Access team for advice.

  • Copyright - does your thesis include materials from other sources also known as third party copyrighted materials? You may need permission from the copyright holder to publish this material in your electronic thesis. Third party copyright material may include extracts of texts from publications such as books and journals, or illustrations such as images, maps, photographs, diagrams, tables etc.

  • While you might be permitted to use such materials in the thesis for the purposes of examination, you do not necessarily have permission to make them freely available online. However, "insubstantial" extracts of third party copyright material can be included under the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, provided that they appear with a proper reference to the original source. "Insubstantial" amounts might include, for example, a 400 word extract from a printed source. You are advised to seek written permission from the copyright owner for any images, photographs, diagrams, charts, tables etc. that have been directly copied as a whole from another publication.

If you have been unable to gain all the necessary permissions from the rightsholder, you will need to make available an edited (redacted) version of your thesis which excludes the third party material. (see below).

  • Also consider whether you have included data which you have paid to access under the condition that you do not share it.

You may wish to request a restriction on public access to your thesis for a specified period if the following applies:

  • Pending publications: do you, your supervisor or collaborators intend to publish results from your thesis elsewhere? It’s possible that publishers may advise against making your thesis publicly available until after these publications are released. Or you may wish to have more time to prepare for publication.

  • Is there commercially sensitive content? For example, if you wish to make a patent application.

In exceptional cases of commercial sensitivity, a temporary restriction of access may not be sufficient and it may be possible to redact the sensitive material. You will need to request permission via the PGR7 form to redact this type of material from your thesis, and it will require approval of the Board of Studies (Doctoral). Efforts must be made to redact the minimum of material.

Redacting information that cannot be made publicly available

If you need to create and deposit a redacted version, please remove the information after your thesis has been submitted for academic assessment. You should signify where information has been removed by replacing it with, for example, "this image has been removed by the author for copyright reasons". You may also wish to give further information, such as the reason for the redaction. You should replace content with a text box of the same size to retain page ordering. The full-text thesis will be used by the examiners, and a copy will held in the institutional repository, but only the redacted e-thesis will be accessible.

Submitting an Alternative Format thesis

Doctoral students are permitted to submit an ‘Alternative Format’ thesis (or thesis by publication). This may include the full text of one or more journal articles/conference papers.

It is a requirement that the version of your thesis that will be available online includes a completed Statement of Authorship form in front of each journal article or conference paper, whether that publication has been submitted, accepted, or published. The form can be found on page 12 of the QA7, Appendix 6: Specifications for Higher Degree Theses and Portfolios.

Available in Word format.

The form should include the title, publication status, publication details (if published), your own contribution to the paper, a statement confirming that the research was conducted during the period of the Higher Degree, and a signature/date. You must select one of two options:

  • that the article, conference paper or book chapter was published with a Creative Commons (CC BY) licence
  • that the publisher holds the copyright but you have obtained permission to include the document.

Articles which have been accepted for publication, or published articles can be included in the thesis provided the licence or the the publisher’s copyright policy allows this. Some journals only allow the pre-publication version of the manuscript to be used, or the ‘author’s accepted manuscript’ - the final draft of the paper, after peer-review but before the publisher's typesetting has been applied. The student and supervisor are responsible for checking publisher policy regarding inclusion of articles in theses. You will need to find the policy on the publisher's website, or email the publisher for specific advice.

Make sure to provide a link/DOI to the final published version where the article has been published. This can be included in the thesis in lieu of the full-text article if necessary. If required, a publisher set statement can be added before the start of the paper. You can get specific advice on copyright issues by contacting the Open Access Team.

Full guidance on writing and submitting an alternative format thesis is provided by the Doctoral College.

Restricting public availability of your thesis

If there are reasons why your thesis should not be publicly available straight away, you can request a one year restriction on the online availability of your electronic thesis; for example, if you have publications pending or there is information to support a commercial patent.

This short-term restriction does not require Board of Studies (Doctoral) approval and can be requested via the HD3 form.

If you would like an embargo for more than one year, you will need approval from Board of Studies (Doctoral). Neither the electronic nor the hard-bound copy will be made available by the library until after the agreed released date.

Students who would like to request this type of embargo will need to complete a PGR7 form. Please discuss this with your supervisor and apply for a restriction at the earliest possible stage – don’t wait until you’re about to submit!

Requesting an extension to an existing embargo: if you need the restriction on access to your thesis to be extended for another year or more, you will need to contact the Doctoral College via email at They will ask you to complete the PGR7 form again, having first pre-populated the form with your details and recorded it in their database. On receipt of your completed form, they will send the request to the relevant Faculty/Department who will respond to your request and inform the Library of the extension.

Your thesis should not contain your own personal details, including your signature. This is partly a security risk but also because your contact details are likely to change. If you wish to provide readers with your contact details, you should restrict these to your University of Bath email address. If you have any concerns about your thesis being publicly available online, please contact Library's Open Access Team.

If you’ve been granted a restriction on access to your thesis, only the bibliographic record and the abstract will be visible on Bath’s Research Portal until the end of the specified embargo period.

Please contact Open Access Team if you have any queries.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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