2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin

Thesis and Dissertation Publication Options

Embargoes and Restrictions on Accessing Theses and Dissertations

Students should be advised that a thesis or dissertation may be considered to be “previously published” by some publishers if it is put into a searchable digital/electronic repository (e.g. ProQuest). However, it should be noted that then student, not ProQuest (UMI), retains the copyright.

Students should discuss their future thesis/dissertation publication goals with their advisor. Students planning to publish from their thesis or dissertation should consider requesting an embargo of their work.

The student and the thesis or dissertation chair director submit a memo to the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies explaining the issue and stating that access to the work needs to be restricted. The Associate Provost must approve the final decision for permission to embargo the work.

During an embargo, ProQuest will completely restrict access to the document for a specified time period. The thesis or dissertation will be held in the ProQuest repository with no access until the embargo expires.

Reasons for Embargo

  • The student is interested in pursuing the option of an academic or commercial press acquiring the rights to publish the dissertation or thesis as a book.
  • The student is interested in submitting work from the thesis/dissertation to a peer-reviewed journal.
  • There are patentable rights in the work for which disclosure may be detrimental to the rights or interests of the author.
  • There is an ethical need to prevent disclosure of sensitive or classified information about persons, institutions, technologies, etc. for a time-limited period.

If a student believes that they will need to restrict access for a limited time period they can request a six month, one year, or two year embargo.

When an embargo expires, the thesis or dissertation will be automatically made available electronically by ProQuest.

Renewing an Embargo

If a student wishes to continue to restrict access for a limited time period, the student can request a six month, one year, or two year renewal on the embargo. The student and the thesis or dissertation chair director will submit a memo to the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies explaining the issue and stating that access to the work stills needs to be temporarily restricted. The Associate Provost must approve the final decision for permission to renewal embargo.  A student may only request two embargo renewals for a maximum of six year embargo period. Students with extenuating circumstances should consult the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies.

If the embargo extension is approved, the student should contact ProQuest directly at 1-800-521-0600 x77020 or via email at disspub@proquest.com.

University Libraries

ProQuest makes the thesis/dissertation available electronically to the University Libraries. The level of access to the student’s work through the University Libraries depends upon embargo choices as described below.

  • If the student does not embargo the work, the library will make the work available through the library’s online catalog, with links to both ProQuest and the library’s digital repository.

If the student embargoes the work for one of the following two reasons, University Libraries will make the work available only to the DU Community and through Inter-Library Loan in a PDF format. The work will not be made available outside the DU Community or over the internet:

  • The student is interested in pursuing the option of an academic or commercial press acquiring the rights to publish the dissertation or thesis as a book.
  • The student is interested in submitting work from the thesis/dissertation to a peer-reviewed journal.

If the student embargoes the work for one of the following two reasons, University Libraries will restrict access to the work until such time that they are notified by ProQuest that the embargo has been released, or when the author provides written permission directly to University Libraries:

  • There are patentable rights in the work or other issues in which disclosure may be detrimental to the rights or interests of the author.
  • There is an ethical need to prevent disclosure of sensitive or classified information about persons, institutions, technologies, etc. for a time-limited period.

After the embargo period, the work will be made available through University Libraries online catalog with links to ProQuest and the library’s digital repository.

Opt Out Procedure   

In some instances a student may wish to use only University Libraries as the repository of their work. In such cases the student will submit their work digitally to Penrose and it will be made available only to the DU Community and through Inter-Library Loan in a PDF format.

The student and the thesis or dissertation chair director will submit a memo to the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies explaining the issue and stating that access to the work needs to be restricted. The Associate Provost must approve the final decision for permission to restrict access to the work.

Permanently Suppress    

In rare cases, where the work includes proprietary information such as company data and records or confidential information that should never be made public, such as client records or interviews or some other serious condition that justifies such an action it may be appropriate for a student to permanently suppress work. In such cases the student will submit their work electronically to University Libraries. The work will be retained by the library and listed in catalog system, but will not be accessible without permission from the author.

The student and the thesis or dissertation chair director submit a memo to the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies explaining the issue and stating that access to the work needs to be restricted. The Associate Provost must approve the final decision for permission to restrict access to the work.

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