eTheses repository service guidelines

Scope and purpose of the repository

The UBIRA eTheses repository (the Archive) is a multidisciplinary online service for the registration, preservation and dissemination of research theses awarded at the University of Birmingham.

The Archive can be used by University of Birmingham students to submit the final approved version of their thesis to Library Services.

The primary purpose of the Archive is to enable discovery and re-use of the theses deposited. Access to some theses held in the Archive may be restricted or subject to embargo for a fixed period.

This repository is partnered with EThOS, the UK e-theses service.



Users are defined as Registered Users (login required), Public Users, and Administrators.

Registered Users

Registered Users are all registered students at the University of Birmingham.

Registered Users are eligible to:

User Registration

Registered research students are automatically registered with the Archive through their University account and can log in using their University username and password.

Public Users

The Archive is open to members of the public.

Public Users may access and use Metadata Records and full text theses that are held in the Archive, subject to the terms and conditions of the Archive and any terms of access and use specific to individual theses.

Access to some theses files may be restricted and thus will require users to obtain authorisation.


Administrators must be members of University staff. They may modify, distribute and delete Metadata Records and theses full text files registered and deposited in the Archive to ensure the preservation and management of content in accordance with the Archive’s policies and in compliance with any legal considerations that apply, and may fairly and lawfully process personal data supplied to the Archive in accordance with the policies of the Archive and the University, and subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Eligible Content

Students completing Postgraduate Research programmes at the University of Birmingham are required to submit an electronic copy of their final thesis to the University. If you have gained a research degree (eg PhD, MPhil by research) from the University in the past, you are also welcome to submit your thesis to this repository.

If you want to submit any other thesis (e.g. B.A.), please get in touch at

Supplementary Material

Any supplementary files should be submitted to the University of Birmingham eData repository or any other suitable repository. Exceptions are compositions that are a central part of the thesis.

Access and Use

There are several levels of access to full text theses deposited with the Archive.

The level of access is specified by the Depositor when thesis is uploaded to the Archive.


All theses in the University of Birmingham eTheses repository are copyright of the authors and use of information contained in the theses must be in accordance with copyright legislation or – if applicable - Creative Commons licences and must be properly acknowledged.

Service levels


The University will use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the Archive will be accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Wherever possible at least five days’ notice of any planned downtime will be provided on the Archive interface.

Any unscheduled service outages will be managed to minimise impact on the service and to bring the Archive back to full operation as soon as possible. In the event of an unscheduled loss of service please contact or the University of Birmingham IT Service Desk.

Security of data

The theses files sit on a resilient service, with many servers and storage systems with redundant parts, which minimises downtime, if issues occur. As part of the service, the full text files are also replicated to another data centre, in order for resilience.

The solution also includes a backup which occurs every night; this is then backed up again to another tape device at a different data centre for resilience. The following is set out on our backup and retention policy

File deposit

There is a size limit of 10 Gigabytes (GB) per file for upload of data files to the Archive via the web interface. The success of web upload for files of a few GB or more cannot be guaranteed. Some browsers have a file size limit of 4 GB on file uploads, and network connection speeds may also limit the size of uploads.


Records may be created by Registered Users free of charge at any time.


User support is provided by the Digital Assets team. The core hours of support are from 09:00 to 17:00 during University working days.

Support requests and enquiries should be sent to or submitted via the University of Birmingham IT Service Desk. Requests will be prioritised for resolution according to urgency and levels of demand.

Consultations or extended support can be provided on request.



Datasets deposited in the Archive will be retained for a minimum of ten years from the date of deposit (10 years after last download/access) or for the retention period specified in any applicable third party policy or contract term, whichever is longer. Exceptions to this policy will be made only if the Archive is required to withdraw data in accordance with any applicable laws or policies or in response to a proven complaint.

Metadata Records will be retained indefinitely, including those for withdrawn Datasets. Where a Dataset has been withdrawn, the Metadata Record will be updated to reflect this change in status.

Once the minimum retention period has expired, a Dataset will be subject to review by the Archive administration, and securely deleted following institutional policies.


The Archive holds two copies of deposited data files in separate data centres. It may not be possible to guarantee the readability of some unusual file formats.


A thesis full text may be withdrawn in response to an identified breach of law or policy; or on receipt of a valid and proven complaint.

Acceptable reasons for the exceptional withdrawal of a thesis include:

Unless there is good reason to permanently delete a thesis record, withdrawn theses records will not be deleted, but removed from public view. The Metadata Record for a withdrawn item will be retained indefinitely, and modified to include:

Version control

Once deposited, a thesis cannot be updated by the addition, removal or modification of metadata or files. Files are allocated a checksum to facilitate the detection of alterations. Errata and corrigenda lists may be included with the original record if required.

Closure of service

In the event of the Archive being closed down, all content will be transferred to an alternative archive.


The University makes no undertakings as to the accuracy of any metadata record, thesis full text, or their conformity with any relevant laws, and accepts no liability for mistakes, omissions, or legal infringements within any thesis record.

Use of any information supplied by the Archive is at the user’s own risk.

Last changed: January 2019