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E-Mobility and Clean Growth : Theses

CU Theses

Open Access to Theses


Pure System

Theses completed since 2019 have been added to the Thesis module which forms part of our institutional repository, Pure. 

Pure also hosts thesis content which was previously hosted on Curve, the University's former institutional repository following work completed in 2021 to migrate this content across.

EThOS (British Library Thesis Service)

The British Library's EThOS service will provide full text access to those Doctoral level theses previously added to Curve which are awaiting being moved over to Pure. EThOS also provides full text access to theses completed at other Universities across the UK.

Users are required to register with EThOS to download a thesis, this is free of charge and straight forward to do.


What is open access?

Open access allows free access to previously published, peer-reviewed research via the Web. It is free to deposit and free to view content and aims to remove barriers of access to research.


What are the benefits for research students?

The main benefit of depositing your work in the institutional Repository is increased access and promotion of your research to others in the field. Theses are likely to be read more widely if they are accessible on the Web, which can provide associated benefits such as increased citations for your research and the potential opportunity to collaborate with others working in your research area.


Restricting access to your thesis

There may be other valid reasons why you need to restrict access to your thesis. In most cases this will be for a limited period of time. However, if your thesis contains sensitive or confidential information or has been commercially sponsored you may have signed an agreement which does not permit you to make it publicly available. You should talk to your Director of Studies when establishing if there is a need to restrict access to your thesis. They will be able to advise regarding an appropriate period of embargo for your thesis.

When submitting the Candidate's Declaration Form at the time you submit your thesis for examination you will be asked to indicate whether an embargo period is required. This form is available through the Student Portal. Once logged into the Doctoral College section select 'Thesis submission and Viva' and then the tab 'thesis preparation'. The Candidate's Declaration Form is then available from here.

Conversely, if you are granted an embargo but decide while the embargo is in effect that it is no longer necessary you can let us know by e-mailing We will contact your supervisor (or Head of School) to establish if it is appropriate to make the thesis available earlier.


Depositing Your Thesis

In advance of submitting your thesis for examination:

  • Ensure that you have made best efforts to seek permission to include any 3rd party copyright material in the electronic version of your thesis. If you have been unable to gain all necessary permissions, decide if you want to make an edited version publicly available. The Copyright section of this LibGuide may provide some relevant guidance.
  • Discuss with your Director of Studies whether or not there is a reason for restricting access to your thesis.
  • Complete the Candidate's Declaration Form available from the Doctoral College section of the Student Portal. This must be signed by your Director of Studies to show that they agree with your decision with regard to making the thesis publicly available. The candidate's declaration form and thesis access declaration form are then submitted to the PGR Lifecycle team in the Doctoral College.

Following the examination and completion of any required corrections:

  • The PGR Lifecycle team will send out a copy of the Library Declaration and Deposit Agreement to you once your thesis is confirmed as having passed examination and you are invited to submit the final copy of your thesis. Please note this form is not available through the Student Portal. 
  • Convert the final version of your thesis to a single PDF file. Information on thesis formatting and presentation is available from the Doctoral College section of the Student Portal.
  • Ensure that your file is named according to the convention yearnamedegree.pdf (e.g. 2007smithphd.pdf). Once you have done this, follow the steps below to deposit your thesis.

More detailed instructions on the thesis submission and examination process are available via the Student Portal in the 'Thesis submission and Viva' section. Queries in relation to this are best directed to:


PhD by Portfolio

For those undertaking a PhD by portfolio / prior publication, we would recommend where possible getting publisher permissions for us to include the final publications in the version of the thesis which we make available online. Where an author has signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement with a publisher this will otherwise restrict our ability to share this content, and we may therefore only be able to make a limited version of the thesis publicly available online. 

Many publishers will allow a particular version (e.g. a pre-print or post-print) of an article to be included in an institutional repository and you may be able to include these versions in the electronic version of your thesis rather than including the publisher’s PDF(s) if permissions are not otherwise forthcoming. This information may be included in the copyright transfer agreement or licence to publish which you signed prior to publication. Alternatively, ask your publisher directly. Depending on the type of output you produce, you may also need the permission of co-creators / joint copyright holders. Again, we would recommend that you seek this permission as you go along and keep a record of the permissions you have obtained. For further advice regarding this please contact your Faculty Principal Registry Officer or the Repository Development Officer


Theses prior to 2008

If you submitted your PhD thesis before 2008 and would like to have it made available electronically in the institutional repository then please email our team. We will need to check the thesis for any issues with copyright or data protection and will remove content where necessary before we digitize the thesis and make it openly available.

We sometimes get theses requests from non-Coventry University staff and students, particularly from the British Library Ethos service. If the thesis was submitted prior to 2008 then we will make every reasonable effort to track down and contact the author of the thesis for permission to digitize and make it openly available via our repository first.


Requirements for PhD theses funded by UKRI Research Councils

In the case of PhD theses funded by a UK Research Council, metadata describing the thesis should be lodged in the institution's repository as soon as possible after award and a full text version should be released online within 12 months of the award of your degree. Only in very exceptional circumstances could a thesis be placed under an indefinite embargo where funded by a UK Research Council.

Also please include acknowledgment of your funding in the Acknowledgments section of your thesis. Below is an example of how this should be formatted:

This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number xxxx].

Please refer to sections TGC 11.1-11.5 of the UKRI Conditions of Research Council Training Grants for further information on these open access requirements.

Third-Party access to your theses

Including third party copyright material in your thesis

From 2008, students who have successfully completed a research degree programme will be asked to provide an electronic version of their thesis to be made available in the institutional repository. Consequently, you will need to seek permission if you want to include any third party copyright material, e.g. extracts from publications, or illustrations such as images, maps, photographs, tables etc. in your thesis. Traditionally it has been accepted that third party copyright material can be include in a print version of a thesis without seeking permission. However, it is good academic practice to do this and this is essential if your thesis is going to be made available online.

Please note that while students are being asked to make best efforts to seek permission to include third party copyright material in electronic versions of their thesis, you will not be penalised if it is not possible to gain permission, either because permissions are not granted or because it would be too expensive to obtain permissions. This will simply mean that we will not be able to make your thesis available online. The outcome of your examination will not be affected in anyway. No student will be required to make any payments to copyright holders for material they wish to include in their thesis.

What to seek permission for

If you have included a short quotation from a published work and have acknowledged and referenced it appropriately it is probably not necessary for you to seek permission from the copyright holder. Copyright law does not define what is meant by a short extract, and if you are in doubt it is probably best to seek permission. Ideally, you should seek permissions as you go rather than at the point of writing up your thesis.If you intend to include material that you have published elsewhere, e.g. journal articles, you need to check that if the publisher will allow you to include theses as part of your thesis. The easiest way to do this is to contact the publisher directly and check. You will need to give the complete citation for the published work that you wish to include and specifically ask permission to include this work in within the electronic version of your thesis which will be made available in Coventry University'’'s online research repository

How to seek permissions

In order to seek permission to include third party copyright material within the electronic version of your thesis you will need to contact the rights holder. The rights holder of the work you want to use may be the author, illustrator or publisher etc. We would suggest that you contact the publisher in the first instance. Many publishers give details on their websites of how to seek permissions and who to contact. Look for information on rights / permissions / copyright clearance. If the publisher does not hold the rights to the work they should forward your enquiry to whoever does. The Society of Authors provides guidance on how to ask for permissions and the circumstances when this is likely to be required. The database WATCH (Writers Artists and Their Copyright Holders) maintained by the University of Texas is a useful resource when searching for copyright holders, especially within the arts.

If the rights holder does not reply immediately, you may want to contact them again. Please note that you may not regard a lack of response as permission to include third party material in your thesis.

A template letter to request copyright permissions is available at the bottom of this page.

If permission is granted

If permission is granted you should indicate this at the appropriate point of your thesis, e.g. 'Permission to reproduce [make reference to the exact material included] has been granted by [name of the rights holder].' You should keep copies of any letters or emails that you receive from rights holders.

If permission is denied

If you need to include third party copyright material in your thesis and are unable to obtain permission to do this you will not be able to make a full version of your thesis publicly available online. You may wish to deposit an additional edited version in the university repository with this material removed. The edited version will be made publicly available, but the full electronic version that you are required to submit for examination purposes will not.Where material has been removed in the edited version a place holder should be inserted into your thesis e.g. ‘Figure (text, illustration etc.) has been removed due to copyright restrictions.’

Help and advice

If in doubt about whether you need to get permission to include any material within your thesis it is always best to err on the side of caution and assume that you do. If you have specific queries you can send these to and the Repository staff will do their best to help you.

Formatting your thesis


Thesis layout and presentation

Information regarding the University guidelines regarding the layout and presentation of your thesis are available in the form of the Postgraduate Research Thesis & Submission: Information and Guidance document available from the Doctoral College's Procedural documents

For discipline specific format requirements not otherwise covered in the document linked to above, please contact your Director of Studies.


Conversion to PDF

The required format for deposit in the Theses Service is PDF. It is assumed that you will be using a standard piece of software to create the electronic version of your thesis, e.g. Microsoft Word, OpenOffice Writer or LaTeX. Before you deposit your thesis you need to convert it to PDF format. Ideally your thesis should consist of a single PDF file. However, it is acceptable to deposit a small number of individual files if you experience major difficulties in producing a single file for conversion to PDF. Before converting to PDF you need to ensure that you have incorporated any elements of the thesis created in programmes such as Excel, Access, PowerPoint etc. into the main body of the thesis. If using Microsoft Word to produce your thesis, you should do this by using the Insert>Object, Insert>Picture or Insert>File options rather than by copying and pasting. However, if there are e.g. multimedia elements that you are unable to incorporate into the main body of your thesis it may be possible to upload these as a separate file.




You should save the PDF version of your thesis using the following filename format:


year - name - degree.pdf e.g. 2007smithphd.pdf or 2008jonesmphil.pdf

If you need to deposit two files, one complete and one with 3rd party copyright material edited out you should give them different filenames using the following format:

  • Public version: year - name - degree.pdf (e.g. 2007smithphd.pdf)
  • Full (not for public view) version: year - name - degree internal.pdf (e.g. 2007smithphdinternal.pdf)
  • If you need to deposit additional multimedia files that cannot be incorporated into the main PDF file you should use the same file name with the addition of information about the type of media being deposited.e.g.2007smithphd_audio.mpeg

File size


If you are concerned that your PDF file is very large please contact for advice The online deposit system can cope with very large files being deposited, but from the point of view of people trying to access your thesis it is best if PDF files are kept to a reasonable size.


Depositing associated multimedia files


The main body of your thesis, including appendices, associated images, data, tables etc. must be deposited as a PDF document. However, if your thesis has associated multimedia e.g. sound file or video clips these can be uploaded separately. There are no restrictions on the type of multimedia files that can be uploaded, but no guarantee can be give that such files will continue to be accessible in the future. The relevant software for playing such files will not be provided by the Thesis Service. If you are providing the full text of your thesis on a CD-ROM/memory stick you must include on the disk a separate file that explains what the associated files, i.e. name of file, what type of file it is, what the file consists of, so that when your thesis is made publicly available Library staff know what the files are. If you do not include this we may not be able to upload the files. Note that you should only upload multimedia files where you own the copyright, or where you have cleared any necessary rights.


Creating an edited version of your thesis


If you have been unable to secure all the necessary third party copyright permissions for your thesis you will not be able to make the full version available online. You will still be required to deposit this copy, and it will be held securely. However, you may wish to make an edited version publicly available. If this is the case you should save an additional copy of your thesis, remove the relevant material and insert a place holder at this point in the document, e.g. Figure (Text/Chart/Diagram/image etc.) has been removed due to Copyright restrictions. Remember that you need to deposit both the full and the edited version of your thesis, and that these should be given different filenames.


Searching for Coventry University PhD theses


Electronic theses available in the CU repository are searchable on the University Library catalogue Locate. Printed theses only, including those prior to 2008, can be searched on Locate and requested at the Library Reception Desk.

When theses are submitted, the University's Research Office forwards brief details of the thesis to the British Library Electronic Theses Online Service EThOS.

When searching generally for PhD theses, two useful resources are:

  • EThOS - The British Library Electronic Theses Online Service currently has approximately 350,000 records relating to theses awarded by over 120 UK institutions. Around 120,000 of these also provide access to the full text thesis, either via download from the EThOS database or via links to the institution’s own repository. Of the remaining 250,000 records dating back to at least 1800, three quarters are available to be ordered for scanning through the EThOS digitisation-on-demand facility. Please note that some Universities cover the costs of producing a digitisation from a print copy, while others pass the costs on to the requester. To download a thesis or to request a digitisation of a print thesis, you will need to register for an EThOS account - this is free to do.
  • DART - DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses. DART-Europe is endorsed by LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche), and it is the European Working Group of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). DART lists theses from over 566 European universities in over 28 EU countries.

To search for theses from other universities you could also try searching their catalogues directly by going through A directory of libraries throughout the world. If you would like to see a thesis from another university you should consider using the Document Supply Service.

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Telephone: 024 7765 7568

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Coventry University
Frederick Lanchester Building
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Coventry, United Kingdom
Telephone:+44 (0) 24 7765 7575
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