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Answered by: Jennifer Stanton
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2021     Views: 1

Your thesis file

Before final lodgement of your thesis with the Higher Degree by Research Administration Centre, you should save your thesis file in a PDF/A format that is preferably no more than 100MB. PDF/A is a specialised format for preserving and archiving electronic documents which will help safeguard your digital thesis file for the future. You can find out more information about PDF/A on the Library of Congress website.

Most PDF editing and some word processing software will have tools available to convert your document to PDF/A. The easiest way to find out how to do this is to Google the name of the software you’re using along with ‘save as PDF/A’ e.g. ‘Adobe save as pdf/a’ or ‘Word save as pdf/a’.

Please avoid saving your thesis in proprietary formats, such as iBooks, as this will make your thesis harder to access in the long-term.

Theses with embedded media

If your thesis contains embedded media, you should aim to save your thesis as PDF/A-3 to maintain the integrity of your embedded media. In doing this, you’ll need to check if the software you’re using is able to save your thesis as PDF/A-3. You can find out more about PDF/A-3 on the Library of Congress website. If you encounter any issues, please contact us.

Supplementary materials

Supplementary materials should be saved in non-proprietary or open source formats that are no more than 2GB per file to ensure long-term and equitable access. You can find recommended file formats for different digital materials, including image, video and audio files, on the library website.


There may be a reason why your final thesis needs to be produced in a format other than PDF/A and its variants. We suggest you contact us when you begin to discuss what suitable open formats may be available


Saving your file as a PDF/A or PDF/A-3 is not always a simple process and can be restricted by the software and type of file you’re working with. If you require assistance, please contact us.

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