Embargo Renewal Information for Ph.D. Graduates

This fall, the first set of dissertation embargoes that were instituted under the Graduate School’s revised policy on Publication, Access, and Embargoing of Doctoral Dissertations will expire. This embargo policy only applies to dissertations submitted on or after August 29, 2011.

Those who wish to request a renewal of an existing embargo must email Dean Crittenden or Dean Weaver in the Graduate School and provide the reason for the extension. While embargoes may be extended with the request of the student and the approval of the Graduate School, they can never be re-instituted after having expired.

Embargoes automatically expire two years from the date of deposit at the Mudd Library. Individuals should contact the Graduate School one to two months before their embargo will expire to request a renewal. Graduates are responsible for keeping track of when their embargoes expire.

One can find out exactly when an embargo will expire by checking the dissertation’s record in DataSpace. First, search for the dissertation by the author’s name or its title, click the button at the bottom of the item record that says “show full item record,” and view the date in the “pu.embargo.lift” field. This is the date that the embargo will automatically expire.

The Graduate School will inform the Mudd Library of all embargo extensions and Mudd Library staff will apply the extensions in ProQuest and in DataSpace.

This information can also be found on our dissertations webpage under “Embargoes.”

Revised Dissertation Embargo Policy in Effect

The new policy for the Publication, Access, and Embargoing of Doctoral Dissertations, which was approved on May 14, 2012, is now in full effect.

The new policy enables each graduate student to request a two-year embargo on his or her dissertation, with the potential for renewal. When approved, the embargo applies to the dissertation’s availability in ProQuest, as well as in Princeton’s digital repository, DataSpace. If not embargoed, dissertations are made available in full-text to subscribing institutions via ProQuest, and in full-text on the Internet through DataSpace.

Individuals who submitted their dissertations between August 29, 2011 and June 19, 2012 had an opportunity to request an embargo retroactively. They were contacted by email on June 19, 2012 (and again on September 7, 2012) and given until October 15, 2012 to request approval for their embargo. The dissertations that were not embargoed during this period were released to universal accessibility via DataSpace on November 5, 2012.*

The process of gaining approval for an embargo is governed by the Graduate School. Students who wish to embargo their dissertation should fill out the Dissertation Embargo Request and Approval Form, obtain an approval signature from their advisor or a committee member, and submit the form as part of the Advanced Degree Application Process. Written confirmation of the embargo approval from the Graduate School must be presented in hard copy at the time of submission to the Mudd Manuscript Library.

Details about submitting your dissertation to the Mudd Manuscript Library are here: http://www.princeton.edu/~mudd/thesis/index.shtml

*As an interim measure while the new policy was being developed, on March 23, 2012, all dissertations that had been deposited in DataSpace in the fall of 2011 were restricted to the Princeton network. Those submitted in the spring of 2012 were also limited to the Princeton network. All dissertations from August 29, 2011 and forward that were not embargoed were released universally via DataSpace on November 5, 2012.

Dissertations in Dataspace policy temporarily changed

The Graduate School’s policy of having dissertations submitted into DataSpace, the University’s Open Access repository, has been changed temporarily, pending resolution of some outstanding questions. David Redman, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, sent the following message out late today. If you have any questions, please contact us:

Dear Directors of Graduate Studies,

As many of you know, the Graduate School, working with the University Archives, established last fall new procedures for the submission of Ph.D. dissertations to ProQuest. Two significant changes were: a) agreeing to use ProQuest’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) submission portal, which greatly speeded the ability of students to submit their dissertations; and b) eliminating the necessity of a second hard-bound copy of the dissertation in favor of storing an electronic copy of the dissertation on Princeton’s DataSpace and making the electronic “second copy” accessible there. One consequence of the second change was that our students’ dissertations became almost instantly accessible to anyone with a good search engine. In short, Princeton dissertations were “out there” in the world faster than we had imagined. This has caused some anxiety and distress among many of our new Ph.D.’s, so much so that we are amending our procedures in the following way.

By the end of this month, we will restrict access to doctoral dissertations in DataSpace to those on the Princeton.edu domain, that is, to on-campus users.

This is an interim and (we hope) relatively short term address to a larger problem of easy and fast access to Ph.D. dissertations at a time when students, particularly those in the humanities and social sciences, are anxious about their opportunities to publish their work and advance in their careers. The Graduate School has already had preliminary discussion with some members of the Policy Subcommittee about this issue and wants to continue the discussion with them about refining our policies and procedures.

Thank you for your interest in and concern about this issue. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (x8-3902) or write me (dnredman@princeton.edu).

–David Redman
Associate Dean

UPDATE: As of today, March 23, dissertations in DataSpace are now restricted to on-campus users only. However, please note that if Google has cached a PDF that it crawled previously, that PDF will remain in Google’s cache until Google expires it. That typically takes a couple of weeks, but that’s entirely up to Google.

UPDATE: As of November 5, all dissertations that have not been granted an embargo are available via Dataspace.

Modernization of Dissertation Submission Procedures

One of the University Archives’ important roles is to preserve and provide access to Princeton University Ph.D. dissertations and Master’s theses. Recently the Mudd Manuscript Library has taken steps to both modernize and streamline the process that Ph.D. candidates carry out to submit their dissertations, while at the same time improving access to these works.

Partnering with ProQuest

Since 1950, the University has partnered with ProQuest (formerly UMI) to publish and disseminate the work of Princeton’s Ph.D. students to the wider academic community. After decades of mailing bound manuscripts to ProQuest for microfilming and/or scanning, and more recently, mailing CDs with PDFs of dissertations, Princeton Ph.D. candidates will now upload their own PDFs to Princeton’s ETD Administrator site (www.etdadmin.com/princeton). Candidates will choose publishing options, decide if they want ProQuest to register their copyright, and pay any relevant fees on the site as well.

Reduced Cost for Students

The new online submission system allows candidates to realize significant savings in publishing fees—Traditional publishing is free and Open Access publishing is $95—in both cases, a savings of $25 over the previous process. The optional copyright registration fee remains $55, and a dissertation maintenance fee of $15 is due at the Mudd Manuscript Library at the time of submission.

In addition, with the new procedure, candidates are required to submit only one bound copy of their dissertation to the library (instead of two), which cuts their binding fees in half, a savings of $40 or more.

Enhanced Access to Dissertations

Depending on the publishing option that candidates choose, dissertations will be made available either through ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses subscription database (available to the University community at http://search.proquest.com/pqdtft/advanced?accountid=13314) or through ProQuest’s open access database PQDT Open (http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/), which offers full text versions of dissertations to anyone with Internet access.

Another step forward in providing access to dissertations is their availability on Princeton’s digital repository, DataSpace http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/. Starting with dissertations submitted for the November 2011 degree award, an electronic copy of each Princeton University dissertation will be placed in DataSpace. This will be a full text, universally accessible version of the dissertation.

More Information

Full details of the new dissertation submission procedures are available on our website at: http://www.princeton.edu/~mudd/thesis/index.shtml . If you have questions about the dissertation submission process, please contact the Mudd Manuscript Library at 609-258-6345 or mudd@princeton.edu.