As part of our obligations as scholars, the University of Chicago is deeply committed to publicly sharing original dissertation research and requires, as a condition for receipt of the doctorate, all students to execute a publication agreement with ProQuest UMI Dissertation Publishing granting ProQuest non-exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and sell their dissertations. The University is also committed to students' rights as authors, allowing students to delay access to their dissertations as needed. There are times when students may be concerned that making their dissertation research publicly available might endanger research subjects or themselves, jeopardize a pending patent, complicate publication of a revised dissertation, or otherwise be unadvisable. In accordance with University policy, dissertation authors may, in consultation with faculty in their field (and as appropriate, research collaborators), restrict access to their dissertation for a limited period of time. This is called an embargo or delayed release. A dissertation author may choose to initially embargo the dissertation for a period of six months, one year, or two years.
While a dissertation is embargoed, a record for the dissertation that includes a citation, abstract and additional details will appear in ProQuest databases and other indexes and catalogs, but the full text of the dissertation will not appear through ProQuest and will not be available for purchase. If a dissertation author needs to renew an embargo at the end of its term or initiate an embargo after graduation, the author must contact the Dissertation Office with the embargo request. Dissertation Office staff members coordinate post-convocation embargoes with University Administration and with ProQuest.
-Embargo Policy Committee, Autumn 2014 (Deborah Nelson, Ellen Bryan, Aden Kumler, Beth Niestat, Victoria Prince, Jeffrey Stackert, Dmitri Talapin, Alan G. Thomas, Alison Winter)
Procedures: Delaying Access to a Dissertation
Dissertation authors decide whether or not to embargo their dissertations, delaying access to the release of the full text through ProQuest for a limited period of time. This decision should be made in consultation with faculty and/or research collaborators.
The submission process includes a step where the author provides this information:
- I want my work to be available in ProQuest as soon as it is published.
- No - I have patents pending, or another reason why I need to delay access to the full text of my work.
- If the choice is No, the author indications whether access should be delayed for 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. Authors are also asked to select a reason for delaying release to ProQuest.
Acceptable reasons to select are:
- Publication pending with another publisher
- Patent pending
- Sensitive material is included
- Other - Please explain.
Authors should not select:
- Material under another copyright is contained in the work (If a dissertation includes copyrighted material beyond fair use, the author must obtain permission from the holder of the copyright.)
- Deferred degree date (The Dissertation Office will not deliver the dissertation to ProQuest until after the author has graduated.)
If a dissertation author needs to renew an embargo at the end of its term or initiate an embargo after graduation, the author must contact the Dissertation Office with the embargo request. Dissertation Office staff members coordinate post-convocation embargoes with University Administration and with ProQuest.