Library:Circle/Uploading Electronic Theses and Dissertations

From UBC Wiki


IMPORTANT! Have you submitted your completed thesis forms to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies or College of Graduate Studies? If not, go to the Electronic Submission webpage for UBC Vancouver or the Post-Defence Submission Page for UBC Okanagan.

If you have already submitted your completed thesis forms for your campus, you can proceed with the next steps.


The following guide will lead you through each step of uploading a thesis or dissertation submission to cIRcle. Please note, the thesis administration offices recommend you submit your thesis/dissertation a minimum of 3-5 business days before any deadline.


Your Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ETD) Submission Checklist

Ensure your completed forms have been submitted to the thesis administration office for your campus (see above)
Register for a cIRcle Login
Contact (UBC-V) OR (UBC-O) to activate your account
Submit your ETD to cIRcle by following the steps in this guide

Submission Overview

The process for approving and uploading theses and dissertations is coordinated between the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies/College of Graduate Studies and cIRcle. The following image depicts a simplified overview of what steps are handled by which unit. A useful distinction to make is that the thesis administration office activates your cIRcle account for deposit and approves your thesis, whereas cIRcle is responsible for the technical aspects related to uploading the file to the cIRcle repository.

A good rule of thumb for troubleshooting is to contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies/College of Graduate Studies for everything until your item is archived. If you have issues or questions once you have received your notification that your thesis has been archived, contact cIRcle.

You may also find the answer to a number of your questions on the cIRcle FAQ page.

Submission overview

Register for a cIRcle Login

Once you have submitted your thesis forms, you can register for your cIRcle login. On the cIRcle homepage, there are three buttons under the search bar. Under the heading labelled "Registration", select the "Register" button.

From the "Register" menu, enter your email address in the box provided. Once you have entered your email address, select the "Register" button below the entry box to submit your registration request.

Immediately login to your email account to to locate the registration confirmation email from cIRcle and complete the registration process. If you delay this step too long, you may receive an 'Invalid token' error message. If this occurs, please start the login registration process again from the beginning.

cIRcle home page with Register button circled in red

Request account activation

IMPORTANT! Once you have registered for your cIRcle login and set your password, email the thesis administration office for your Campus. Include your name and email address in the body of the email and request that your account be activated. Your email address needs to be the same email address that you entered in cIRcle. For UBC-V, contact the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) at For UBC Okanagan, contact the College of Graduate Studies .

Have you received your confirmation email that your account has been activated?

  • Yes! Submit your thesis to the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+ collection following the steps in this guide.
  • No! First, check to make sure that you have followed all the required steps. Next, confirm that you are submitting a minimum of 3-5 business days before any deadline. A delay in submitting your forms or requesting account activation may result in a delay in a response from the thesis administration office. DO NOT submit your thesis to the Graduate non-thesis collection. If you have followed all the recommendations and still have not received your confirmation email, please contact the thesis administration office for your campus.


Tip! If you login to cIRcle and only have access to submit to the "Graduate Non-Thesis" collection, your account has not yet been activated. Please ensure you have completed all required registration steps and wait for your confirmation email.


Log In to Your Account

On the cIRcle homepage, navigate to the "Submit Content" section under the main menu on the banner. Select the "Login" button.

cIRcle home page with red arrow pointing to Login button

Choose a Login Method

On the login page, you will be prompted to choose a login method. Select the "cIRcle Login".


IMPORTANT! Use your cIRcle Login account. Do not use your CWL login account.

cIRcle login page with red arrow pointing to cIRcle Login button as preferred login method
cIRcle login page with red arrow pointing to thesis login method

Start Your Submission

After logging in, you will have access to a navigation menu on the left sidebar. Under the "My Account" heading, select the "Submissions" link.

Start a submission

From the Submissions landing page, select the "Start a New Submission" link.

Start a submission

Select a Collection

On the Item Submission page under the "Select a collection" header, use the drop down menu to select the "Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+" collection. Do NOT submit to the "Graduate Research [non-thesis]" collection.


Tip! DO NOT submit your thesis to the Graduate Non-thesis collection. Doing so will result in a delay with your submission. You need to receive authorization from your thesis administration office before you can submit to the Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+ collection. Be sure to review the instructions for thesis submission for your campus carefully to avoid uneccessary delays.

Select the "Next" button to continue.

Choose a collection

Describe Item

There are two stages to describing your thesis or dissertation. In the first stage, you will need to define the author, title, language, and abstract. In the second stage, you will need to select your degree level, program, campus, and graduation date. This descriptive information (i.e. metadata) must match the information on the title and secondary pages of your thesis exactly.


Tip! To save your unfinished submission once you've started, select the "Save & Exit" button followed by the "Save it, I'll work on it later" link to confirm. Look for this option throughout the submission process.

Description Stage 1

Fill in all of the required fields. You will be prompted to complete these fields before continuing the submission process. When you have finished, select "Next" to continue.

It is strongly recommended that you enter your title using the Roman alphabet to best support the widest range of search and discovery possibilities for your work. If you do use special characters to describe your thesis, please ensure that they are Unicode Standard characters or UTF-8 encoded. Please note that it may not be possible to render certain symbols correctly in the cIRcle abstract field. To view the exact special characters, readers will need to download the PDF of your thesis to read the correct abstract.

Describe item


Tip! Type: This field is pre-selected as "Text" to describe the thesis/dissertation as a whole. Please do not change or add to this section unless your thesis is primarily non-textual (eg. a website or videorecording).


Tip! Okanagan Campus only: When typing your thesis name into the cIRcle Thesis Title field, type ‘Okanagan’ in front of the actual thesis name.

Description Stage 2

Use the drop-down boxes to select the correct information in all of the required fields. You will be prompted to complete these fields before continuing the submission process. When you have finished, select "Next" to continue.


Tip! Your "Graduation Date" is the month in which your degree will formally be conferred by Senate. For UBC-V students it will be May or November, and for UBC-O students it will be February, May, September, or November. It might not be the same as the month in which you will be attending Congregation (convocation ceremonies), as Congregation is only held in May and November for UBC-V, or June for UBC-O.

Upload Your Thesis File

Before you start, be sure to view the cIRcle File Format Guidelines for information on file size requirements and preferred file formats.

Make sure all PDF files in your submission are compatible with Adobe Acrobat version 5 and are NOT in "secured" format or password-protected. cIRcle does not accept secured or password-protected PDFs due to access and preservation concerns. It is also recommended that you do NOT save your PDF files using Fast Web View. A scan to PDF is not acceptable.

If your thesis includes multiple files, be sure that you have followed the formatting instructions on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studieswebsite OR the College of Graduate Studies website. These pages offer important instructions regarding what information you need to submit and how to format it.

If your thesis contains non-PDF file formats, make sure you have carefully reviewed the cIRcle File Format Guidelines and are submitting preferred file formats whenever possible.

Make sure that each file you submit (including ZIP files) is no larger than 2 GB, and that you have saved each file with a name using all lower case and in the format shown directly below:

Thesis consisting of a single PDF file:

  • ubc_gradyear_gradmonth_lastname_firstname.pdf
  • E.g.: ubc_2022_may_houdini_harry.pdf

Thesis consisting of multiple files:

Your first file must contain your title page and preliminary pages, so this will always be a pdf file:

  • ubc_gradyear_gradmonth_lastname_firstname_file1.pdf
  • E.g.: ubc_2022_may_houdini_harry_file1.pdf

For subsequent files, you will number them according to the order in which you plan to upload them to cIRcle:

  • ubc_gradyear_gradmonth_lastname_firstname_file[#]
  • E.g.: ubc_2022_may_houdini_harry_file2_image.png
  • E.g.: ubc_2022_may_houdini_harry_file3_audio.wav
  • E.g.: ubc_2022_may_houdini_harry_file4_image.png
  • E.g.: ubc_2022_may_houdini_harry_file5_video.mp4

Next, select the "Browse" button and locate the file(s) on your computer. Then, select "Upload file & add another". You should upload all thesis files approved by your Committee during this step.

For multi-file theses, the PDF file containing your title page and preliminary pages must be the first-listed file in your submission. Subsequent files should then be uploaded and listed in order of importance as determined by your Committee. The length of time required to upload a file will depend on its size and the speed of your connection. If you have trouble uploading your file(s), contact the cIRcle Office at:

Verify that you have uploaded the correct file(s). When you have finished, select "Next" to continue.

Tip Tip! Want to include an embargo date? If you want to request a delay in publication of your thesis, please follow the instructions on the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies web site OR the College of Graduate Studies before you submit the final version of your thesis to cIRcle.

Please note that if an embargo is approved, all files will be embargoed.  An embargo cannot apply only to specific files in your thesis submission.  

Upload thesis file


Tip! If you uploaded the wrong file, select the file you want to remove under "Files Uploaded" then select "Remove selected files". Repeat the upload file steps to upload the correct file.  If your thesis contains more than one file, you will need to be remove and re-upload all files to ensure they are listed in the correct order.

Review Your Submission

Under each of the "Describe Item" sections, verify that the information entered into all of the metadata fields is correct. Select "Next" if there are no changes.

Review your submission


Tip! If you need to change the metadata in one of the fields, select a "Correct one of these" buttons. This will allow you to return to the relevant section to make changes. Be sure to select "Next" after making any correction(s) to ensure the changes have been saved. To navigate through the Item submission sequence, simply use the tabs labelled, "Describe", "Upload", "Duplicate Check", etc. that appear at the top of the Item submission page.

Creative Commons License

Select "Next" if you *do not* wish to modify the default Creative Commons License known as the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, or CC BY-NC-ND license.

To modify the Creative Commons License to add additional permissions, use the radio buttons provided and select "Next" to proceed to the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License.


Tip! Creative Commons Licenses govern what people who access your work may then do with it. To help you decide which license to use, select the "Info" icon for each license type to learn more about conditions of use or visit the Creative Commons website.

Creative Commons license

Complete the cIRcle Non-Exclusive Distribution License

This is the final step in the submission process. The distribution license permits cIRcle to make your work available via the Web but you, as the author/creator, retain the copyright. Once you have read the license agreement, scroll down to the bottom to check the box beside the statement, "I Agree". Then, select the "Complete submission" button.

Once you have made your submission, the final screen will indicate that the submission was successful.

CIRcle License 3.0.png


Congratulations! You have now completed your cIRcle electronic thesis/dissertation submission! What next?

Your submission is complete

Monitor your email for notifications as your thesis goes through the following review steps over the next 5-7 business days:

  1. The thesis administration office has to review and approve your submission. This may take up to 2-3 business days. If approved, you will receive an email notification. Your thesis has not been approved until you receive this email.
  2. During the review process, the thesis administration office may require you to make changes. Check your email frequently and respond quickly to any edit requests.
  3. Once the thesis office approves your submission, it is then reviewed by Library Staff to ensure everything has been entered correctly. If any errors are identified at this stage, you may be asked to edit and resubmit. If there are no errors, the thesis is approved for archiving in cIRcle. This final review process takes between 3-5 business days.
  4. You will receive an email notification with the URL for your thesis once it has been archived. Use this persistent link for your CV's and Bios to ensure permanent open access to your work. View this link to see an example of a thesis record in cIRcle:


IMPORTANT! Take note of the timeline for the review and approval process. If approved you will receive an email notification. Your thesis has not been approved until you receive this email. This process can take up to 7 business days or longer if you have submitted too close to your deadline.

If you have not received a confirmation email in the expected timeline, contact the thesis administration office for your campus: or (If, during the review process, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies/College of Graduate Studioes requires you to make changes to your thesis, you will be emailed accordingly).