Submitting your final Ethesis

It is common practice both in the UK and internationally to deposit your thesis in an open access repository, making it available to a wide audience. 

March 2020 - Important Information

The University has withdrawn the requirement to submit a hard bound copy of your final, corrected thesis for the award of your degree. You only need to upload a PDF copy of your thesis to White Rose Etheses Online. This can be carried out remotely. 

One way of storing theses and making them available to a wide audience is to deposit them in an open access repository; this 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). Please see our Guide to the thesis examination process for more detailed information.

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).

Why do I need to upload an eThesis?

All PGRs must submit their successful thesis for retention in the University Library. The University has withdrawn the requirement to submit a hard bound copy of your final, corrected thesis for the award of your degree. You only need to upload a PDF copy of your thesis to White Rose Etheses Online. This can be carried out remotely.  

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.  

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 can specify the thesis retention arrangements and upload your eThesis using the simple online deposit process. 

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.

eThesis format

One complete PDF eThesis file MUST be supplied as follows:

  • This must be a single PDF file exactly replicating the content of the final, corrected thesis approved by your internal examiner for the award of your degree (including all appendices).
  • Theses produced using other packages (Word, LaTex etc) must be converted to PDF.
  • On opening the file the first page accessed should be the title page of the thesis.
  • The ethesis should be given a standard filename: Surname & initials, school, degree, year of submission, for example: Smith_ABC_Chemistry_PhD_2020.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).

To help ensure longer-term digital preservation of your thesis, it is strongly recommended that you also provide your thesis in its original source file format (e.g. Word, LaTex). Wherever possible, please also upload the original source files for your thesis in addition to the final PDF. The PDF must be supplied in all cases, to fulfil the requirements for the award of your degree. The PDF file is the version of your thesis that will be made live in WREO and accessible by users, after any embargo period has expired. 

If you are a practice-led researcher your eThesis will comprise both the written commentary and the related practice material.  You must upload both the written commentary (as a single PDF file) and all the practice material in appropriate electronic files (for example pdf, jpeg, mp3) to White Rose eTheses Online. Please refer to your Faculty’s Practice-led Protocol for further advice.


Restricting access to your eThesis 

Please see our Guide to the thesis examination process for more detailed information. 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.

You may not need to embargo your eThesis prior to any related pending publications. Many publishers will expect the journal paper or monograph to be significantly revised from the original thesis and will not require your thesis to be placed under embargo. Publisher policies do vary, and you should contact potential publishers directly to discuss your situation and whether or not an embargo is really necessary.Please consult the Library website for further advice on copyright relating to publishing material from your thesis.

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 (supported by a case from the Supervisor). In the case of Ph.D. theses funded by Research Councils, the Terms and Conditions require that metadata (name, thesis title, abstract) describing the thesis should be lodged in the institution's repository as soon as possible after award and a full text version should be available within a maximum of 12 months following award.

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. 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 Doctoral College Operations (DCO). Your Supervisor may notify DCO 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. Please see our Guide to the thesis examination process for more detailed information. After the embargo period both the hard-bound copy and the eThesis will automatically be released and will be available for access. It is your responsibility to contact DCO ( 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 are expected to make all reasonable efforts to seek permission to include third party copyright material in the electronic version of your 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 including the final, corrected content  of your thesis (as approved by your examiners).
  • eThesis 2 – 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.

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

Please consult the Library website for further advice on using copyrighted material in your thesis and publishing material from your thesis (prior to and after submission) or revisit the Research Practice section of Unit 1 of the Minerva Induction module. You can also contact with any questions.  

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.


Deposit of research data and associated materials

At this stage you may also need to arrange for the deposit of your data and research materials, in accordance with what was agreed with your Supervisor and/or set out in your data management plan. This could involve depositing material directly with your Supervisor or School, or upload to a trusted data repository (White Rose Etheses Online, Research Data Leeds or other repository).Increasingly, research funders have explicit expectations about how research data is managed and encourage data sharing beyond the original project where this is appropriate.  Other researchers may want to review or reuse your data or try to replicate your findings. Research data is often made available by depositing it in an online data repository. The University’s Research Data Leeds repository can be used to share research data generated by Leeds researchers.  You may wish to share supplementary data associated with your thesis, or share data for a conference presentation, or an exhibition or data that underpins a journal article. This will ensure that materials of all kinds captured during your research process are handled appropriately and remain findable, retrievable and understandable for as long as they are required.