Accessibility statement

Method statement on the deposit of taught masters-level dissertations in the University Library

  • Digital dissertations will be stored in and made available via York Digital Library (
  • Information about the range and extent of dissertation collections available will be made clearly available to users by the University Library. Given that Departments can opt-out of submission entirely, or choose limited submission, it is important that users understand what is and isn’t available.
  • Digital dissertations will be preserved in perpetuity unless a reason is identified to withdraw them. Reasons may include breaches of copyright, breaches of other legal, ethical or moral conditions, incorrect or misleading content or for collection and space management reasons. Requests for withdrawal will be handled by the Library. There is no set retention period, although if dissertations are being withdrawn for collection or space management reasons, dissertations will not be withdrawn within 6 years of deposit or last download.
  • Digital dissertations will be made available to University of York members only, unless the academic department has elected to have their dissertations made publicly available. Access control will be managed by York Digital Library.
  • Guidance will be provided how to submit, including advice on acceptable file formats.
  • Digital dissertations will be deposited with York Digital Library via a web interface. It is the responsibility of depositing departments whether they ask authors to upload their dissertations themselves, or whether this is carried out by the department’s own staff. Library staff will monitor deposits and carry out basic checking (e.g. for mistakes/omissions in the information submitted via the web form). Library staff will not chase up those who have not submitted dissertations although they will provide information for Departments wishing to do so themselves, in the form of a report listing submitted dissertations.
  • Consent will be obtained via a deposit agreement as part of the online submission process which the author has to go through in order to deposit their dissertation. A copy of what the author has consented to will be emailed to them. Academic departments wishing to upload dissertations themselves will be responsible for obtaining consent from authors.
  • The deposit agreement will also make clear the authors’ responsibilities regarding copyright. The Library will provide appropriate guidance and training on use of copyright material in dissertations, and any need to redact material in submitted dissertations.
  • Print taught-masters dissertations already held in Library collections will be digitised and added to the Digital collection. Bindings will be removed to expedite this process. Once digitised, the dissertations will be offered back to Departments or securely disposed of. Departments may, at their own cost, request that dissertations are rebound. Digitisation of past dissertations will be carried out over time as staff capacity allows. There is no fixed timescale for this activity.
  • Departments may request to have local print taught-masters dissertations collections digitised and added to the Digital collection. This work will be carried out, free-of-charge, under the same terms as noted above. Priority will be given first to Library dissertation collections, then to dissertations from the last six years held in Departments. Digitisation of older dissertations will need to be discussed with the Library.

Document history and status

21 May 2014 Approved by Library Committee


Review cycle: N/A

Date of next review: N/A