Restricting Access to Your Thesis
The University of Durham is a designated public authority under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This Act gives a general right of access to all information held by the University, including information held in the Durham University e-theses repository. As a matter of normal practice we will only make your material available in accordance with the restrictions you have placed upon it. However, if someone specifically asks to see it, we must give them access unless the thesis qualifies for an exemption under the Act.
A number of possible exemptions may apply:
the material is due for publication, or the author is actively seeking to publish this material;
release of the material would substantially prejudice the commercial interests of the University or any person;
the material includes information that was obtained under a promise of confidentiality and disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of confidence;
the material contains personal information about you or a third party for which disclosure would breach the Data Protection Act or otherwise endanger the health and safety of you or a third party.
If you believe that there may be a valid reason why you need to restrict access to your thesis, you should complete the Restricting Access to my thesis form and talk to your primary supervisor who will be required to sign this form to indicate that the supervisory team agree with your decision on restricting access to your thesis. You must indicate in the space provided in the form which exemption you are claiming, and why you feel an exemption is applicable. However, if a specific request for your thesis is received prior to the expiration of any applicable embargo, the University is still obligated to consider the request ad act in compliance with the Act. Compliance may include disclosure of your thesis.
The form should be submitted to the Academic Support Office along with a completed Higher Degree Entry form and two soft-bound copies of the thesis. It is important that this form is submitted with your Higher Degree Entry form before your viva so that there is time for your request to be considered.
All requests will be considered by the relevant Deputy Head of Faculty.
Restrictions are usually granted for a limited period of time normally up to a maximum of five years but can be considered for renewal on request. Please note that it your responsibility to request a renewal in good time as a theses will automatically go live in the e-theses repository. This will happen after the number years you requested the embargo to last for, on the same date as the request was granted.
If the request is applied to your thesis, your thesis will not be normally made available for public access until the embargo has expired. However, the title of your thesis and abstract will be made available via the Durham University e-theses repository.