Thesis guidance

The University of Bristol requires students to submit their thesis electronically. The option is also open to current members of staff who completed their thesis at the University of Bristol.

Unfortunately, the option to deposit an electronic thesis with the University is not available to past students who have already submitted a hardbound version unless they are currently members of staff. Past students who have not submitted a hardbound version may submit their thesis electronically.

Electronic theses are read more widely than print theses. A print thesis can only be consulted by a visitor to the library and will only receive a small number of readers each year. An electronic thesis can be consulted by anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world and will usually receive a correspondingly higher number of readers.

Why electronic theses?

eTheses are also often easier to find through search engines and can be linked to by researchers and other interested parties. This will further increase engagement with your work. This engagement can lead to wider citation of your thesis, to your direct benefit both for further research and your future career.

Providing an electronic copy of your thesis makes it easier to ensure that a copy of your work is held in the British Library's Ethos service, which collects theses from across the UK, providing a valuable resource for researchers. This acts as a backup to your electronic thesis, ensuring that it will be appropriately preserved.

Electronic theses also do not require the printing of extra volumes of your work for library use, which will save you some money at the end of your degree.

What does Open Access mean?

Open Access is free, unrestricted access to research outputs, including postgraduate research theses. The University of Bristol supports free public access to theses and has mandated electronic submission and deposit.

Under University regulations Bristol's postgraduate researchers are required to create an item record and deposit a copy of their postgraduate research thesis in the institutional repository, Pure. Bristol theses are deposited under a Creative Commons licence with the author retaining ownership of copyright. This allows the author to easily set the conditions for other parties making use of their work and make it clear what is permissible and what requires the interested party to contact them beforehand.

Theses deposited without deferral are freely accessible to all. Once accessible, the item record and full text will be fully discoverable to everyone without restriction through the public interface of the institutional repository, Explore Bristol Research (EBR). Research Councils expect a full text version of a theses supported by training grant funding to be made available open access no longer than 12 months following award. Some types of content cannot be published, please read our guide to content which cannot be published for more information.

If you feel you have a reason to request a delay in publication please see Deferring access to your thesis.

Thesis deposit process

The Library will be using an online deposit tool to allow students to upload their thesis for this round of awards. Graduating students will receive an email with details of how to upload their thesis after the Examinations Boards have sat. Please contact lib-research-support@bristol.ac.uk if you have any queries.

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