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Submitting your thesis to ORA: What to deposit


This page should be used to find out which files should be submitted as part of your ORA deposit, and in which version(s) and format(s).


Two copies of your thesis should be submitted to ORA:

1. Archive version: The version of your work that is required for deposit to the research archive in order to comply with the terms of your graduation is a copy that is as close to the examined work as possible (including any approved minor corrections), with all images and text in place, for the purpose of preservation.

This may be a Word doc, LaTeX, PDF (depending on how the file has been created) or another source. Files can be zipped together to submit to the repository as necessary. The archive version of your thesis must not have security settings enabled as this prevents indexing and the running of preservation activities.

The original source file(s) will be kept secure in the dark archive for preservation and will not be made accessible for general use.

2. Dissemination version: A PDF version of the work should also be added to your submission as the version for dissemination (once any embargo periods have ended).

If you are unable to make the full version of your thesis available online, we must still receive a full archive version of your thesis, but you can - with dispensation from consultation - provide an edited dissemination version. It must be ensured, however, that pagination matches between the two versions (i.e. if your dissemination version has one page redacted, a blank, numbered page should be in its place). See: edited/dissemination version.

PDFs are a good format for dissemination as they display as the author intended, retain pagination (and therefore correct cross-referencing) and can have security settings enabled.

Additional files: If your document requires any custom LaTeX macros or scripts, please include these.

If your thesis files contain TIFFs, it is helpful to deposit JPEG versions as well. ORA staff may make a JPEG copy.

If your thesis work contains datasets, they can be submitted to ORA in a separate deposit and linked to your thesis record as a related item. Please contact if you wish to discuss the deposit of research data in ORA, or view our dataset research guide for further information.

Fonts, non-Roman characters & diacritics

ORA will accept any font or characters that are Unicode

Many authors need to include non-Roman characters in their publications. Use of Unicode fonts is recommended for inclusion in ORA.

Other non-Unicode fonts/characters may be problematic:

  • they may not display correctly in ORA
  • they may not display correctly to end-users
  • searching (either using the simple or detailed full text search) within ORA may not work. If Unicode is used within the full text of the item (including unlocked PDF versions) it means that full text searching using Unicode characters will work
  • they cause difficulties for digital preservation

If you are not using a Unicode font, please avoid inserting non-Roman characters or other non-Unicode characters in the ORA deposit form. Contact if you have any queries on this matter. 

Greek characters

  • Athenian Font: use of this font has been discouraged by the American Philological Association since 1999. There is a free Unicode equivalent called 'Athena.' Links and further information are available.
  • A free online converter is also available. 
  • Please note that ORA staff provide this for information only and cannot endorse any of these products.


Many students want to include images within their thesis. If you intend to include images you might like to think about:

  • the file size
  • presentation formats (such as JPEG, thumbnails, TIFF high quality archive copies)
  • the metadata you assign to the image
  • copyright clearance for use and further re-use of the image
  • adding a copyright statement to your own images
  • resources and their limitations for processing images eg PhotoShop or Gimp. PhotoShop is a popular application and is industry neutral

Generally, it is best to keep things as simple as possible. You should check with your supervisor for information about what your academic division permits as content within your thesis.

Hardcopy Thesis Submission

Successful D.Phil, M.Sc., and M.Litt. students are required, on the granting of leave to supplicate, only to submit an electronic version of their finalised thesis to the Oxford Research Archive.

Students are no longer required to submit a hardbound copy of their thesis to the Bodleian Libraries, with the exception of students who have been granted permanent dispensation from consultation of their entire thesis, who should, in addition to the finalised copy of the thesis submitted to the Oxford Research Archive, submit a finalised hardbound copy of their thesis for deposit in the relevant university library. Students whose thesis (or part of the thesis) is in a non-standard format which cannot be submitted electronically (e.g. a 3D artwork, or artefact) should also submit a physical copy for deposit.

Information on arrangements for submitting a hardbound copy, for the small minority of students who have been granted permanent dispensation from consultation of their entire thesis, or whose thesis (or part of the thesis) is in a non-standard format which cannot be submitted electronically will be available via during Michaelmas term 2022. This will include information for former students in this position, who have previously submitted to the Oxford Research Archive but have been unable to submit a hardbound copy.

Other than the exceptions referred to above, students will no longer need to submit hardbound copies of their finalised theses to the Bodleian Libraries. However, this does not preclude departments/faculties from choosing to keep their own subject-specific collections of their students’ theses.


Depositors may deposit files in any format in ORA. It is expected that most files will have been created using current common or recent software applications. Some older, obsolete or more obscure file types may present preservation or dissemination difficulties and depositors should be aware of such limitations.

Title page

PDF Conversion

Software for converting files to PDF is available on many departmental or college workstations, but if you have any problems additional support can be given from by IT Services, Banbury Road.