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Frequently Asked Questions

Thesis/Dissertation Formatting Questions

How do I format my thesis/dissertation?

See the Formatting Guidelines page for details on how to format your thesis/dissertation.

How do I convert my Word document to PDF?

The ETD Administrator website provides instructions on how to create a PDF with embedded fonts. Encrypted files are not acceptable.

I don't have a full version of Adobe Acrobat. What do I do?

If you do not own Adobe Acrobat, you have several options. You can:

  • Visit any of the UCIT maintained computer labs which have Adobe Acrobat.
  • Make an appointment with the Graduate School Helpdesk by calling 513-556-1496.
  • Download the trial version of Adobe Acrobat X Pro from Adobe's website. It provides all the necessary features, but expires after 30 days.
  • Use the Adobe Online PDF Maker. This service allows 5 free trial conversions with registration, and unlimited conversions for a fee of $9.99/month.

ETD Publishing Questions

How will people be able to access my ETD?

Your ETD will be indexed by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Internet search engines for download on the internet. It will also be found in the University of Cincinnati library catalog.

Where is my ETD published? (MASTER'S)

Your thesis is published on the world wide web via OhioLINK, the Ohio Library and Information Network (more information regarding OhioLINK). Publishing to OhioLINK does not cost any money. Your thesis will appear on this website by using the Graduate Graduation Checklist. You can also choose to publish your thesis to ProQuest/UMI; for more information, see question "What is ProQuest/UMI?"

Where is my ETD published? (DOCTORAL)

Your dissertation is published on the world wide web via OhioLINK, the Ohio Library and Information Network (more information regarding OhioLINK). Publishing to OhioLINK does not cost any money. Your dissertation is also published to PROQUEST/UMI, the University of Michigan Index (more information about PROQUEST/UMI). UMI has associated publication fees; see question "How much does it cost to publish my document to UMI?" for applicable fees. Your dissertation will appear on these two websites by using the Graduate Graduation Checklist.

How much does it cost to publish my document to UMI?

Publishing to UMI is free. If you choose to have UMI get a copyright from the US Copyright Office on your behalf, there is an additional $55 charge. For information on publishing options, see question "What do I need to know about signing agreements with publishers?"

Why would I want to make my ETD freely available?

The world of scholarship depends on people making their research available to others. When this is done electronically, more people may receive access at a lower cost, and more knowledge transfer occurs. This stimulates education and research. It also ensures 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 aids your future advancement.

Before theses and dissertations were available electronically, not many were read. Electronic access multiplies the number of times works are read by a factor of ten or more. In fact, one author at Virginia Tech increased accesses to 56,399 from 9,920 in only one year. Since you spent a great deal of time on your research, it should encourage you to know that others are reading your work. Your research may guide others, and your results may save others the time of redoing your study.

With electronic theses and dissertations, students and universities may more easily share knowledge, with much lower costs. It is estimated that about 200,000 theses or dissertations are completed each year. It would greatly aid graduate education if as many as possible of these were made freely available.

Since we aim to maximize access, which seems especially appropriate for a State university, we will not charge fees. Therefore, we will not have any royalties to share.

What is an embargo? Should I request an embargo?

An embargo is a delay in making a work publicly available. Your title and abstract will be available for the public but the full text of your pdf document will be hidden for a period of time. You can embargo for a maximum of two years at a time for a total of 5 years. At that time your pdf will be released to the internet. You might choose to embargo because of a patent application or a pending publication in a journal. You should talk with your advisor about whether or not to embargo. You should also speak with any publisher of your thesis/dissertation work regarding rules and restrictions of publication when text is already publicly available. You can request to embargo your document within the ETD submission process. Your chair will approve the embargo request when you have submitted your ETD.

What are my copyright options?

Your copyright options:

What is ProQuest/UMI?

ProQuest, a corporation in Ann Arbor, Michigan, maintains a microform archive of approximately 1.5 million dissertations, as well as an online service called Dissertation Abstracts. Most dissertations written in the US are submitted to ProQuest for archiving on microfilm, from which microform or paper copies may be produced. ProQuest functions as an on-demand book publisher that eliminates the editorial process. One of the services they offer is to help you regarding copyright and working with publishers. They have made available online electronic versions of all works they received since 1996.

What is an ORCID?

ORCID is a unique researcher identifier. Learn more at

What if I want to write a book related to my thesis or dissertation?

We realize that some students prepare books related to their theses or dissertations. Since publishers vary widely in their policies, you should share with your publisher that your work is available on OhioLINK. You may want to embargo your work for a year or two until your publication comes out. For embargo information, see question "What is an embargo? Should I request an embargo?".

In general, it appears to be the case that electronic release of early versions of a book leads to greater sales of such books. Indeed, having an electronic work made available on the Internet, and showing a publisher a large number of electronic accesses to that work, may help you land a book contract.

Usually, books that relate to theses or dissertations turn out to be significantly changed as part of the editorial process. This makes it likely that those interested in your work will buy your book when it comes out, even if they have reviewed your ETD.

However, since publishers vary widely in their policies, it is wise to share this information and other documents about the ETD initiative with publishers to which you are likely to submit your work. We are open to discussions with publishers regarding policies or helping in the publicity process.

What if I want to have a journal article as a chapter in my thesis?

If you have published an article or articles before you turn in your thesis or dissertation, and you desire credit for it with your graduate requirements, you have a number of options. These should be discussed with your committee, and possibly with your publisher. First, you can simply cite the publication in your references. Second, if the publisher has the publication online, you can link or point to it (with permission of the publisher, who usually has protection so that paying customers or subscribers are the only ones allowed access). Third, if the publisher gives you a signed release, you can include the publication in your thesis or dissertation as stated in the release. If the publisher restricts access in the release, possibly to your university, you may want to have two versions of your thesis or dissertation--one with and one without the chapter (e.g., published article) in question.

This matter may be avoided if your thesis or dissertation talks about your research in a very different way from the published article. This often makes sense because articles are typically short, and your thesis or dissertation may be the only place where the details, data, tables, and other aspects of your research are made available.

What do I need to know about signing agreements with publishers?

When you have your research published in a conference, book, or journal, you usually sign some type of agreement with the publisher. You should read the agreement carefully before signing, making sure you understand AND AGREE with the terms and conditions. If you don't, you may want to change the agreement in connection with discussion/negotiation with the publisher, and possibly with advice of legal or other counsel. The agreement should be explicit about what future rights of use you retain. If you want to include the materials in a dissertation or to reuse the materials for teaching or a book chapter, it is important to document this in the agreement.

As the author you are entitled to discuss your plans with the publisher. We encourage you to obtain an agreement that allows you to include your research in a freely available electronic thesis or dissertation. During negotiations you may also want to discuss matters of timing and revision. You have the right to negotiate with a publisher to reduce access to your ETD for a limited amount of time, if they request this as a condition on publishing your article. However, most publishers consider a thesis or dissertation to be quite different from a journal article. Typically an article is much shorter than the chapter or full work and has been revised as a result of the editorial process and peer review. Sometimes, it might also have several authors. Because of these reasons many publishers have no concerns regarding fully accessible ETDs.

Where can I get a bound copy of my ETD?

The Graduate School recommends that if you wish to purchase bound copies of your ETD that you order from UMI. If you are not publishing to UMI and would like bound copies, you can order them from GradWorks OnlineArt Guild Binders, Inc. (1068 Meta Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45237) or Heckman Bindery (1010 N. Sycamore St., North Manchester, IN 46962).

To view PDF files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.