Open Access Publication of Dissertations

The culmination of the research project will be a dissertation. All Penn PhD dissertations are published by ProQuest and a hard copy is placed in the Penn Library once the student graduates. Penn also requires open access publication of dissertations in the institutional repository, Scholarly Commons. Open access publication provides a much wider audience, can help to market ideas to potential employers, and can help make plagiarism or theft much easier to detect. The open access dissertation will be available via the internet, including full text searching through search engines like Google. The same legal and copyright protections pertain to open access publication as to traditional hardcopy publication. 

In cases where papers are in press, patents are pending, or where there are other intellectual property concerns, it may be beneficial to delay publication (commonly referred to as an "embargo"). Students should discuss with the advisor whether a delay in publication is necessary or advisable. If the student and advisor agree that it will be advantageous to embargo the dissertation, embargo preferences can be entered when submitting the dissertation using ETD Administrator. Note that different embargo options are available for traditional publishing (in ProQuest: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years) and open access (in Scholarly Commons: 3 years initially). A request for a three-year delay in open access publication through Penn's Scholarly Commons will be granted automatically when requested. Requests for additional delays – which must be made in advance of the embargo expiring -- require approval by the Graduate Group Chair and in some cases the school’s Graduate Dean or Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.