Printing in 4-6 days


in Daily updates, M.Phil thesis

Bridge beside the Port Meadow, Oxford

On Friday the 20th, I may head into London to get my thesis bound. The print shops there seem to be significantly faster and cheaper than those in Oxford. They are also likely to be somewhat less busy, given how significant a share of the Oxford graduate population seems to have materials to submit by noon on the 23rd. Whereas the print shop next to Wadham College needs two days and wants to charge almost £90 for two hard-bound copies, I have found a shop in London that will do so for £44 in two days, £64 in one day, and £84 in just five hours.

I am also not sure whether I should print the thesis myself or have the shop do it. Wadham charges 5p a page for printing. The print quality is pretty good, though the paper they provide is quite yellow and of poor quality. I could bring my own, but that would probably make the cost comparable to just having the print centre do it. One advantage of doing it myself would be the ability to better ensure that everything was printed properly and in the correct order.

In any case, by Thursday I should be completing my final tasks: getting the page numbers of each chapter to start at the right position, compiling the aggregated bibliography, filling in page numbers in the table of contents, and making sure all the citations are in place. I will probably print each chapter to PDF using Mac OS (thus embedding my chosen font) and then find a full copy of Acrobat somewhere, for use in stitching them together into one file. By tonight, I will be happy if I have filled in the gaps that remain in chapters three and four.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom April 14, 2007 at 1:30 pm

There is no need to find a full copy of Acrobat. You can merge PDF files using the free tool: PDFMergeX.

Lee April 14, 2007 at 9:49 pm

The going rate for hard binding is £25 a copy. Why you would need to go to London is beyond me. Check out the little bookbinders on St Michael’s St, off Cornmarket St.

Milan April 14, 2007 at 11:04 pm


Cost isn’t the only consideration. The speed with which the binding can be done is another factor. If I can get it bound on Friday, that gives me another two days to work on it.

That said, I will have a look at the print shop you suggest.

Anon @ Wadh,

The part on the right that was blue has been crudely cloned into the washed out area on the left. You cannot expect photographic brilliance under such conditions of thesis stress.

Milan April 14, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Re: new Tori Amos album

I will certainly give it a listen. That said, I don’t think she has released a really excellent original album since Scarlet’s Walk in 2002.

Her best remain:

Little Earthquakes (1991)
Boys for Pele (1996)
To Venus and Back (1999)

Ben April 14, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Woah, woah, – unless things have changed very much only the final copy submitted to the Bod after you’ve passed needs to be hardbound. The two copies you hand in now for examiners can be softbound, which should be considerably cheaper (and maybe quicker).

Milan April 15, 2007 at 12:29 am


“Please note that you are required to submit two hard-bound copies of the MPhil thesis. (On MPhil thesis binding, see also Section 5(g) above; on MLitt / DPhil see Section 10 above.)”

Emphasis theirs.

Source (the Notes of Guidance)

Milan April 15, 2007 at 12:31 am


Two hardbound copies of the finished MPhil thesis must be submitted by noon of Monday of the first week of Trinity Term, i.e. 23 April 2007, to the Clerk of the Schools, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford”


Anon @ Wadh April 14, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Has the sky in this image been crudely painted blue?

A friend April 14, 2007 at 10:57 pm

You will probably want to know that a new Tori Amos album is coming out soon: American Doll Posse

Ben April 15, 2007 at 10:53 am

It says here (para 5) that the two copies for the examiners may be softbound. I find it slightly surprising they have different requirements for IR, as I’d have thought softbound would be easier for the examiners. It seems from the emphasis that you’re right however, but the notes have been known to be wrong (in our year, they said to put our names on the thesis)

Milan April 15, 2007 at 11:08 am


The Notes of Guidance seem to indicate that we should put our names on the thesis:

“bound copies should be lettered on the spine with the candidate’s name and initials, the degree (MPhil), and the year of submission.”


Milan April 15, 2007 at 11:08 am

I have emailed Marga Lyall, asking for clarification.

Ben April 15, 2007 at 11:53 am

Maybe you should put your name on, since it seems one of your examined copies is put in the Bod for you – which does seem easier. In our case, we had to get a third copy hardbound after passing (though many of us haven’t actually done this yet…) We got an email close to the deadline telling us that the examiners copies should only have our candidate numbers on – which is a bit pointless, since they’ll be clearly identifiable to anyone who knows us.

Anon @ Wadh April 15, 2007 at 1:40 pm

Just do exactly what it says in the Exam Regulations. They cannot complain if you do that.

Rob April 15, 2007 at 6:00 pm

I’d also be very surprised both if they made you hardbind them, because it’s much more expensive and time-consuming, and if you had to put your names on them, since the examination is supposed to be anonymous.

Anon @ Wadh April 15, 2007 at 6:47 pm


The regulations seem pretty explicit on both points. They can hardly condemn you for following them, and the risk of not doing so and running into trouble because of it seems unacceptable.

Milan April 16, 2007 at 11:57 am

The authoritative answer, from Marga. The thesis must be hard bound and include your name.

Dear Milan

Thanks for your note. I can only think that the confusion has arisen as a
result to comparison of what Politics MPhil students have to submit.
I learnt to my surprise that they do not include their name etc in their
thesis, and theirs is not hard bound.

For the MPhil in International Relations, what is stated in the Notes of
Guidance has to be treated as the definitive guidelines:

“The thesis, exclusive of bibliography, must not exceed 30,000 words. If your
thesis exceeds the word limit, the final mark will be reduced by the
examiners. If the thesis contains numerous typographical errors, or fails to
adopt a consistent referencing system, the final mark may also be reduced.
Please include with the two copies of your thesis:

one form GSO.3B (Deposit and Consultation of Theses);
one form GSO.26 (Information for Thesis Cataloguing);

a separate note confirming that the work in the thesis is all your own work
except where otherwise indicated.

Two hardbound copies of the finished MPhil thesis must be submitted by noon
of Monday of the first week of Trinity Term, i.e. 23 April 2007, to the
Clerk of the Schools, Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, NOT to the
Department. The University Proctors, who have overall control of
examinations, have stated that they will not give leave for work to be
submitted late except for very special reasons. You should allow time for
checking the text; and also for the binding of the thesis, for which you
should make arrangements in advance.”

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