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Your Digital Repository Librarian

David McTaggart

Based at: Northampton Square Library

020 7040 3106

Your thesis and City Research Online

Congratulations on the successful completion of your PhD. 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 copy of the "Thesis Deposit Agreement."

Your School's research degree coordinator will then submit the PDF copy and the Thesis Deposit Agreement to Library Services. The PDF copy will be checked and redacted if necessary and then this version will be made publicly available in our open access repository, City Research Online, and in EThOS the British Library's thesis discovery service. We will also retain an unredacted digital copy of your thesis as part of our record of research at City.

City, University of London expects that all successful PhD theses will be made available in City Research Online - this is included in City's Open Access policy (point e) (PDF, 311 KB). You may request an embargo period to allow for publication (typically three years) or a waiver, at the discretion of the Director of Library Services.

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

  • To allow anyone to access it. Theses made openly accessible 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 is found more often and more easily;
  • To increase its citation count. Studies have shown that research made openly accessible is read, and hence cited more, than research that remains closed;
  • To showcase research produced by PhD students at City, University of London. The repository forms 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.

The eight benefits of open access:  More exposure for your work. Practitioners can apply your findings. Higher citation rates Your research can influence policy. The public can access your findings Compliant with grant rules. Taxpayers get value for money. Researchers in developing countries can see your work.

Diagram illustrating the benefits of open access. CC BY Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown.

Which version of my thesis should I submit?

We require you to submit the version of the thesis as finally examined, i.e. the final version of the thesis including any corrections that 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 PDF copy for the original version, and a PDF copy for the redacted version that will be made available in City Research Online.

Redacting copyrighted and sensitive material

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, i.e. 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.

Candidates are expected to apply any necessary redactions to their thesis before submitting to Library Services. Guidance is available from the Copyright Library Guide, particularly the page on making theses available on City Research Online, and by contacting the Copyright and digitisation team at In rare cases authors might choose to apply for an embargo or waiver for their thesis due to the quantity of redactions needed.

How to request a deposit waiver or an embargo

Embargo Periods

An embargo period can be requested under the following circumstances:

  • 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 with the signed Thesis Deposit Agreement. The Publications team will then make metadata about the thesis publicly available in City Research Online but prevent anyone from downloading the file in either CRO or EThOS for the embargo period.

Deposit waiver

Where an embargo is not sufficient, an open access deposit waiver can be requested under the following circumstances:

  • 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 Director of Library Services.

If you have any questions relating to either embargo periods or waivers, please contact the Publications team using