The CU Open Research Collection includes full-text electronic copies of research theses produced by research post graduates from Coventry University. Providing open access to this material helps to promote the research undertaken at the University and to make this research available to the widest possible audience.
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.
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.
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. Your Director of Studies will need to agree with your decision to restrict access to your thesis. Requests for embargoes must be made through your Faculty Principal Registry Officer. It is important that this is done before you undertake your viva so that there is time for your request to be considered. If requests are approved, theses will normally be embargoed for a period of three years. Your Department/School should inform you if your request has been approved. If you feel there is a valid reason why the period of embargo needs to be longer than three years you should indicate this in the appropriate section of the Thesis Access Declaration form. Conversely, if you are granted an embargo but decide during the three year period that this is no longer necessary you can let us know by e-mailing email@example.com. We will contact your supervisor (or Head of School) to establish if it is appropriate to make the thesis available earlier.
In advance of handing in your first soft bound version of your thesis to your Faculty Principal Registry Officer:
For those undertaking a PhD by portfolio, we would recommend that where possible permission to include journal articles and other published research outputs in your PhD and subsequently, to make them publically available in CURVE, is sought as you publish. 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). 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
If you submitted your PhD thesis before 2008 and would like to have it made available electronically in the institutional repository then please email the firstname.lastname@example.org. We will need to check the thesis for 3rd party copyright and remove these first before we can 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 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.
If, however, after a period of time we have been unable to trace the author/copyright owner following a 'diligent search' which is likely to include amongst others using databases, national libraries' indices, advertising and internet, then we may digitise the thesis and make it openly available via Orphan Works. Orphan works are copyright works where the right holder is unknown or cannot be located. The Government has recently introduced a licensing scheme for orphan works in the UK for both commercial and non-commercial use, alongside transposing the new EU Directive to allow digitisation of orphan works by certain cultural organisations for non-commercial use. For further information on the new legislation for Orphan Works click here. All orphan works have to be recorded on an Orphan Works Database. The Orphan Works database is a single publicly accessible database that provides the public with information related to orphan works contained in the collections of publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments and museums, as well as archives, film or audio heritage institutions and public-service broadcasting organisations established in the Member States.
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 available within a maximum of 12 months following award. Only in very exceptional circumstances could a thesis be placed under an indefinite embargo.
Include the following statement example in the acknowledgements section of your thesis:
This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [grant number xxxx].
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.
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
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. Thisexample permissions letter can be used as the basis for your letter or email asking for permission to include third party copyright material in the electronic version of your thesis.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.
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 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 repsository 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.’
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 email@example.com and the Repository staff will do their best to help you.
Information regarding the University guidelines regarding the layout and presentation of your thesis are available from your Faculty Principal Registry Officer. It is recommended that you consult them if you are unsure of how to present your thesis.
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:
If you are concerned that your PDF file is very large please contact for advice firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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.
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:
To search for theses from other universities you could also try searching their catalogues directly by going through libraries.org: 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.
Research & Scholarly Publications
FL320, Lanchester Library
Frederick Lanchester Building
Coventry, United Kingdom
Telephone: 024 7765 7568
Open Access and Institutional Repository - email@example.com
Research Data Management - firstname.lastname@example.org