A student must, as a condition of a degree award, grant royalty-free permission to the university to reproduce and publicly distribute, including by electronic and digital technologies now known or developed in the future, on a non-commercial basis, copies of the thesis or dissertation.
The world of scholarship depends on people making their research available to others. When that is done electronically, more people can get access at a lower cost, and more knowledge transfer occurs. This can stimulate education and research. It also can ensure that many people give credit to you for your work, and that your research is cited in others’ publications, which adds to your prestige and can help your future advancement.
Electronic access can dramatically increase the number of times a work is read or used. Since a graduate student spends a great deal of time on the research, it should be encouraging to know that others are reading that work.
With the advent of electronic theses/dissertations, students and universities can easily share knowledge with much lower costs. About 200,000 theses or dissertations are completed each year. It would greatly aid graduate education if as many as possible of these were freely available. Electronic theses/dissertations are becoming the standard in university libraries.
Understanding all of that, a delay of the public release may be warranted. In that case, the creator of a thesis or dissertation can submit an Embargo Request.
Students with significant concerns related to sensitive or classified information, patents, and potential publishers’ restrictions may request an embargo for one year, three years, or six years after the conferral of their degree to delay public release of the thesis or dissertation.
The request must be approved by the student’s major advisor and submitted to the Coordinator of Student Services no later than the thesis/dissertation submission deadline. An embargo is requested by completing an Initial Embargo Request Form.
Under extraordinary circumstances, this embargo may be extended for one additional 12-month period. A former student wishing to extend the embargo period for this additional 12-month period must complete an Embargo Renewal Request form at least two weeks before the end of the embargo period.