Requesting an embargo on a PhD thesis

In some cases it may be necessary to delay the release of a thesis to the public by applying for an embargo.

If you decide that your thesis should have an embargo, discuss this with your supervisor and tick the appropriate box on the Thesis declaration form.

Reasons for requesting an embargo include:‌

  • You plan to publish your thesis
  • To avoid invalidating a potential patent application, see Intellectual Property
  • It contains commercially sensitive research or research with confidentiality obligationsIt contains information collected under the promise of confidentiality and anonymity e.g. patient information
  • It shows evidence of animal experimentation and release to the public would pose a significant risk to the researchers involved or to Imperial staff and students
  • It contains information of significance for national security

For further information please contact the Research Degrees team

Extending an embargo period

Requests for an extension of the original embargo period can be made to the Research Degrees Team. Please ensure that your request is made 6-8 weeks before the end of your embargo.

Extensions due to impending publication

The following information must be included with your request:

  • Stage of publication process i.e. submitted, accepted, in proof, in press
  • Journal name
  • Publisher
  • Evidence e.g. copy of e-mail or journal policy

Details can then be forwarded to Research Degrees team or the open access team for consideration.

Extensions due to a commercial or patent application

A statement from your supervisor or PI (Primary Investigator) must be included with your request.

Rapid take down policy

If you are asked to remove your thesis from Spiral, please refer the requestor to the rapid take down policy.

Freedom of Information Act

Theses can be requested under the 'Freedom of Information Act 2000', for exemptions see Freedom of Information.