Finished thesis published online

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Hello folks, I'm hoping for some advice/experiences about publishing the finished thesis online

Yes it is that time for me... All is approved and all I have to do is submit the final copy, so, yes, the world is a very different place right now.

Anyhow, I have the option to publish or not publish online. On the one hand my instincts are to protect the work until after it's published - luckily much of it is pretty near publishable already, so would publishers think what's the point it's already out there? On the other hand it would be nice if lots of people could read it. Any thoughts would be appreciated...


I'm hesitant to give advice as I don't know if things are different in different fields. I'm in social sciences and have asked several people if they think having the thesis online has/would affect their chances to get published in the future. The answers I've got have ranged from 'I never even considered not having it online' to 'You should absolutely not do it as you won't get published.' I do know though that some journals in my field put any articles sent to them through plagiarism software and if the percentage of 'plagiarised material' is over a certain number the article would be rejected outright. So I figured better safe than sorry and put a 3-year embargo on mine.

I'd probably ask other people in your field for their advice. On one hand it's a shame not to be able to put something you've worked on for so long out there but of course, it's the journal articles people are going to be reading realistically.

Also, congratulations, must feel amazing to be submitting the final copy!


I would take the option not to publish it online, until you've published from it. Its just the safer option. You don't want to have to re-write journal papers when you can pick text up straight from your chapter/s.


Hi Eska, at my institution we have no option but to publish it online BUT we are able to put a restriction on access until a specific time period. For instance, some who have recently passed in my department have put a 2 or 3 year restriction on it to allow them to publish from it. However, there is an option for people accessing it to 'request' a copy and the hosting site emails the author to approve it. This prevents it being completely inaccessible but gives people the peace of mind when publishing. Is there a similar option available for you?

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Hi Butterfly, I'm investigating that just now. Someone at the research student office has said if I put an embargo on the thesis it means I don't get credit for it, as if it wasn't written until I lift the embargo. And the hard copy will not be available either. So I've asked the manager to call me back for confirmation/more detail.

Is this how it works at your place, do you still get credit?

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I've checked the the facts, made my decision...

I'm going for the online option. The two year embargo can be extended, and your abstract is still visible to all and sundry, so I'm happy with that.