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Scholarly Communication


Gaining access to electronic copies of theses

Open Access theses

Theses that have been made available Open Access can be downloaded from Apollo as a PDF file without any restrictions other than the license under which they have been made available. Just click on the document file in the thesis record to download a copy.

Embargoed and controlled theses

Some theses in the repository are not open access. This is because they have either been embargoed by the author or because they are unable to be made openly available for copyright or other reasons.

Any theses in Apollo displaying a padlock icon over the PDF file are not open access but can be requested. If you wish to access the full thesis, click on the padlock icon on the PDF and you will be redirected to the repository’s ‘Request a Copy’ function. Requests for embargoed theses will be passed on to the author so they can choose to grant or refuse the request at their discretion. Requests for controlled theses are managed by the Library and incur an administrative fee.

For an explanation of the difference between controlled and embargoed theses, see this page.

If a thesis has been digitised by the Digital Content Unit's image request service in the library it will be deposited in Apollo under controlled access and can be requested via the thesis record in Apollo.


Requesting a copy of a printed thesis

Researchers can order a copy of an unpublished thesis which was deposited in print form through the Library’s Digital Content Unit via the image request form. Copies of theses may be provided to researchers in accordance with the law and in a manner that is common across UK libraries.The law allows us to provide whole copies of unpublished theses to individuals as long as they sign a declaration saying that it is for non-commercial research or private study. The agreement used for access to theses at Cambridge has been drafted using the guidance by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Theses are not available for borrowing or inter library loan. The copyright of theses remains with the author. The law does not allow us to provide a copy for inclusion in a general library collection or for wider distribution beyond the individual receiving the copy, without the explicit permission of the author or copyright holder. Where someone approaches us asking for a copy for their library or wider distribution, they must obtain the explicit permission of the author or copyright owner.

Please note any periods of access restriction requested by the author apply to both electronic and print copies.

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