White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

White Rose eTheses Online: Frequently Asked Questions

If you come across a thesis which you feel is in breach of copyright or other legislation, please contact us immediately. Please see our Notice and Take Down Policy.

1. I am a doctoral student / alumnus from Leeds, Sheffield or York. Will I be able to upload my thesis?
2. Can I upload a Taught Masters thesis to White Rose Etheses Online?
3. Who will see my thesis? How will they find it?
4. Are there advantages in making my thesis available online?
5. I'm not sure if I should make my thesis available e.g.it has copyrighted material from a third party source, it contains private material, it contains commercially sensitive material etc.
6. Should I embargo my thesis if I might publish papers / a book from it?
7. What is White Rose Etheses Online? (WREO)
8. Why is my thesis already online?

1. I am a doctoral student / alumnus from Leeds, Sheffield or York. Will I be able to upload my thesis?

The answer to this is slightly different for each institution.

  • If you are a University of Sheffield student, register for an account and upload your thesis. You should only upload the final, examined and awarded version of your thesis. Please see the Sheffield eTheses FAQ for more advice.
  • If you are a University of York student, register for an account and upload your thesis. See York's guide to Depositing Your Digital Thesis for step-by-step instructions.
  • If you are a University of Leeds student, register for an account and upload your thesis.

If you need to check on the current state of play at your institution, please contact the Repository Officer, at etheses@whiterose.ac.uk

Alumni

If you were awarded a doctoral thesis by the University of Leeds or Sheffield or York in the past and have a good electronic copy of it, you can upload your thesis to White Rose Research Online. Go to http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/ and register for an account. Upload your thesis. Your thesis will be checked at your home institution before it is made live. You will be notified when it is live. Note: your thesis may already have been digitised by the British Library if it has been requested during the last couple of years. To check, search the British Library's EThOS service for your thesis.

2. Can I upload a Taught Masters thesis to White Rose Etheses Online?

Taught masters theses (or undergraduate dissertations) are not held in White Rose Etheses Online (WREO).
Some masters by research degrees can be uploaded to WREO. University of York accepts MA/MSc by research dissertations.
University of Sheffield accepts LLM, MMus and MPhil dissertations.

3. Who will see my thesis? How will they find it?

Theses available in White Rose Etheses Online will be available to all. Potential readers will be able to find your thesis through an ordinary search engine such as Google but also through other specialist, academic search engines. Your thesis will be available through the DART-Europe Etheses Portal. In addition, your thesis will be made available to the British Library's EThOS Service (Electronic Theses Online).

4. Are there advantages in making my thesis available online?

Your work will be available to a wide audience. Data from other institutions with online electronic theses show that the theses are heavily accessed. More people will be aware of your work, so it's a way to boost your profile. And your work will be readily available online into the future - rather than gathering dust in the library basement.

5. I'm not sure if I should make my thesis available e.g.it has copyrighted material from a third party source, it contains private material, it contains commercially sensitive material etc.

Take advice from your thesis supervisor. Please also read the relevant Copyright advice page for your institution. If you are required to make an electronic copy of your thesis available (ie if you registered for your thesis from Sept 08 onwards at the University of Sheffield or from Sept 09 onwards for the Universities of York and Leeds) you should think about the material you are including in your work as early in your thesis preparation as possible. You will be able to place an embargo on your thesis so that it is not made freely available immediately.

Students from the Universities of Sheffield and York may also remove material from the digital thesis if necessary (see the guidance from Sheffield and York for further advice.)

6. Should I embargo my thesis if I might publish papers / a book from it?

Some publishers consider a PhDs "prior publication" and thus may be less likely to publish your work. However, for other publishers, the online availability of your PhD will not prejudice your chances of publication. There is no straightforward answer to this question. You may well have greater and more rapid impact by making your PhD openly available online in WREO and other ethesis service. But this will not carry the same academic kudos as a formal publication. Publishers are currently investigating the impact on open availability on subsequent sales - it's not clear yet whether open availability has a negative or positive impact on sales.

When considering whether to embargo access to your PhD, it's is worth weighing the pros and cons carefully. If you know which journals/publishers are likely to take your work, the best bet is to contact them directly to find out if they have a policy on PhDs as "prior publication".

7. What is White Rose Etheses Online? (WREO)

WREO is an online repository of doctoral theses from the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. It is part of a national - and international - network of open access online databases which promote access to research outputs so that they can be found, read, cited and built upon.

8. Why is my thesis already online?

We hope most authors will be pleased to see their thesis online and happy for it to be shared with other researchers. If your thesis is online and you have not submitted it yourself, it's likely that it has been supplied by your home university to the British Library for digitisation - usually in response to a request from a reader wanting to access your work. If you are not happy to have your thesis online, apologies, please see our Take Down Policy and contact us.