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Copyright & Your Thesis: How to submit your thesis

A Guide for Research Students

How to request a moratorium

A moratorium restricting public access to the print and digital copies of the thesis may be requested if for example:

  • Your thesis has been commercially sponsored and an agreement signed which does not permit the thesis to be made publicly available.
  • You intend to apply for a patent or other intellectual property rights to protect the results of your research.
  • The release of your thesis might endanger the physical or mental health or the safety of an individual.
  • You wish to pursue a publishing contract and publishing opportunities may be compromised by the making available of a thesis in digital form. See ‘What you need to be aware of when making your thesis Open Access’

You should discuss your decision with your supervisor and, if agreed, you should fill in and submit a Moratorium Request Form which requires signed approval from your Head of Department.  A moratorium at the University of Strathclyde can last for up to five years.

If you have any questions about access restrictions please contact the Library Cataloguing team at



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At the end of the University examination process all successfully awarded research postgraduate students are required to submit the following to Student Business:

  • a PDF version of their thesis and any supplementary data that was required for assessment. Files should be uploaded to the Research Degree Examination Sharepoint site.

When you have reached the stage for submitting your thesis Student Business will email you with a link to the Research Degree Examination Sharepoint site.  On this site you can upload the PDF of your thesis and confirm you agree to the deposit of your thesis into STAX when the degree of which it forms part has been fully awarded by the University of Strathclyde. 

Detailed guidance on the format and submission of theses, including page layout, is detailed in Code of Practice paragraphs 251-278 (P.35).  If you require assistance please contact the Library Cataloguing team at

Before submitting your thesis you will need to decide the following:

  1. Do you need to submit an amended redacted version as well as the full version?  See ‘How to redact material from your thesis’ 
  2. Do you wish to request a moratorium restricting public access to the print and digital copies of the thesis?  See ‘How to request a moratorium’ 
  3. To comply with the University's Research Data and Research Data Deposit policies you should, where possible and appropriate, deposit your research data in the University's data repository Pure.  Do you need to restrict access to your research dataset deposited in Pure? Information is available at:


What happens next?

The library will catalogue both the print and digital copies of your thesis after your degree is successfully awarded.  We will make the digital copy available online.

  • Available immediately
    If you have chosen to make your thesis available in digital format immediately, you can find it by searching the Library catalogue with SUPrimo.
  • Moratorium period
    If you have been granted a moratorium, the full-text of your thesis will not appear publicly until after this period has elapsed.  However, we will make publicly available the bibliographic details of your thesis (author, title, degree and department).  The abstract will not be made publicly available.  No access to the print copy will be permitted. 
  • Copyright restrictions
    If online access to your thesis has been restricted for copyright reasons it will not appear in the repository at all unless you have also provided an edited version.

Visit our thesis submission page for more information about this process.


Tips to improve accessibility

Maximise your audience by making your document as accessible as possible.  The following steps will help to ensure that people can read your work and benefit from your research:

  • Ensure text can be selected (highlighted and added to clipboard) for use with text to speech tools
  • Use heading styles to create clear document structure
  • Use Plain English
  • Use meaningful hyperlinks
  • Keep the layout simple and clear – minimum font size 12, left-aligned, pages numbered (where appropriate)
  • Use recognised rather than ‘unofficial’ formatting when making lists (eg standard formatting bullet points and numbered rather than spaces, dashes)
  • Use non-serif fonts (eg Helvetica, Arial)
  • Make sure key pictures, charts and diagrams have alternative text descriptions where appropriate
  • Give preference to multimedia that has captions, transcripts and/or audio descriptions
  • Use Microsoft Office Accessibility checker
  • When exporting documents to PDF follow accessible PDF guidance