Submitting your final Ethesis

We've worked with other universities in Yorkshire to create White Rose Etheses Online, an open access repository to store digital copies of successful doctoral theses.

Find out whether or not you need to upload an eThesis, what the benefits are, and how to upload your eThesis as part of your doctoral submission.  

Benefits of the eThesis

  • your thesis is more likely to be widely read
  • theses are immediately available and readily searchable
  • the worldwide visibility of UK higher education research is increased
  • underused primary research is made available
  • the profile of the researcher, institution and individual schools may be raised.
  • eThesis submission can help you meet the requirements of your funding body (for example research councils).

Do I need to upload an eThesis?

  • If you commenced a doctoral research degree in or after September 2009 you are required to submit your successful thesis in both hard bound and electronic (eThesis) form.
  • If you commenced a doctoral research degree before September 2009 you are strongly encouraged to deposit a copy of your thesis in eThesis format, in addition to the hard bound copy.
  • If you are an MPhil and Mastership by Research PGR you are exempt from the requirement to deposit an eThesis, but must still submit one hard bound copy.

In all cases one copy of the final, corrected hard bound thesis must be submitted to Postgraduate Research & Operations, via the Student Services Centre counter. This copy will be sent to the University Library after your name has appeared on a pass list.

Why do I need to upload an eThesis?

One way of storing theses and making them available to a wide audience is to deposit them in an open access repository; this is becoming common practice both in the UK and internationally and ensures that the theses are appropriately described, safely housed and easy to obtain.

The University of Leeds worked with colleagues in Sheffield and York to create White Rose Etheses Online (WREO) – an open-access repository in which to store the digital copies of successful doctoral theses. Potential readers will be able to find a stored eThesis through an ordinary search engine such as Google or specialist, academic search engines. In addition, the eThesis will be made available to the British Library's EThOS Service (Electronic Theses Online). 

When to upload your eThesis

You should only upload after your internal examiner has approved the correction of any editorial and presentational corrections or minor deficiencies identified at your examination. You must upload the final, examined and corrected version of your thesis as a single PDF file. This must exactly replicate the content of the final, corrected, hard-bound copy of your thesis.

Where to upload your eThesis

You should upload your final eThesis (and redacted version if required) directly to White Rose eTheses Online. Please see the Library website for further advice on the upload process. You don't need to submit a copy of your final eThesis on CD with your final hard bound thesis. Instead, you can specify the thesis retention arrangements and upload your eThesis using the simple online deposit process. You will still need to submit one hard bound copy of the thesis to Postgraduate Research & Operations, via the Student Services Centre counter.

How to upload your eThesis

You'll need to create an account and register, after which you will receive confirmation of your username and password. From here you can manage your eThesis deposit via the 'Manage deposits' page. This will take you through a range of screens where you enter in details about your thesis, including whether an embargo on access is needed. You will be asked to upload your eThesis (and redacted eThesis if required). Please see the Library website for further advice on the upload process.

Once the upload process has been completed you will receive confirmation via email. A confirmation email will also be sent to your supervisor(s) and to PGR and Operations staff. Please make sure you include the name and email addresses of all your supervisors as part of the upload process. You don't need to complete a paper thesis deposit form.

You must register with the University using your legal name (i.e. the name shown in your passport or other legal documentation) and this is the name that will appear on the pass list published by the University. It is very important in terms of any future requests the University receives to verify the award of your degree that all records match. You must use this registered name on both your hard bound thesis and your eThesis.

The name which appears in the Library and WREO records must be that which was published by the University on the pass list. You must enter your full, registered name – including any and all middle names held in the University records – when you complete the online thesis deposit form as part of the eThesis upload process. If the name you enter does not, for any reason, correspond with that which appears on the University pass list the name it will be amended in the WREO/Library records to correspond with the pass list.  

eThesis format

eTheses are submitted in PDF format. One copy of the eThesis must be a single file exactly replicating the content of the final, corrected printed/bound copy of your thesis and must be supplied as a PDF. Theses produced using other packages (Word, LaTex etc) should be converted to PDF for the final version. If you upload your thesis in another format (e.g. Word) you will be asked to correct this. The single PDF file should include all appendices. On opening the digital file the first page accessed by the user should be the title page of the thesis. Please see the Guide to the thesis examination process for further advice about the layout and format of your thesis and the information required on the title page. 

eThesis file name format

The PDF ethesis should be given a standard filename which follows the format of the hard-copy thesis: Surname and initials, school, degree, year of submission. For example: Smith_ABC_Chemistry_PhD_2015.PDF.

Please note that the filename will be visible to anyone accessing your eThesis through WREO. For this reason it is important that you follow the filename format given here and do not include other information in the filename (for example your 9 digit student ID number) .


Restricting access to your eThesis (and hard bound thesis)

Wherever possible, theses should be made ‘open access’ (i.e. freely available for access). If there are no confidentiality, commercial or publication constraints the full text of your thesis can normally be made immediately available in WREO with no embargo or restriction. However in some cases immediate access to a thesis may not be possible and it may be necessary to restrict access to the full text of your thesis by applying a temporary embargo on the thesis. Examples of when a temporary embargo might be considered include:

  •  where the thesis includes confidential or politically-sensitive information.
  •  where the thesis includes commercially-sensitive information.
  •  where there is a journal article, monograph or other publication from the thesis pending.

Access to the full text of the thesis can normally be restricted for one, two, three, or five years. In the case of a patent pending, it is also possible to restrict access for 20 years. The same embargo period will be applied to both the eThesis and the hard bound copy of your thesis.

Decisions on whether an embargo is required and how long is appropriate should be taken in consultation between the PGR and their supervisor(s). Therefore, before you upload your eThesis you must discuss the retention of thesis arrangements with your supervisor(s) so you know whether to ask the University to embargo your thesis from immediate publication. This could be particularly important if your research has been carried out as part of a research group and you must therefore discuss these matters with your supervisor(s) before you upload your thesis. Some commercial sponsors may also require that restrictions be placed upon access to the thesis. Publication of an eThesis immediately after successful examination may, in some disciplines, reduce the prospects of the publication of monographs or papers by academic publishers or journals. The advent of digital publication is affecting the approach taken by publishers. Where a publication is likely to emerge from the thesis you should restrict access to your thesis for an appropriate period to allow your work to be published. Please consult the Library website for further advice on copyright relating to publishing material from your thesis.

As part of the eThesis upload process you will be asked to specify the retention of thesis arrangements for the library and indicate any embargo that has been agreed with your supervisor. Email confirmation will be sent to you, your Supervisor and PGR & Operations. Your Supervisor may notify PGR&O if any change is required to the embargo period recorded.

If an embargo is placed on the thesis, certain data will still be visible in the University Library catalogue and in WREO, including your name, thesis title and the abstract of your thesis. However the full text of your thesis will not be accessible until after the expiry of the embargo period.

After the embargo period both the hard-bound copy and the eThesis will automatically be released and will be available for access. If you submitted a redacted eThesis, after the end of any embargo period placed only the redacted eThesis will be made available for access. It is your responsibility to contact PGR & Operations ( before the end of the embargo period if you wish to change the period of restriction (either to reduce or extend the embargo period). An extension to the embargo period, or lifting an embargo in advance of the set date, may normally only be done with the agreement of the supervisor(s).

Copyright permissions & redacted eTheses

You're expected to make all reasonable efforts to seek permission to include third party copyright material in the electronic version of their thesis. However, it is recognised that in some cases it may not be possible to gain permission, either because permission is declined, no response is received or because it would be too expensive. This means that you won't be able to make the full text of your eThesis available online.

If you've not been able to obtain the permission of the copyright holder, you must prepare two versions of your eThesis:

  • eThesis 1 - A “complete eThesis” - a single file exactly replicating the content of the final, corrected printed/bound copy of your thesis.
  • eThesis 2 – If supported by a case from the Faculty/School, a “redacted eThesis” file with any third party copyright material redacted and replaced with a statement such as "This image has been removed by the author of this thesis for copyright reasons”. If possible, when removing material from the digital copy, a placeholder should be included to retain the pagination of the original document.


Please contact the thesis examination section in Postgraduate Research & Operations if you feel it will be necessary to submit a redacted eThesis.

In all cases one complete eThesis file MUST be supplied and held by the University but will not be made available online.

Further copyright advice

Further advice about use of copyright material and when you may need to seek permission from the copyright holder is given on the Copyright pages of the Library.

Creative Commons licences

The University recommends that you make your thesis available using a Creative Commons licence. This protects you as the author of the work and clarifies (and limits) the uses that others may make of your work without them needing to ask you for permission. 

The recommended licence is Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike, but there are six licences to choose from. You can find further information about each on the Library copyright pages.


Hard-bound thesis

In addition to uploading your eThesis, one copy of the final, corrected hard bound thesis must be submitted to Postgraduate Research & Operations, via the Student Services Centre counter. This copy will be sent to the University Library after your name has appeared on a pass list.