Redacting and restricting access to your thesis

You may need to redact information or restrict access to your thesis before depositing to KAR.

How to redact material from your thesis

Redaction means removing information from your thesis that you shouldn't make publicly available.

You can block out individual sentences or paragraphs or remove images or sections from one copy of your thesis before you make it available in KAR.

To redact:

  1. Delete all restricted information and replace it with the text string [REDACTED]. This way, redaction is apparent, but the space can't be used to identify the missing information.
  2. Don't leave text concealed behind black highlighting: future readers may have technologies that could reveal the hidden text.
  3. Don't delete the reference to the content you have removed.
  4. To redact images or large sections, delete them and replace them with [REDACTED]. You may need to add padding to keep your page numbering the same.

You will need to submit both the redacted copy and an unredacted copy of your thesis.

Restricting access to your thesis (embargo)

You may want to restrict access to your thesis and only make the full text publicly available after a period of time has passed. This is called an embargo.

The embargo period starts from the date you deposited your thesis into KAR through Moodle.

Reasons to use an embargo

You can change, extend or remove the embargo - email

Temporary embargo - 1 year or 3 years

Use one of these if:

  • you want to gain time to seek a publishing contract
  • you already have a contract with a publisher and they want you to restrict access for a defined period of time.

If your thesis has been funded (for example by a research council or commercial funder) you must check that the embargo does not conflict with their requirements.

Permanent embargo

Use a permanent embargo for your thesis if:

  • It contains material of a commercially sensitive nature throughout which is too extensive to be redacted
  • It contains material of a confidential material throughout which is too extensive to be redacted
  • There is extensive use of third party copyright material which can’t be redacted, cleared or covered under fair dealing exceptions (If you need advice about this, please email
  • You are an Arts and Humanities student studying creative writing/practice research in creative writing and you plan to publish your thesis as a novel. 

Get approval for a permanent embargo

  1. Discuss your decision with your supervisors and Director of Graduate Studies
  2. If agreed, download the permanent thesis embargo request form (pdf) and get the necessary signatures
  3. If you can't reach agreement, you need to contact your Divisional Director of Graduate Studies
  4. When you deposit in Moodle, select the 1 year embargo period. When we receive your completed form, we will apply a permanent embargo to your thesis in KAR.

You can still choose to share copies of your thesis privately. A record of your thesis will be available in the Kent Academic Repository


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