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From the 1st October 2016 the Open University requires the full-text of all their awarded doctoral thesis to be submitted to ORO.

Open Research Online (ORO) accepts the deposit of theses from the following research degrees awarded by The Open University:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctorate in Education (EdD)
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

Theses from students from the Open University's Affiliated Research Centres (ARCs) can also be deposited in ORO.

For Open University academics and researchers whose doctorate was awarded by other institutions the bibliographic information and/or the full-text of the thesis can be deposited in ORO.

The advantage of depositing your thesis in ORO is that digital theses (eTheses) are more easily found and can increase your visibility as a researcher. Deposited theses will also be made available to the British Library EThOS service.

How to deposit your eThesis

Deposit is via your ORO user area.

For Open University Doctoral students whose research degree was awarded from the 1st October 2016 please select the ‘electronic thesis submission’ item type.

For Open University Doctorate’s awarded before the 1st October 2016 or those awarded by another institution please use the ‘thesis’ category item type.

For more help on depositing see the ORO guidance videos.

If you are have been awarded an Open University doctorate and are no longer working or affiliated with the Open University and want to deposit an electronic copy of your thesis in ORO please contact

It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure any copyrighted material owned by a third party has been cleared (i.e. permission to make available in an open access resource received) prior to depositing the thesis in ORO. More information on third-party copyright is provided below.

Third Party Copyright

Before depositing your thesis in ORO, you need to be sure that you have permission for any third-party copyrighted material, e.g. extracts from publications such as books or journals, or illustrations such as images, maps, photographs, tables etc., to be made available in an open access resource. If you are a new research student about to embark on your research degree, consider seeking such permission as you go, rather than waiting until your thesis has been finalised. This will save time should you wish to deposit an e-version in ORO at the end of your degree. Permission to include third-party copyrighted material in your thesis should be sought by contacting the rights holder. This may be the author of a work, a publisher, an illustrator etc.

You need to seek permission when you wish to include these material types in your thesis:

  • Long quotations and extracts from literary or scholarly texts
  • Illustrations such as images, maps, photographs, tables
  • Short extracts if they form a substantial proportion of a work (such as a poem)
  • Internet material

Written permissions must include the right for you to disseminate the material in your thesis for non-commercial purposes in an open access resource.

What if I am unable to clear copyright for third party content contained in my thesis?

If you are unable to clear copyright for third party content contained in your thesis a redacted version without this content should be deposited in ORO as well as the final version. In the redacted version please provide a link or description for any material that has been removed. Ensure in your file name that the two versions can be easily distinguished from each other.

Has any part of your thesis been published?

If any part of your thesis has been published (e.g. as a journal article) then you need to check the copyright agreement you signed with your publisher. Even if you assigned copyright to the publisher, the publisher may still allow you to use the material in your thesis

Depositing PhD by published work

To deposit the full-text you will need to check the copyright with each of the publishers of the publications that make up your thesis. If the publisher does not allow the full-text to be deposited in ORO replace the full-text of any publications included in the PhD with a link to the DOI of the publications. You should deposit both the final version with the full-text of all the publications (an infinite embargo will be applied to this version) and a redacted version of the abstract, covering paper and links to the publications. Ensure in your file name that the two versions can be easily distinguished from each other.

Depositing Higher Doctorates

Deposit the statement and list of published works to ORO.


Sometimes there may be a valid reason for your thesis being restricted or under embargo for a limited period of time (e.g. as stipulated by a commercial sponsor, or promised for publication as a monograph).

Any embargoes are usually agreed at the start of the Doctorate. Embargoes have to be approved by the Chair of Research Degrees Committee. Please read the relevant sections of the Research Degree Regulations on Embargo or restricted access to thesis if you wish to apply for an embargo on access to the full-text of your thesis.

If you have any questions about depositing your thesis or require any help please contact

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