Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD)
- Advantages of going electronic
- Publishing your ETD with ProQuest
- Steps to publish your ETD
- Publishing options (traditional vs. open access)
- Embargoes and restrictions
- Still due in the Graduate School (view for additional required steps for submission)
- Copyright Information
- Ordering Bound Copies
- Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Workshops
- New: How to Submit Your ETD Online PowerPoint presentation
An Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) is simply the digital (electronic) representation of your thesis or dissertation. It is the same as its paper counterpart in content and organization, and it meets the formatting requirements described on our Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Web site.
You created an ETD when you wrote your thesis or dissertation on a computer.
UWM ETD implementation is a joint effort of the Graduate School, ProQuest, and the UWM Libraries.
This site outlines the steps to submitting your thesis or dissertation electronically and reviews the choices you will be confronted with during the publication process.
The ProQuest "ETD Administrator" Web site is where you will submit your thesis or dissertation.
NOTE: There are 2 important ETD Web sites:
- The UWM site, where you are now, has information that you should review first.
- The ProQuest "ETD Administrator" Web site is where you go next.
Here you will find detailed information on ProQuest guidelines on formatting for digital submission, publishing, copyrighting, binding, etc.
Advantages of going electronic
Rather than printing your manuscript dozens of times as you make changes and progress through the various stages of review, you will be able to make corrections to the electronic file, convert the final version to a PDF file, and submit that file.
You may include additional information (e.g., audio or multimedia files) that may not be possible or appropriate to incorporate into a paper document. Such files typically are included, however, only if they are an integral part of the thesis or dissertation.
Whereas paper copies can spend months waiting to be bound and distributed, your electronic document can be available much more quickly and, if you so choose, to a much wider audience.
You may be able to reduce or eliminate the costs of printing and binding. Committee members may still require a paper copy for their part of the review process and/or for departmental archives.
It is important to recognize the distinction between electronic submission and electronic publication:
- Electronic submission means that rather than printing your thesis or dissertation and submitting paper copies to the Graduate School, you will submit your final document electronically as a PDF file.
- Electronic publication refers to the ways in which your electronic thesis or dissertation will be made available to others. For further discussion, see Publishing Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation and Copyright Information below.
Publishing your ETD with ProQuest
All master’s and doctoral students submitting an ETD must sign a ProQuest/UMI Publishing Agreement form.
ProQuest is a private company that has acted for more than 60 years as the publisher and distributor for the majority of theses and dissertations written in the United States. Published theses and dissertations are listed in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database. Online access to the available full text of theses and dissertations (including those written at UWM) is through paid institutional subscription.
As you go through the submission process, you will be asked to make several decisions regarding publishing, embargoes, and copyright. It is important that you understand the ramifications of these selections (outlined below). To make informed decisions, you, your faculty advisor, and your committee should be aware of the publication practices in your field of study.
Steps to publish your ETD
The process of submitting a thesis or dissertation electronically includes the following:
- Writing the document and saving in Word or other appropriate format.
- Go to the ProQuest "ETD Administrator" Web site.
You will create a new account the first time you log on. (This is not part of the UWM PAWS system, and therefore it will not accept your PAWS login information.)
Here, you will be walked through the process of:
- Embedding the fonts.
- Converting your document to PDF format. You may need assistance in preparing a PDF for submission. ProQuest has a very helpful site with frequently asked questions and an excellent tutorial.
- Uploading the document to ProQuest.
- Ordering personal hard copies (optional).
- Registering the copyright through ProQuest with the Library of Congress (optional).
- ProQuest automatically sends you an e-mail confirming that your submission is complete. Please print and keep that e-mail. It is your proof that you submitted online and before the deadline expired.
- ProQuest will then notify the UWM Graduate School of your submission.
- The Graduate School will review your document to make sure the formatting is according to the above mentioned Thesis or Dissertation Formatting Guidelines. If changes are needed, you will be requested by the Graduate School to make the appropriate changes on your original work and re-upload to ProQuest.
- When approved by the Graduate School, we will submit your document to ProQuest who will log, index and publish your thesis or dissertation.
- The Libraries provide free, long-term, full-text access to UWM ETDs on and off campus through UWM Digital Commons. The Libraries receive a copy of the PDF file for access and archiving once the thesis or dissertation is submitted and approved by the Graduate School.
There are two ways to publish - traditional or open access. An embargo to delay publishing for a selected period of time may be used with either method.
What is traditional publishing, and what are the benefits?
Traditional Publishing makes your work available for purchase by others and enables you to receive royalties based on those purchases. However, the need for others to purchase your document means that it will not receive the widest possible dissemination. Your document is, however, listed in an online database. Those who choose not to purchase it have access online only to an extract consisting of the title page and the first few content pages.
What is open access publishing, and what are the benefits?
Open Access is the broadest possible method of disseminating your work. The full text of your electronic thesis or dissertation is freely accessible world-wide on the Internet after it has been approved by the Graduate School and submitted to ProQuest. Granting open access to your ETD results in more recognition of your research work, wider dissemination of scholarly information, and acceleration of research. Because your research is available free of charge, there is no income to ProQuest (or to you via royalties). For that reason, this is the more expensive choice of publishing for you.
There are two possible publishing options. You are responsible for one of the following:
- Open Access through the UWM Library: Free; Traditional publishing through ProQuest: Free.
- Open Access through the UWM Library: Free; Open Access Publishing through ProQuest: $95—paid to ProQuest at time of submission.
If you choose to copyright your document, the copyright fee is $55, which is in addition to the publishing fee. The $55 copyright fee must be paid directly to ProQuest at the time of submission. This can be done on the ProQuest "ETD Administrator" Web site where you submit your thesis or dissertation. (More information about copyrighting your work can be found below.)
Embargoes and restrictions
You can choose to grant immediate access to your work or to block access in order to protect the work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a designated period. You may choose to embargo (i.e., restrict access to) your work for six months, one year or two years. If you choose to delay access, your work will default to whichever publishing method you have selected (traditional or open access) after the embargo period ends.
Eighty to ninety percent of publishers of professional journals (e.g., Elsevier) have made the decision that theses or dissertations that are available online do not qualify as prior publication and therefore do not deter future publications. However, other publishers have reached the opposite conclusion. Therefore, the selection of whether or not to delay publication (an embargo) should be an informed decision.
Disclosing potential intellectual property in theses or dissertations published online may preclude patent rights in some areas of the world. If you have patent concerns or concerns that the posting of your ETD might prevent later acceptance of your research by professional journals or book publishers, it is your responsibility to consult with your committee and with possible future publishers to make an informed decision. Most professional journals publish "Instructions for Authors" on their web site where they specifically address this issue. Some journals, however, do not. Many journals state that their policy is to deal with each submission on a case-by-case basis. To clarify the policies of a particular journal, you may need to contact the publisher.
Still due in the Graduate School . . .
To avoid the potential of signatures being stolen and misused, NO signatures are permitted anywhere in an ETD. For example, you first must remove signatures from the IRB approval notice if you include it in an appendix.
The following items are not part of your electronic submission, but they are still due in the Graduate School by the dissertation or thesis deadline:
- Thesis & Dissertation Approval and Publishing Options Form with an original signature from you and your major professor.
- The Survey of Earned Doctorates (doctoral students only).
The author of the thesis or dissertation already owns the copyright to the electronic work as soon as it is published. International copyright law provides full protection and establishment of the author’s rights.
However, ProQuest offers an additional copyright registration service that registers your copyright, establishes your claim to copyright, and provides certain protections if your copyright is violated.
The cost to have ProQuest register your copyright with the Library of Congress is $55. This fee is between ProQuest and the student, and is not administered through UWM. The additional fee for copyright registration must be paid via credit card to ProQuest at the time of the electronic submission. For more information regarding copyright registration and the advantages, please visit the ProQuest site.
Ordering Bound Copies
ProQuest can bind your document. Follow the directions at the ProQuest Web site regarding their full range of binding options. You select the binding option you prefer at the “Order Copies” step of the submission process.
Each volume is rendered with respect for the scholarly research, featuring:
- Brilliant white 32 lb. paper stock: acid-free and archival-grade, this photographic-quality stock is brighter and more opaque for better ink contrast and readability.
- Any color graphics included in the digital copy of the thesis or dissertation received by ProQuest can be reproduced in color—at no extra charge! Photographs, charts, and other illustrations are printed as they were provided electronically.
- Durable hardbound copies are 8½”x11” with elegant black covers made from 2.5 mm-thick board covered in washable linen. Titles are embossed in gold foil on the spine. Handmade thread-sewn bindings and generous margins enable volumes to be opened flat.
TIP: Double-check your final PDF
Please make sure that you check over the final PDF document before you submit it. Do not assume that if the final Word document was fine, the PDF will be fine. In particular, double check your charts, graphs, and any graphic files in your document, and look for correct conversions of unusual fonts and diacritical marks such as accents.
Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Workshop
Registration is not required but it is encouraged. See the Graduate Student Professional Development Web site for current workshop information.