Embargoing a thesis
All research degree theses are expected to be made publicly available as soon as possible following the award of a degree, 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.
Public funders recognise that factors such as commercial, collaborative or publication arrangements may necessitate a delay in the process of making a thesis openly accessible, and where this is the case, an embargo may be necessary. The maximum length of embargo permitted by public funders is usually 12 months, other than in exceptional circumstances. Universities are expected to have in place a process for considering where exceptions can be granted to the requirement for publication within 12 months.
Reasons for requesting an embargo
Students are permitted to embargo their thesis under certain conditions, e.g. where there are commercial sensitivities or where it is necessary to delay access to a thesis until after publication of results. Students should discuss with their supervisor whether they require an embargo and, if so, for how long. This discussion should take account of the need to ensure that research is made available as soon as possible and a consideration of the benefits that early publication can bring.
Requests for embargoes that exceed 12 months require faculty approval and must be accompanied by a clear rationale as to why a longer period is required. A form is available to request an extended embargo (see downloads). Extended embargoes beyond 5 years will not normally be approved unless there are very exceptional reasons. Examples of this may include where a contract has been signed requiring a longer embargo, or where there is a threat to personal security. Where relevant evidence is available to support a request for an extended embargo, e.g. a copy of the contract, this should be attached to the request form.
If an embargo is required, this must be indicated on the Access to Thesis form, otherwise the thesis may be made publicly available. Students are responsible for setting any embargo options at the point they upload their ethesis to the White Rose eTheses Online server. Failure to set an embargo may result in the ethesis being made publicly available.
Examples of exceptions for granting an extended embargo
|Contains personal data||
|Third party copyright||
|Could endanger health & safety||
|Could prejudice national security||