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Writing your PhD/research degree thesis
The College provides you with a dedicated range of digital courses to help you with your writing. The courses are accessible via the King’s Learning and Skills Service platform (KLaSS)
The Library can assist you with identifying the right referencing style for your work, finding a suitable referencing and bibliographic management software, building comprehensive bibliographies and reference lists. For an overview of the areas supported, please consult our dedicated Library Guides page.
For assistance with ensuring academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism, please see the relevant module in the King’s Academic Skills for Learning (KASL) platform.
Depositing your PhD/research degree thesis with the Library
Since April 2012, students who are awarded a research degree are required to submit to the Library an electronic copy of their final PhD thesis. The College’s Academic Regulations have changed for 2020-21 and have dropped the requirement for a hard bound printed copy of an awarded thesis to also be submitted to the Library. Only an electronic version (ethesis) is now required to be submitted.
This change in Regulations applies to PhD students whose PhD is awarded from October 2020. And also includes those awarded pre-October 2020 who have not submitted a hard bound printed copy to date.
The electronic thesis you submit must be the awarded, post-VIVA version, formatted as a PDF file. Please email this to firstname.lastname@example.org, copying in email@example.com
If you have any questions about your ethesis, please get in touch with the Research Support team in the Library at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publishing your PhD/research degree thesis in our repository
All electronic research degrees theses that are submitted to the Library will be published Open Access via our institutional repository Pure. As a consequence, they will be discoverable through the College’s Research Portal, as well as through the Library Search Catalogue, along with all the research outputs produced at King’s.
The College strongly advocates for the dissemination of all research made at King’s via our institutional repository, including the research underlying your thesis. Publishing electronic theses in our repository facilitates greater impact, as electronic theses are hundred times more likely to be read; it helps students make connections with other researchers; it establishes precedence already at the early stages of a researcher’s career; it also provides the author with usage stats, which, by showing how many times the thesis has been downloaded, can offer factual endorsement when seeking for a deal to strike with a commercial publisher.
When an electronic thesis is downloaded from the Research Portal a PDF coversheet is dynamically created. The coversheet displays essential metadata (Author, Title) and provides the end-user with information on the thesis’ copyright which remains with you. The coversheet also states which Creative Commons license has been applied.
Please note that all the content we publish in our repository is made available under a CC BY NC ND license, which allows the reuse of such content for non-commercial purposes, as long as the content is not remixed, transformed or built upon.
The coversheet also declares that the College follows a strict take-down policy, to oblige any unintentional copyright breach the Library might be notified of.
EThOS - the British Library etheses service. Theses within Pure are harvested by the British Library's EThOS programme so that they may also be found by anyone searching this national service.
Your thesis and third party copyrighted material
Once uploaded in our repository, your thesis will become publicly available. Normal copyright rules will apply to your thesis which will no longer be covered by the ‘Fair Deal’ clause that allowed you to use any copyrighted third-party material without permissions, solely for research purpose.
Before submitting your thesis to the library you must have verified that the copyrighted material that you might have included in it is available under a Creative Commons license; or you must have been given by the copyright owner the necessary permissions to reuse it. Good citation and referencing practices are always strongly recommended and will sometimes suffice – but not always.
Some use of copyrighted work without needing to request permission is allowed, for example short quotations. However, there are no hard and fast rules about the meaning of 'short'. In case of doubt, please see the guidance offered by the Intellectual Property Office website, or get in touch with us at email@example.com
The copyright owner may be the author, a publisher, an illustrator etc. Many publishers give information on their websites about who to contact. If the publisher doesn't hold the rights, they will be able to forward your query to the correct person. If you have never written a copyright permission request, you could refer to this suggested wording
Third-party copyrighted materials that are often included in a research degree thesis are:
- figures, table and graphs from journal articles;
- manuscripts and photos from archives;
- images reproducing works of art;
- articles that you have authored or co-authored and are part of your thesis.
If you have reused several images and figures from journal articles, please check that they were published Open Access under Creative Commons. If they were, you will not need to seek with the copyright owner any permission to reuse them. Please note that the fact that the third-party material is available in the internet does not prove that the material is either non-copyrighted or genuinely Open Access or belongs in the Public Domain. It might have been unlawfully uploaded.
Whether you have used a well-known image or an image which is rather obscure, we would recommend to check with the Creative Commons searching tool whether there is a version of that image which has been licensed as CC.
If the articles you authored and need to include in your thesis were not published Open Access, it is very likely that you have waived your copyright to the publisher at the time of the article’s acceptance. This means that, even though you wrote it, you must consider your article as third-party copyrighted material and therefore seek for the permission to reuse it (in part or fully). If you fail to obtain it, you may still be able to include (or link to) the author’s accepted manuscript, which you might have already archived in our institutional repository and linked to your profile page.
In general, when you failed to secure permissions to reuse the copyrighted material included in your thesis, you will need to redact a new version of your thesis tailored for the repository upload, which will no longer include the copyrighted content. As the redaction must not significantly alter the content of your thesis, we recommend you contact us to discuss the most suitable options.
If the removal of the copyrighted material from your electronic thesis compromises the integrity of the whole, it may be best to submit to the Library only the original, awarded version and request that the thesis be not made available online. This means you could either embargo your thesis or restrict the access to it. Please, discuss this with your supervisors before contacting the Library.
Embargoing your thesis
If you are planning to publish your thesis as a monograph or a series of articles with a commercial academic publisher, please discuss with your supervisors the opportunity to apply a temporary embargo to your thesis. If you have requested an embargo, the Library will not make your thesis publicly available until the embargo has elapsed. The embargo will also apply to the print copy of your thesis, which will be stored in a restricted area and will not be made available for consultation in situ.
If your thesis contains personal and/or sensitive data, or data that might endanger the national or individual security, you will need to permanently restrict the access to it. You will still be required to deposit your thesis to the Library, in both print and electronic format; however, your thesis will not be made available for consultation, or uploaded in our repository. If you have created or collected sensitive data, please contact the Research Data Management team to discuss the most suitable options for safely and securely store your data.
If your thesis contains third-party copyrighted material for which you failed to secure permission to reuse, and the removal of such material would compromise the integrity of your thesis, then you will need to restrict the access to it, until such permissions have become available to you. If you have been denied permission, then you might need to restrict the access to your thesis on a permanent basis.
Embargo and restriction of access requests must be submitted using the online form. Temporary embargoes can be applied for a period of either 1- or 5-year. Once your embargo has expired, you have the option to request a one-year extension. You can submit your extension request online.
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