Library policies and procedures relating to undergraduate dissertations

At the time of writing, the library maintains collections of student dissertations in both print and electronic form. For as long as some academic departments require submission of dissertations in print form only, this will continue to be the case. This paper sets out our policies and procedures for handling this material; it also stipulates our requirements in relation to the conditions for acceptance of electronic dissertations.

Key principles

  1. The preferred format is electronic. However, we will continue to accept print copies of dissertations when
    • the department in question accepts print versions only
    • the format is complex and difficult to present or use in electronic form
    • the format renders a dissertation so time-consuming to digitise and upload that it is not reasonable to do so

    Where dissertations that include artefacts such as computer programmes are submitted, only the text part of the dissertation will be placed in the database

    We will not hold the same dissertation in both print and e format; where dissertations are submitted on disc, these will be returned to the department for archiving after PDFs have been created.

  2. Whether in print or electronic form, we will normally take only dissertations receiving an upper second or first class award. Exceptions may be made where a convincing case can be made for this.
  3. In the case of print dissertations, the retention period will normally be 5 years; after this time dissertations will be offered back to the department of origin. In the dissertations database, e-dissertations will be retained indefinitely.
  4. The library accepts no responsibility for the content of dissertations; issues relating to academic level, legality or confidentiality are the responsibility of the department depositing the material. The library will not correct spelling errors except in relation to the title and abstract (in the case of e-dissertations), in order to ensure that the dissertation can be found in the catalogue/database.
  5. Where a student requests a copy of his or her own dissertation, we will endeavour to comply with this request; in the case of a print copy, this will only be supplied at the requestor's expense.

Technical information

Printed dissertations are added to the Library catalogue and are available for loan; the loan period is normally four weeks but 7-day loan may be used on request.

The dissertations database uses the open source Eprints software; the file format used is PDF. In order to facilitate transfer to this format, it would be preferred if material could be supplied in MS Word format; however the library will accept submission in other formats as specified below.

Submission requirements in relation to e-dissertations

  1. The dissertation must be submitted on a DVD or CD-ROM, or as an e-mail attachment.
  2. The full text, including any appendices, must be in a single file: an e- dissertations consisting of, for example, a separate file for each chapter will not be accepted.
  3. The file must be in Word, Rich Text Format (RTF), or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. N.B. Microsoft Works is not acceptable since this cannot be read by Word and thus cannot be transferred to PDF.
  4. The text should include the following elements (perhaps on a cover sheet)
    • Student's name
    • Full title of the dissertation
    • Abstract of the dissertation
    • Name of degree for which submitted e.g. BSc Business Information Technology
    • Name of the student's department
    • Name of faculty (optional but preferred)
    • Year in which the dissertation was submitted