Preparing your thesis for KAR

You need to make sure your thesis is formatted correctly and any accompanying materials are archived.

Preparing your document

You must provide your thesis in pdf format and follow these guidelines:

  • The first page of the document should be a title page that includes:
    • title
    • abstract
    • word count / number of pages
    • year of submission
    • academic school / centre.
  • It must not be locked for printing or editing.
  • The file size should be below 512MB; if this is a problem, you can:
    • split your thesis into separate pdfs; or
    • reduce the document size by shrinking the size of your images in your Word document or in the pdf version; shrinking images may reduce their quality, so keep a copy of your original document and check the quality of the shrunk version.
  • If you have data, diagrams, maps, multimedia items or any other documents which can't be incorporated into the body of the pdf file, submit the thesis through Moodle and check how to prepare and deposit this additional material below.
  • The filename of your thesis document should be short and meaningful: 
    • use this format (made up of your surname, the year of your award, your degree, and the version of the document): surnameYYYYdegreeversion - for example smith2020phdfinal or jones2021mscresfinal
    • don't include punctuation or capital letters
    • if you have a redacted thesis as well as your final thesis, include these terms at the end of each filename, for example jones2021phdredacted and jones2021phdfull
    • if you've split your thesis into separate pdfs, include the volume number at the end of each pdf file name, for example smith2020phdfinal01, smith2020phdfinal02  

If you have already published: see how to record a PhD based on published works on the Kent Academic Repository.

Make it accessible to maximise your audience

To make your document as accessible as possible:

Files which accompany your thesis

Do you have data or supplemental material, such as:

  • supporting data you must preserve and make available, for example because your funder requires it 
  • evidence of practice supporting a Practice as Research thesis
  • large files of relevant material in non-text formats, for example images, video or audio
  • material that illustrates, supports or adds value to your thesis?

You can't upload this through Moodle alongside your thesis. Instead, we will archive it for you and link it to your thesis.

Archiving the files doesn't have to mean making them publicly available; you can choose to apply restrictions.

Preparing additional materials

To archive your materials, make sure they are in digital file formats in line with preservation and access guidelines, so that they remain safe and usable in future: 

How to deposit accompanying material

  1. Upload your thesis document and wait for it to be live on KAR.
  2. Prepare your accompanying materials into files suitable for upload.
  3. Keep back-up copies of any files in case of damage or loss.
  4. Email your files and the READ.ME file to

Are your files too large to email?

Choose one of these options:

Check your back-up copy.

Include in the email or on a label on the media:

  • your name
  • the date of submission
  • the title of your award
  • the KAR URL of your thesis.

Advantages of archiving your data

  • It will have unique and stable web address (digital object identifier = DOI); this means you can cite it and refer others to it.
  • The materials will count as a separate output and enhance your scholarly profile.
  • Your data and other digital materials will be secure in a managed environment.
  • Other researchers can find and build on your materials while properly acknowledging your work.
  • You will be able to return to the materials yourself and reuse them, wherever your career takes you.


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