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ETD Guidelines
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Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Guidelines

As per University of Malta (UM) General Regulations, students are required to submit an electronic copy of their dissertation for the Library. The Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) is to be submitted to the respective department/centre/institute with whom students have followed their course of studies. The department will then forward ETDs to the Library and these will be uploaded to UM’s institutional repository, OAR@UM. Departments reserve the right to select which ETDs to forward to the Library, based on the grade awarded. PhD and grade A Masters’ dissertations will be uploaded in open access, whilst other ETDs will be restricted only for UM registered users. 

Students are required to follow the set standards for the preparation of their ETD. Standards and guidelines can be found hereunder. For further information or queries please send an email to our dissertations team.  



Citations, References and Copyright

Citations and references should be in accordance with the referencing style manual used for the thesis/dissertation. 

Students may make use of the work contained in a thesis/dissertation in accordance with the copyright legislation. Author/s must be properly acknowledged and further distribution is prohibited without prior permission of the author. 

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Organisation of the Thesis/Dissertation document

Irrespective of the faculty/institute to which the thesis/dissertation is being presented, all documents must contain the following:

  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page (this will be inserted by the librarian - do not leave any blank pages)
  • Declaration of Authenticity (duly signed)
  • Abstract
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Acknowledgements (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures (if applicable)
  • List of Tables (if applicable)
  • Nomenclature page - List of Abbreviations/Acronyms/Symbols (if applicable)
  • Thesis/Dissertation main text (including introduction, chapters, conclusion and recommendations)
  • References/Bibliography
  • Index (optional)
  • Appendices (if needed)

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Document Formatting

Although the library does not impose any formatting styles, all theses and dissertations must be consistent with respect to spacing, font style, font size and alignment.

For Microsoft Word users, the use of Heading styles for the titles in your document will allow you to automatically generate an electronic table of contents, and also to create bookmarks. Even though they are not a must, a linked table of contents and bookmarks will give a professional look to your dissertation whilst allowing anyone who is reading your ETD to easily navigate from one chapter/section to another. For instructions on how to set heading styles and create links and bookmarks click here.

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Page Numbers

The page numbers for the first few pages (up until just before the first page of the Introduction) must be in Roman Numbers. The page number should not be printed on the title page. Subsequent page numbers must be in Arabic Numerals. In order to apply two different number types to the same document, one must use section breaks. Click here for instructions on how to apply different page numbers to different sections. 

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Creating the Table of Contents (TOC) 

A contents page or table of contents is crucial for any write-up. Manually typing in your TOC is not practical as it can be very time-consuming. Creating the table of contents automatically will save you time while allowing you to create links and bookmarks in the final document, making it look more professional. 

Note: You can only create the TOC automatically if you used Heading styles for your titles and subtitles. 


Inserting TOC

  • Create a blank page.
  • Click on ‘References’ > ‘Table of Contents’.
  • Click on the TOC style that you wish to use.

Updating TOC

  • Make sure that you update the TOC if you make any changes in the document. 
  • Right-click on the TOC and choose ‘Update field’. 
  • Choose ‘Update page numbers only’ or ‘Update entire table’, according to your needs. 

Note: You may edit the TOC manually, however any manual changes will be discarded if you update the TOC automatically. 

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Naming and Saving the ETD

It is important that the final version (with corrections) of your dissertation is submitted as a PDF file with the correct filename.  

Submission of ETD

The electronic thesis/dissertation should be saved in PDF format on a CD and handed in to the faculty staff responsible for collecting dissertations. 

Important: The CD should only contain one file comprising the whole dissertation. In case of any accompanying material please see instructions for submitting additional files

Saving in PDF format

In Microsoft Word, click ‘Save As’ and from ‘Save as Type’ choose ‘PDF’. If you used Heading styles in your document, you may instruct word to create bookmarks in your PDF file. Bookmarks will make it easier for a reader to navigate through your electronic dissertation. To create bookmarks, click on the 'Options' button in the 'Save as Type' dialog box, then choose ‘Create bookmarks using…Headings’. Then click ‘Save’.

Naming your Electronic dissertation 

The filename should be in code format, for example 16DLIS001, 16DLIS002, etc. The first two digits represent the year when the dissertation is being submitted, in this case 2016. These are followed by a code representing the course, in this case DLIS represents Diploma in Library and Information Studies. The last three digits are unique numbers representing individual students. Codes should be collected from the respective faculty secretary. No spaces or other text is to be included with the filename. 

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Accompanying Material

One may wish to submit accompanying material together with his/her electronic dissertation. Accompanying material can include a resource pack, audio files, video clips, etc. A student who will be submitting any additional files should name them with the same code as the main file, then add a description. For example 16DLIS005 - video clip. Students are responsible to check that any additional material is submitted in a compatible file format and ideally each file should not exceed 1GB.   

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Donation of Melitensia works
from family of the late Dr Joseph Bartolo BA, LLD

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17 June - 30 September 2019

Last Updated: 15 April 2019

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