A series of questions arose during the ‘Do you need to submit an electronic thesis?’ session earlier this week about the features of the PDF version of your electronic thesis, or indeed any other PDF document uploaded to PURE (Lancaster University’s Research Information System).
Does my PDF need to be machine readable? Yes! If you are creating your PDF from a word processor like Microsoft Word then it will be machine readable. This will be more useful to readers as they can search within the text of the thesis. The exception would be for older documents where the digital version is no longer available, so the PDF is generated from a print copy (i.e. is a scanned image).
Should I apply security features in my PDF? No. There are features in Adobe Acrobat to apply security or Digital Rights Management features to your PDF document. When submitting the PDF version of your thesis please don’t apply these features as it would cause problems for future readers of your work. You can trust us to apply any agreed embargo or restriction on your behalf.
Will Google index my electronic thesis? Yes. Once your electronic thesis is uploaded, Google and other search engines can index the information about your thesis (metadata) through Pure portal and ePrints (Lancaster University’s Respository). If your thesis is restricted or embargoed only the metadata will show. That way readers still know that your research exists.