Frequently Asked Questions

All the information you need about preparing and depositing an electronic version of your thesis should be available on this site. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions.

Policy, Publishing and Plagiarism

What are the advantages to me of making my thesis available electronically?

Your work is much more visible, so it is likely to be better known and more highly cited. It is a flexible format, ideal if your work includes videos or graphics. You can include links to supplementary material too.

Won’t Lancaster be at a disadvantage if it makes its students publish their doctoral theses on the web? Will it affect applications?

On the contrary, most UK universities already require electronic submission of theses and there is no sign of this affecting their student applications. In fact it makes the University's research output more visible to potential applicants.

I'm worried about plagiarism. Won't this make it easier for someone to pass off my work as their own?

In fact the reverse is true! Making your thesis available electronically means that powerful online plagiarism detection services can quickly establish if someone else is using your material. Depositing your e-thesis makes it easier for other researchers to use and cite your work legitimately, using the accepted academic conventions.

I want to publish my thesis as a book; won’t this put a stop to my discussions with a publisher?

You may put an embargo on access to your thesis of up to five years. If this is not sufficient you will need to make a formal written case towards the end of that period to show why the embargo should be extended. However an extension beyond five year would only be made in exceptional circumstances.

My thesis takes the form of a novel I want to publish.

Again, you should apply for a five-year embargo in the first place.

How will people find theses held in Lancaster's thesis repository?

The thesis repository can be searched locally from OneSearch, but it is also harvested by major search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. There are links to it from UK-wide theses services such as Index to Theses and EThOS.

Who must deposit their Thesis electronically? Who else may do so if they wish?

Which degrees are covered by the new regulations?

PhD, DClinPsy, MD and MPhil. Taught postgraduate dissertations are not covered by the regulation change.

I registered before the new regulations came in. May I deposit my thesis electronically too?

Yes, you may deposit your thesis electronically if you wish. However, you do still need to provide two bound copies as specified in the regulations in force when you registered. Before you deposit your thesis, please complete the Thesis Deposit Form (Other Users) and then follow the instructions on the Deposit pages of this guide.

I did my thesis at another university but I would like to deposit a copy here. May I ?

Certainly, you may deposit your thesis electronically if you wish. Before you deposit your thesis, please complete the Thesis Deposit Form (Other Users) and then follow the instructions on the Deposit pages of this guide.

What will happen if I fail to deposit an electronic version of my thesis?

You will not be permitted to graduate until you have deposited an electronic version of your thesis.

Copyright and Access Restriction

Can I restrict access to my thesis?

For information on the options that may be open to you see Restricting access to your thesis.

How does the Freedom of Information Act 2000 affect access to my thesis?

For information on this see Restricting access to your thesis.

What do I do if my thesis contains third party copyright material?

For information on this see Including third party copyright material in your thesis.

What do I do if I want to include works I have already published ?

For details of what do do see the section on including your own material within your thesis within Including third party copyright material in your thesis

Format

Do I still need to hand in two bound copies of my thesis?

No. Students who register in October 2011 or after will be required to submit one printed and one electronic copy of their thesis.

What format does my thesis need to be in?

See Thesis format for information on this.

How do I convert my thesis to PDF format?

See Thesis format for an explanation of how to convert your thesis to PDF.

What do I do if I cannot produce a single PDF file of my thesis?

If you are experiencing major difficulties in creating a single PDF file it is acceptable to upload a small number of separate PDF files, eg main thesis and appendices.

Where can I access PDF conversion software?

All Library PCs - and many office PCs - offer access to Cute PDF Writer.