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Questions about Content

Questions about Embargoes

Questions about Publishing Rights

Questions about the Submissions Process

Questions about Content

How long has ProQuest been disseminating and archiving doctoral dissertations and theses?

ProQuest has partnered with academic institutions around the world to archive and disseminate a comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses. The program started in 1939 with a goal to create a U.S. national repository of graduate works. ProQuest now has partnerships with most of the doctoral institutions in the U.S. and Canada and with a significant and growing list of international universities. Each year, ProQuest adds more than 130,000 new dissertations and theses to its largest dissertation database, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global.

How much content is contained in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global?

PQDT Global now offers abstracts and indexing for approximately 4 million dissertations and theses, with full text (PDFs) for more than 2 million of those works. Coverage for the database begins in 1637, and full-text coverage is primarily from 1997 forward. All of these graduate works are carefully indexed to enable convenient search and discovery by the scholarly community and researchers of all kinds. ProQuest’s suite of dissertation services is accessed by more than 3,000 institutions worldwide. For the exact number of dissertations in ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Global, search for publication year higher than the year 1000. 

How much non-U.S. content does ProQuest provide?

ProQuest has been adding non-U.S.-content to PQDT Full Text, the predecessor to PQDT Global, for a long time through extensive and longstanding partnerships with graduate institutions in Canada; and PQDT Global now includes dissertations and theses from more than 60 countries. As the scholarly community has become increasingly global, ProQuest has continued to increase its focus on developing partnerships with universities and national associations to archive and disseminate dissertations from around the world. PQDT Global provides access to works from the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and Asia Pacific regions in addition to comprehensive coverage from the U.S. and Canada. Content growth for PQDT Global is being driven by a multiyear program of partnerships with academic institutions and national associations. The initial content partners for PQDT Global were University College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Cardiff, University of Leicester, University of Bath, University of Aberdeen, and Universidad de Valencia.

What is the quality of the dissertation PDFs contained in the database?

At ProQuest, we strive to maximize the quality of scans based upon current technologies. Some older works from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses that were scanned from bi-tonal microfilm images have reduced quality. We strive to ensure the best image quality at the time of original filming. We always have a number of projects underway to upgrade our content and experience to meet the changing needs of researchers. For example, in 2008, ProQuest creating OCR scans for older dissertations in order to make full-text PDFs of graduate works searchable. We anticipate that this project will be complete in 2014.

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Questions about Embargoes

Why are some dissertations/theses embargoed?

At any given time, some of the works from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses are unavailable due to embargoes. Embargo restrictions are typically requested by authors as copyright holders, in consultation with their universities, and may be placed for various reasons. Some examples include patents pending on elements contained within the graduate work and concerns about data privacy, particularly relating to patients in the medical fields.

What are the specific embargo options?

ProQuest believes strongly that the author, in conjunction with his/her university advisors, should direct decisions about dissertation dissemination. The reality is that publishers and their editorial boards vary in their views on whether submission of a dissertation or thesis to ProQuest or an institutional repository constitutes a prior publication that may disqualify the author from submitting a journal article or monograph on the same subject matter for publication. While the majority of publishers do not find the publication of a dissertation or thesis problematic, potential conflicts should be carefully considered and explored. For authors concerned with the prior publication issue, ProQuest offers a number of embargo options to meet their needs.

What are your “prior publication” policies?

ProQuest believes strongly that the author, in conjunction with his/her university advisors, should direct decisions about dissertation dissemination. The reality is that publishers and their editorial boards vary in their views on whether submission of a dissertation or thesis to ProQuest or an institutional repository constitutes a prior publication that may disqualify the author from submitting a journal article or monograph on the same subject matter for publication. While the majority of publishers do not find the publication of a dissertation or thesis problematic, potential conflicts should be carefully considered and explored. For authors concerned with the prior publication issue, ProQuest offers a number of embargo options to meet their needs.

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Questions about Publishing Rights

Does ProQuest “publish” dissertations?

Primarily, ProQuest is an archiving and dissemination partner for more than 700 institutions worldwide, enabling the works of their graduate students to become part of the larger scholarly record. Authors retain the copyright to their work, inclusion in ProQuest is non-exclusive, and we offer a number of options, including Open Access. Because ProQuest assigns ISBNs to dissertations, inclusion in the database could be considered to represent a form of publishing. However, dissemination via ProQuest complements and is in no way a substitute for monograph or scholarly journal publishing.

Can I distribute my dissertation elsewhere if I submit it to ProQuest?
Yes, submission to ProQuest is non-exclusive, and authors are totally free to publish their work or make it available elsewhere at any time. Authors retain copyright and direct decisions regarding the dissemination of their work. Dissemination choices can be modified at any time after submission to ProQuest by contacting our customer service team.

How does ProQuest make dissertations available to academic databases?

ProQuest plays a key role in the aggregation of dissertations ─ preserving, archiving and making them accessible at the authors’ discretion and direction to researchers at more than 3,000 institutions around the world. Through our dissemination program, we also make un-embargoed works available to major academic databases including PsycINFO (Psychology), SciFinder (Chemistry), ERIC (Education), MLA (modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics), MathSciNet (Mathematics) – full list here. This enhances discovery within the author’s discipline and also enables the authors’ works to be showcased for use in other academic journals, working papers, reports and studies. ProQuest continues to develop and expand partnerships in order to raise the visibility of dissertations and theses through high-quality, relevant indexes and databases.

Will my dissertation be available for sale?

Unless authors choose to embargo their work, copies are available for sale directly from ProQuest via the Dissertation Express service and the PQDT index database – for researchers or libraries to purchase copies. These services focus on serving the information needs of the global research community. Dissertations and theses are also made available in the libraries of more than 3,000 academic institutions around the world via subscriptions to our databases such as ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. Authors earn royalties based upon the sales and downloads of their work.

Does ProQuest sell dissertations on commercial sites such as Amazon?

ProQuest no longer provides graduate works to third-party retailers for distribution. Our reseller program with Amazon is being discontinued, with all existing agreements ending in 2014.

Why should I allow ProQuest, a commercial provider, to disseminate and archive my dissertation?

ProQuest is not a “new media” publishing company jumping into a perceived market opportunity. We have been partnering with scholars and academic institutions to publish dissertations since the late-1930s and have proven our commitment to the academic community.
Working with ProQuest provides unparalleled dissemination of authors’ dissertations and theses to the scholarly community. ProQuest’s dissertations services exist and evolve to fulfill the information requirements of academic institutions and their authors. Disseminating and archiving dissertations is an investment for both ProQuest and our partner institutions. Our dissertations solutions add value for authors and institutions on a number of different levels, such as the following:

  • ProQuest assists researchers and institutions in discoverability and dissemination of their dissertations and theses; the database is accessed by researchers at more than 3,000 institutions worldwide.
  • Inclusion in ProQuest provides access to an author’s dissertation alongside decades of groundbreaking research from doctoral and master’s institutions.
  • Metadata is made available to key subject indexes and database services including PyscINFO (psychology), SciFinder (chemistry), ERIC (education), MLA (modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics), MathSciNet (mathematics), etc. ProQuest continues to develop and expand partnerships in order to raise the visibility of dissertations and theses through high-quality, relevant indexes and databases.
  • Inclusion in PQDT enables discovery alongside the work of established leaders in their fields. ProQuest aggregates content from more than 90,000 scholarly journals and more than 86,000 ebooks that are used every day in every major research library in the world. ProQuest’s acclaimed research platform cross-searches journal databases with dissertations content, enabling your dissertation to be viewed along with other major works on the topic.

More information on the advantages of submission to ProQuest is available on the ProQuest website.

What are the best channels to use in disseminating my work?

ProQuest recommends that authors explore all available options for dissemination of their work. We encourage authors to consult with their universities to understand how institutional policies might impact their dissemination options. ProQuest’s author agreement for dissertations and theses is non-exclusive. Authors have the full right to make their works available to other commercial services or for open access outside of the ProQuest service. Further dissemination options, such as distribution via an Institutional Repository, can occur in parallel with availability through ProQuest. Our view is that dissemination via a combination both of ProQuest and an Institutional Repository provides maximum exposure for authors and institutions.

Does ProQuest pay author royalties?

Yes, we pay royalties based on copy sales and usage of dissertations to authors who submit their work to ProQuest. ProQuest pays royalties of 10% of its net revenue from sales of your dissertation or thesis in all formats, including PDF, hardbound, softbound, and microfilm formats. We also pay royalties for downloads as part of a ProQuest Dissertation & Theses Global subscription. Sales in all formats are added together on an annual basis and checks remitted to authors. Royalties are paid when they reach a total of $25.00 USD. If royalties in a single year do not reach $25.00 USD, the funds are rolled over to the following year. Royalties are not paid if they do not accrue to $25.00 USD after 25 years. You must maintain a current address on record with ProQuest to receive a royalty. 

Does ProQuest make dissertations discoverable via search engines such as Google?

Authors submitting their dissertation to ProQuest choose whether or not to allow discovery of their work via search engines. However, note that it is also possible for search engines and other vendors to harvest your work if it is posted in a university institutional repository.

How much does it cost to submit my dissertation to ProQuest?

For most authors, there’s no charge to disseminate and archive dissertations and theses via ProQuest. There are nominal fees for: Dissertation/Theses when supplied in paper form or via FTP; and for the additional visibility that is offered by participation in PQDT Open, ProQuest’s open access database.

Do you allow Open Access discovery?

Yes. For authors and institutions wishing to make their works available via Open Access, ProQuest supports two different avenues of dissemination:

  1. Institutional Repository Dissemination: Authors and institutions are at liberty to make their works freely available through their Institutional Repositories or other Open Access sites to be discovered through Google or other search systems. We also partner with libraries to make it easier to secure author approval and post graduate works to institutional repositories. Where university sites have enabled the functionality, authors can even specify rights granted for the version of their work in the Institutional Repository through a Creative Commons license.
  2. ProQuest Open Access Publishing PLUS: At participating institutions, authors who wish to extend discovery of their works via Open Access, they can pay a publication fee ($95) to have their full text work made discoverable and accessible through several additional channels:
    • PQDT Open – a free standalone web portal for searching ProQuest Open Access works.
    • PQDT A&I – In the Abstract and Index version of PQDT, Open Access works are available to users at no charge. o Search Engine Optimization - ProQuest allows Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to index PQDT to retrieve bibliographic information, but PQDT Open Access Publishing PLUS works are able to be accessed in their entirety through standard search engines.
    • Search Engine Optimization - ProQuest allows Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to index PQDT to retrieve bibliographic information, but PQDT Open Access Publishing PLUS works are able to be accessed in their entirety through standard search engines.

What is the relationship between ProQuest and iParadigms (turnitin.com, ithenticate.com)?

ProQuest received feedback from many university administrators and library staff who were concerned about maintaining the quality and integrity of their theses and dissertations.  Several partner institutions asked if we could enhance their efforts to educate their authors regarding how their academic integrity policies work and assist with maintaining “originality” standards.  We explored a range of educational applications available for this purpose and chose the Turnitin and iThenticate services from iParadigms.  Full press announcement: http://www.educationnews.org/technology/turnitin-proquest-to-add-dissertation-database.

ProQuest chose Turnitin and iThenticate for several reasons.  iParadigms is a recognized leader in the area of originality checking.  More than 1.6 million faculty rely on Turnitin to do originality checking, on-line grading and peer reviews.  Some 24 million students use Turnitin and more than 400 million papers have been submitted by students.  Currently, iParadigms reports more than 10,000 institutional licenses are currently in place in 135 countries.  Hundreds of major publishers and non-academic consumers of research also rely on iThenticate to ensure work is original and sourced correctly.

Through its partnership with iParadigms, ProQuest offers authors, institutions, publishers and other non-academic research entities a means of ensuring the originality of new work and ensuring creators of previously produced work are appropriately acknowledged.  The Turnitin and iThenticate tools from iParadigms are a helpful resource for protecting the reputation of institutions, advisors, students, researchers, writers and publishers.

How much of the theses or dissertation is revealed in Turnitin/iThenticate?

Only content in the theses or dissertations that matches will appear.  Author names and titles are not typically revealed.  (Further information here: http://www.turnitin.com/en_us/features/originalitycheck)

Who owns theses and dissertations once they are submitted to Turnitin/iThenticate?

Students retain the copyright of documents submitted to Turnitin/iThenticate.  iParadigms has a limited license to use the works as part of the plagiarism prevention system.  Turnitin's use of student papers under Fair Use was settled in a United States District Court of Law in 2007 and affirmed upon appeal in 2009. (Further information here: http://turnitin.com/en_us/about-us/privacy-center/legal-faqs)

How can I have my work removed from Turnitin/iThenticate?

While most authors appreciate inclusion in the Turnitin and iThenticate databases, some authors do not want their work included.  To request removal of the ProQuest copy of graduate works, authors should contact disspub@proquest.com.  Please note that while the ProQuest copy of the dissertation or theses will be removed from Turnitin/iThenticate, if the work appears on other open access websites or institutional repositories, those copies may continue to be included in TurnitIn/iThenticate because of the work’s availability online.

Questions about the Submissions Process

I want to submit a dissertation in a non-PDF format [e.g. audio file, video file]. How can I do that?

To do this using ETD Administrator, please upload a PDF containing the title of your graduate work and any other relevant written material in the “PDF” section of the site. In the "Supplemental Files section, please upload the non-PDF component of your graduate work. (You may upload multiple files as needed in the “Supplemental Files” section).

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