Deferring access to your thesis

You may request a deferral of access to your thesis. For full details see Deferred access to dissertations.

The most common reason for deferring would be if you intend to publish parts of your thesis as journal articles. Most publishers do not view the publication of an electronic thesis as prior publication, so it is not always necessary to restrict access. However, some publishers use the Turnitin anti-plagiarism software to see if an article has been previously published. Making your thesis electronically available might cause publishers using anti-plagiarism software to reject an article. If you believe this is likely to be a problem with your publisher, it may be worth requesting a deferral of your thesis for a 12 month period to give you a window to publish in.

You may also wish to defer your thesis for other reasons. For example:

  • If you have collaborated with external organisations, they may require a deferral before you can publish your thesis
  • It is not possible, or appropriate to remove copyright material, such as photographs, film stills etc.
  • You intend to file a patent and would like to defer publication of your thesis until you have done so 
  • You did not gain permission from participants to share their questionnaire responses, photographs etc. electronically but to remove the information would devalue your thesis
  • If there is a specific risk to publishing your thesis widely. This may be because of concern about reprisals from the people or organisations discussed, or other similar concerns
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