Final library copy

How to submit a final copy of your thesis to the Library.



Once all required amendments have been completed and approved by the examiners, all students must submit a final Library copy of their thesis. Students should note that their degree will not be awarded until a Library copy has been provided. 

All students who started their degree after 2008 are required to submit an electronic thesis (eThesis) to White Rose eTheses Online (WREO), which is the University’s electronic thesis repository.

Copyright permissions and redacted eTheses

Students may choose to redact their eThesis submission to remove material that cannot be included, for example sensitive material or material for which copyright clearance has not been obtained. Typically, eTheses are edited to remove content for reasons such as the following:

  • Permission has not been obtained for 3rd party copyright material, see here
  • There is a need to maintain commercial confidentiality relating to aspects of the thesis
  • Confidentiality of data needs to be maintained for further research to be undertaken

Wherever possible, students should seek permission to include third party copyright material in the eThesis. However, it may not always be possible, either because permission is declined, no response is received or because it would be too expensive. Where this is the case, the thesis must be redacted to ensure that such material is not included in the online version.

However, the University also requires a full copy of each thesis to be deposited, even if the full version will not be made publicly available. In such cases, two versions of the eThesis are required, as follows:

  • A redacted eThesis file with any third party copyright material redacted and replaced with a statement such as “This image has been removed by the author of this thesis for copyright reasons”. If possible, when removing material from the digital copy, a placeholder should be included to retain the pagination of the original document. This version will be made publicly available, either as soon as the degree is awarded, or at the end of any agreed period of embargo.
  • A complete eThesis, comprising a single file including the final, corrected content of your thesis (as approved by the examiners). This version will not be made publicly available and will be accessible only to staff with appropriate access to WREO, i.e. the Library and Research, Partnerships and Innovation.

You will be required to indicate which version is the redacted version and which is the complete version, so should ensure that uploaded files include either ‘redacted’ or ‘complete’ in the filename.

Access to Thesis form

The Access to Thesis form contains a completed declaration, signed by the student and the supervisor, concerning access to the thesis once it has been uploaded to WREO, including details of any required embargo. Students must submit a completed Access to Thesis form to Research, Partnerships and Innovation before their degree can be awarded.  The Access to Thesis must clearly indicate whether an embargo is required.

Access to Thesis form (Word 39.6kb)

Open Research

The University of Sheffield is committed to Open Research, which is the practice of making the processes and outputs of research transparent and freely accessible, whenever possible. The goals of open research are to:

  • Support dissemination, interpretation and re-use of research
  • Promote research rigour, reliability and reproducibility
  • Allow others to validate and contribute to our research

Find out more about the University's commitment to Open Research.

Open Access refers to making publications freely available online, as soon as possible, for anyone to read, download, print, copy and reuse. The University fully endorses the principles of open access and requires all researchers to make their research open access where possible to maximise research impact and to comply with funder policies where applicable. Students are required to make their theses open access by depositing in the White Rose eTheses Online repository.

Students whose PhD, or other research degree, has been publicly funded by UK Research Councils, by the Wellcome Trust, by the European Union and many others are expected by the funder to make their thesis openly accessible as soon as possible after its successful completion. UKRI’s policy is available on the UK Research and Innovation site.

For further information on points to consider before making a thesis available online (including impact on future publishing plans), please refer to 'Open Access and PhD theses'.