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City Research Online: Depositing your thesis

Find out more about City Research Online, including how to add your papers, who to contact for help, and more about Open Access at City.

Your thesis and City Research Online

Congratulations on your successful PhD examination!  Once you have received confirmation that amendments have been made to the examiners' satisfaction, your final submission to your School should include:

  • a PDF copy of your thesis, either on a CD-ROM or USB stick
  • a signed hardcopy of the "Thesis Deposit Agreement" or "Thesis Deposit Agreement - Counselling Psychology theses".

Your School's research degree coordinator will then submit a hard copy and the PDF copy to the Library, where it will be catalogued, the hard copy will be added to our collections, and the electronic copy will be checked and redacted if necessary. Finally the checked and redacted version will be made available in our Open Access repository, City Research Online, and then in ETHoS, the British Library's thesis discovery service.

City University London expects that all successful PhD theses will be made Open Access in City Research Online - this is included in City's Open Access policy (point e).  You may request an embargo period to allow for publication (typically three years) or a waiver, at the discretion of the Graduate Dean.

Which version of my thesis should I submit?

Generally, we require you to submit the version of the thesis as finally examined, ie. the final version of the thesis including any corrections that might have been applied to it post-viva.

The exception is where the thesis contains any copyrighted material, sensitive material or clinical findings.  If you need to redact such material, please submit a file and hardcopy for the original version and a file for the redacted version that will be made Open Access.

When and how can I request a deposit waiver or an embargo period?

Embargo Periods

In some circumstances, an embargo period can be requested. These circumstances include:

  • The thesis is intended to be turned into published material such as a book, monograph, article or book chapter
  • The thesis has been written as the result of commercial sponsorship, and contains sensitive information that should not be released until an agreed date

The standard embargo period is three years from the date your PhD was awarded. A PDF version of your thesis must be submitted as usual, at the same time as the hard copies, with the signed Thesis Deposit Agreement. The Publications team will then make metadata about the thesis available in City Research Online but prevent anyone from downloading the file in either CRO or ETHoS for the embargo period. 


Deposit Waiver

In some circumstances, where an embargo is not sufficient, an open access deposit waiver can be requested. These circumstances include:

  • The thesis has been written as the result of commercial sponsorship, and contains sensitive information that is never to be released
  • The thesis contains so much third party copyrighted material or personal data that redacting this material and then making it available would make it meaningless.

Waivers to deposit are granted by the Office of the Graduate Dean.


If you have any questions relating to either embargo periods or waivers, please get in touch with the Publications team using


Redacting copyrighted material and other sensitive information

The University takes good stewardship of its research seriously, particularly when that research contains information that might be inappropriate for open release on the web. Many theses submitted for examination contain such material - it can include:

  • Theses containing Third Party Copyright material, ie. material with copyrighted content that resides with someone other than the author. Examples can include: musical scores, reproductions of large amounts of copyrighted text, and graphical images including photographs and figures.
  • Commercially sensitive material, for example information or data arising from an industrially-sponsored studentship.
  • Sensitive personal data, for example clinical findings. These need not even be personally identifiable if the context gives an indication of their possible identity.

In the above circumstances, the Copyright and Digitisation team can offer services to help students remove sections from theses, and then make the redacted thesis available with suitable documentation. Please get in contact with if you feel your thesis may fall into any of the above categories. In rare cases authors might choose to apply for an embargo or waiver for their thesis due to the quantity of redactions needed.


What are the benefits of adding my thesis to City Research Online?

  • To allow anyone to access it. Instead of it only being made available in hard copy at City's library, theses made openly accessibly in City Research Online and ETHoS can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. This means theses are accessed, read, and built upon by people outside of traditional UK higher education circles, as well as more widely disseminated to those within UK HE.
  • To increase its visibility. Theses placed in repositories such as City Research Online have high rankings in search engines such as Google, Bing and Google Scholar, meaning your work gets found more often and more easily.
  • To increase its citation count. Studies have shown that research made openly accessible gets read, and hence cited more, than research that remains closed.
  • To showcase it as research produced by PhD students at City University London. Over time, the repository will form a valuable archive of the doctoral research undertaken at City.
  • To preserve it for the future. City Research Online uses technology which ensures the long term preservation of City's research outputs, for access and use by future generations.