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Scholarly Communication


A thesis can be held in the University repository as an Open Access thesis, an Embargoed thesis or a Restricted thesis. Information about the different ways these are accessed is available here.

Open Access theses

Theses that have been made available Open Access can be searched and downloaded from Apollo as PDF documents without any restrictions other than the license they have been made available under.

Embargoed deposited theses

If you embargo your thesis on deposit to Apollo, any requests that are received for access to your thesis are passed on to you, the author, so you can choose to grant or refuse the request at your discretion. The maximum embargo period is 24 months, however please be aware that some funder requirements may mean that the maximum embargo period for your thesis could be limited to 12 months. When the embargo period ends, your thesis will automatically be made Open Access.

Restricted theses

If you are granted a restriction to your thesis over a longer time period by the Office of Scholarly Communication due to your thesis containing sensitive or restricted information, or for issues concerning third party copyright, your thesis will not be made Open Access until it is judged that no damage will be done by making the information publicly available. Researchers can request restricted theses in the same way they request copies of hardbound theses.

Valid reasons for Embargoing a thesis for up to two years include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Confidentiality agreement with sponsor
  • The contents constitute a trade secret, or its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person or the University
  • Disclosure would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by the owner of that information
  • Thesis contains confidential or sensitive material (e.g. patient data, animal research)
  • Making your thesis freely available may invalidate an application for a patent on a product or process described in the thesis
  • The thesis is due for publication without substantive changes to the text.

Valid reasons for Restricting access to a thesis for a longer period include:

  • Confidentiality agreement with sponsor provided this expressly requires an indefinite or time limited restriction.
  • The thesis contains confidential or sensitive material (e.g. patient data, animal research) such as that disclosure would be likely to endanger an individual's health or safety
  • Publication would cause the candidate or third parties mentioned in the text to be open to legal challenge or racial, ethnic, political or other persecution.

Controlled theses

In exceptional circumstances a thesis may be completely locked and hidden in Apollo. This type of access restriction will require support from an appropriate University body. Email to discuss this option further.