Electronic deposition of doctoral theses

Applicable to doctoral researchers registered on or after 1 October 2012

For doctoral researchers at the University of Reading, it is now a requirement that an electronic copy of your thesis be deposited via an approved, secure method. This page answers some of the questions you may have about this process. In addition, there is a more detailed training module on BlackBoard (see below) to help you understand the process better.

What is electronic deposition?

Why is it necessary? What are the benefits?

How do I know whether this applies to me or not?

I enrolled before October 2012; can I still deposit my thesis into CentAUR?

How can I obtain an exemption or embargo, if required?

I am ready to deposit my thesis; what are the next steps? 

Guidance and training module

What is electronic deposition?

Electronic deposition is one of the final stages of the process of thesis submission for doctoral researchers at Reading (see below for information on exemptions); it is a requirement for students on relevant programmes who enrolled on or after 1 October 2012. It involves the deposit of an electronic copy of the final version of your doctoral thesis into the University’s digital Institutional Repository, CentAUR.

Why is this necessary? What are the benefits?

Library resourcesAs a researcher, you will know that visibility of research outputs is of high importance to your future career. By making your thesis available via the stable and secure platform offered by CentAUR, you will be significantly increasing the chances of your work being seen and will be a tangible means of raising your recognition and profile with potential collaborators, employers and funding bodies. It is increasingly the case within UK Universities that doctoral theses are deposited not just in hard copy but also via electronic means, in similar fashion to other research outputs.

There are also a number of benefits for the University, with high quality doctoral research outputs being preserved digitally and a higher research profile. As a result of the national trend towards electronic deposition, our researchers are also able to benefit from access to research outputs from within the University and beyond.

How do I know whether this applies to me or not?

Electronic deposition of theses is required for all doctoral level theses, with the exception of MPhil awards and PhD by published works. If you started your programme on or after 1 October 2012, you are required to deposit the final version of your thesis.

I enrolled before October 2012; can I still deposit my thesis into CentAUR?

If you registered for a PhD before October 2012, it is not compulsory for you to submit your thesis electronically. However, you are welcome to do so.

What I am I required to do and when?

You will need to submit an electronic version (normally PDF format) of the final version your thesis alongside one or two hardbound copies (The Doctoral Examinations Officer will advise you of how many hardbound copies are required, depending on your School/Dept). The electronic version will then be uploaded (by University Library staff) to CentAUR.

The process is summarised below and in the Checklist for final submission :

  • Make any necessary corrections to your thesis
  • Ensure you have read and understand the Rules for the Submission of Theses (PDF - 64KB)
  • Collate the electronic version of your thesis into one PDF document and save on to CD or DVD (see guidance on 'Submitting a Thesis as a PDF', produced by IT Services, for more detail)
  • With your supervisor, complete the Thesis Deposit Form
  • Make arrangements for one or two copies of your final thesis to be hard-bound
  • Deliver the hard bound copy/copies of your thesis, the electronic version on CD or DVD and the signed Thesis Deposit Form to the Doctoral Examinations Officer at the Graduate School no later than the specified deadline

How can I obtain an exemption or embargo, if required?

There are times when you may wish to restrict access to your thesis, or cannot make it accessible online for reasons of copyright or other issues. The training module 'Creating your electronic thesis' will provide you with the information you need on issues such as copyright, and will also help you make a decision on whether you should restrict access to both the print and electronic versions of your thesis.

Further guidance and training on electronic deposition of theses

A compulsory training module (‘Creating your electronic thesis’) has been developed to help guide you through the process of electronic deposition of theses, including issues such as:

  • Using other people’s content (copyright issues)  
  • Restricting access to your theses
  • Referencing and avoiding plagiarism
  • The overall process of submission

This module is accessible via BlackBoard (see link on the right-hand box of this page). All current doctoral researchers should automatically be enrolled (by the end of October at the start of the academic year) onto this module and should therefore be able to see it automatically.

If you cannot see the module when you login to BlackBoard, please email Emma Minns (e.h.minns@reading.ac.uk)  and we will check your enrolment status.


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See also

  • Information for researchers (University Library web pages)


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