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Postgraduate Researchers: Submitting your Thesis at BU

This guidance relates to the procedure of submitting your Thesis to BU Library (a member of your Faculty Library Team) after the Viva examination and corrections/amendments stages

Submitting your thesis at BU - the stages

  1. You will receive an email from the Doctoral College entitled ‘next steps to complete you award’. This will have the Deposit of and Access to a Thesis Form attached (see link below)

  1. Book an online appointment with your Faculty Library Team to complete the submission process. Your library team will check the integrity of your referencing and any issues with third party copyright.

  1. Before your appointment you will need to send your thesis to the faculty library team via butransfer. You will also need to send them your signed form.

  1. If your thesis is going to be restricted as it contains sensitive or confidential information, your Deposit of and Access to a Thesis Form will need to have been signed by the Dean of your faculty. If you wish to take this step you should first discuss with your supervisor.

  1. Once your thesis has been checked and accepted, the Doctoral College will be informed and they will notify you of the conferral of your degree.

  1. Your thesis will be added to BURO, BU’s research repository, and will be accessible via EThOS (the British Library’s e-thesis online service).  

Third party copyright in your thesis

This guidance applies to publishing your thesis on BU’s Open Access repository which takes place once you have deposited your work in the library.  

In your thesis you may wish to include material which is another’s work. Many works are available for reuse as long as you reference them in your work.  

With material which is not made available for reuse it is not enough for you to reference the work as you do not have the right to use it under copyright law. This material could include: 

  • Images e.g. photos or illustrations, maps or graphs 

  • Sections of text 

Although third party material can be redacted from the final version of your thesis, it is much better for your work to be used in its entirety so that it can be as cited as possible.  

It can potentially save you time and prevent any delay in submitting your thesis if you check your thesis using the four steps below, and if necessary contact your faculty library team

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Has the copyright expired (see our copyright guide),
  • is the work available under a creative commons licence
  • does the use you have made apply under the concept of fair dealing (see our guidance below) in UK law.
(see our Copyright Guide as well as the Postgraduate Researchers Guide for further details).
  • For material from books or academic journals you will need to contact the publisher via journal’s webpage;
  • there will usually be a set form for making this enquiry, look for links to “get rights” or “get permissions”.
  • For material from websites you should look for the ‘contact us’ information on the website.
  • Be really clear about what you want to use and include the details you would include in an academic reference, including page numbers where possible
  • Specify that your thesis will be available on BURO BU’s Open Access repository.
  • We cannot assume permission to use the material until we have received a reply from the rights owner.
  • If we do not receive a reply, or permission is refused, the material will need to be redacted in the version of your thesis available on BURO.
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We have a checklist to help you keep a record of material for which you have asked permission to use.

You do not need to submit this to the library but your library team may ask for the details you include on it.   

The concept of fair dealing....
is recognised under UK copyright law. Under fair dealing you may make use of third party copyright works without the permission of the rights holder, if it is reasonable and fair for you to do. There is not a single definition of what counts as fair dealing, but when using someone else’s work it may be helpful to ask:
  1. Would I consider it fair if this were my work and someone else was making use of it in the same way
  2. Will I be stand to gain finantially through using this material.

BURO and Open Access at BU

What is BURO?

BURO is BU's online repository. As well as your thesis, you are encouraged to deposit each of your research outputs into BURO. 
BURO is a 

  • publisher friendle repository
  • compliant with copyright legislation and licence agreements 


Will my thesis be available Open Access?

Theses are made availble Open Access. Having your research outputs in an Open Access repository enhances your profile as an early career researcher and helps maximise the impact of your work. 


Can I restrict access to my thesis?

This can onl;y be done with the permission of the Dean of your faculty, whose signiture will be required on the Deposit of and Access to a Thesos form. Further details are available on 8A Code of Practice for Research Degrees (8.10.3)

Depositing your Integrated Thesis

What is an Integrated Thesis?

An Integrated Thesis (also called a ‘compilation thesis’ in some institutions) at BU may contain between 2 and 5 published articles that are submitted, accepted for or planned for publication. As indicated in the 8a Code of Practice for Research Degrees, these articles must have been published/accepted etc. while the candidate is a doctoral student at BU.  Normally the articles will be individually authored or if they have co-authored an article (normally with their supervisor), they should be responsible for 75% of the substantive content.  Articles may substantially replace individual chapters in an integrated thesis, but the candidate must also provide a written context which may develop the methodology, literature review and conclusions, ensuring the thesis as a whole produces a clear narrative.

What is the process of depositing an Integrated Thesis with the library?

If you are depositing an Integrated Thesis you must use the Depositing an Integrated Thesis form to identify the nature and source of the documents you are including in your thesis

At the very latest the Depositing an Integrated Thesis form must be submitted at the same time as the Deposit and Access to a Thesis form and the thesis itself. 

However, it is recommended that all doctorate candidates planning to submit an integrated thesis engage in a dialogue with their Faculty Library Team prior to this stage, to ensure the deposit of thesis process is as smooth as possible and conferment of your doctorate happens in a timely manner.

If I am completing the Depositing an Integrated Thesis form, do I also need to complete 4A Deposit of Access to a Thesis form?

Yes, the Depositing an Integrated Thesis form must be submitted alongside 4A Deposit of Access to a Thesis form, which must be completed by all doctoral candidates and is supplied by the Doctoral College.

What should I do if my journal article has already been accepted for publication?

Deposit each article as a separate entry in BURO via BRIAN.  Please use the Depositing an Integrated Thesis form to list all individual works.

What should I do if my journal article has not yet been accepted for publication?

It must be deposited in BURO via BRIAN, using the ‘Other’ category (not article). Prior to deposit of your article you must submit the Depositing an Integrated Theses form to your Faculty Library Team, so they and the BURO Team are aware that this work forms part of your thesis and can be treated accordingly. This work will be temporarily categorised as documentation in BURO and embargoed for one year by default.  You must notify the BURO Team when your article is accepted.  Once it is known that this work is the basis of a journal article a link will be created from the documentation within BURO to your journal article.

How should I structure my references in an integrated thesis?

Your references may be formatted in a variety of styles according to the publication guidelines of the individual works included in your thesis. You do not need to repeat references at the end of your thesis that appear within those self-contained works (articles) or chapters.  The contextual prose beyond the self-contained works should be referenced using BU Harvard or another recognised style agreed with your supervisor. The final reference list should only contain those sources referenced in the contextual prose. Any queries should be referred to your Faculty Library Team.

What is the guidance around word count for an integrated thesis?

There will inevitably be some duplication of content in the areas of methodology and literature review.  As indicated in 8a Code of Practice for Research Degrees, integrated thesis will tend to be at the upper end of the acceptable word count range for the subject area