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For Universities

Questions about Content

Questions about Preservation

Questions about the Submissions Process

For Authors

Questions about Submission and Discoverability

Questions about Embargoes

Questions about Publishing Rights

For Universities

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 200,000 new dissertations and theses to its 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 nearly 5. million dissertations and theses, with full text (PDFs) for more than 2.6 million of those works. Coverage for the database begins in 1637, and full-text coverage is primarily from 1997 forward, although there are hundreds of thousands of dissertations available for pre-1997 works. The database is the culmination of dissertations and theses from over 4,100 institutions around the world. 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 3,100 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 Global through extensive and longstanding partnerships with graduate institutions from around the world. PQDT Global now includes dissertations and theses from more than 100 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, India and Asia Pacific regions in addition to comprehensive coverage from the U.S. and Canada. Content growth continues in Russia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

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

Today, most dissertations and theses come to ProQuest as PDFs providing high-quality images. However, for our older pre-digital collections, we strive to maximize the quality of scans based upon current technologies. For example, some older works from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses have been scanned from bi-tonal microfilm images and have reduced quality compared to native PDF. We continuously explore new ways to upgrade our content to meet the changing needs of researchers. For example, in 2014 ProQuest made available OCR for older dissertations making full-text PDFs of graduate works searchable.

How does ProQuest enhance the metadata provided by authors / universities?

ProQuest employs a large team of experienced editors who manually review submissions for completeness and to ensure the accuracy of the metadata. Editors proof and correct graduate work title pages, matching exactly the title metadata, and check abstracts for errors in formatting and spelling. In addition, the metadata is enriched by adding subjects (from our controlled vocabulary), classification, committee members, and keywords in order to maximize the discoverability of the graduate work. References are also extracted and hyperlinked to directly connect the work across multiple research sources.

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Questions about Preservation

How does ProQuest preserve dissertations & theses?

All works on PQDT are regularly archived in Amazon S3 Glacier, which is a secure and durable cloud storage class for data archiving and long-term backup. This delivers 99.9% durability and provides comprehensive security and compliance meeting stringent archiving requirements. Contributing institutions have perpetual access to their own content on PQDT free-of-charge. ProQuest preserves all dissertations and theses in microform format, stored in climate and humidity-controlled vaults. Micoform has been shown to last 500 years when properly stored in vaults like ProQuest employs.

Questions about the Submissions Process

What are the requirements for a university to be eligible to submit content to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global?

In the United States, ProQuest's policy is to accept master's theses and dissertations from all institutions which have been accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies (Middle States Association, New England Association, Higher Learning Commission (formerly, North Central Association), Northwest Association, Southern Association and Western Association) for inclusion in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database. Regional accreditation means that the accredited institutions are eligible for membership in the Council of Graduate Schools, which is the standard by which the higher education community judges itself. Master's theses and dissertations from independent medical and law schools accredited by the AMA and ABA are also accepted.

If an institution wishes to be included in the community of higher education institutions that appear in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database, that institution must be evaluated and judged as a peer of the community, requiring regional accreditation. Our customers rely upon ProQuest to maintain these standards as a condition of continuing their subscriptions.

All International schools must be recognized by their country as an established institution. ProQuest accepts Masters and Doctoral level dissertations and theses as approved and assigned by the universities.

How can my university submit dissertations to ProQuest?

We suggest that universities use the free ETD Administrator review and approval tool (www.etdadmin.com). For institutions that have an existing reliable electronic submission tool, we offer other automated content retrieval options.

Can we submit metadata only to PQDT Global?

We do not offer that option because it misaligns with researchers’ needs and expectations to be able to fully use the search, curation, and analysis tools that the ProQuest Platform offers. Researchers require the full text in the ProQuest platform environment in order to take advantage of features such as full text searching across the 2.6 million full text dissertations and theses, reference linking that ProQuest enables between works, and enhanced searching for advisors, universities, etc.

What is the relationship between ProQuest and Turnitin.com?

ProQuest supports partnering institutions’ efforts to communicate and maintain academic integrity policies and originality standards. ProQuest has partnered with Turnitin, since 2012 to offer 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 by making dissertations and theses available within Turnitin. Turnitin and iThenticate tools are helpful resources for protecting the reputation of institutions, advisors, students, researchers, writers and publishers from plagiarism.

How much of the thesis 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.

For Authors

Questions about the Submission Process

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 several 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 3,100 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 PsycINFO (psychology), ERIC (education), MLA (modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics), MathSciNet (mathematics), Compendex (engineering), 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 thousands of publishers 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.

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 3,100 institutions around the world. Through our dissemination program, we also make un-embargoed works available to major academic databases including PsycINFO (psychology), ERIC (education), MLA (modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics), MathSci.Net (mathematics), Compendex (engineering) – full list here. This enhances discovery within the author’s discipline and 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.

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 make dissertations discoverable via search engines such as Google?

Authors submitting their dissertation to ProQuest have the option to allow discovery of their work via ProQuest’s partnership with Google Scholar. 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. Authors always have the option to opt out of this offering.

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

For authors that submit electronically, there’s no charge to disseminate and archive dissertations and theses in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

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).

My university doesn’t submit dissertations to ProQuest. How can I include my thesis or dissertation?

Authors that wish to include their work in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global outside of their university program can submit their request to disspub@proquest.com.

Questions about Embargoes

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.

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 and the privacy of subjects involved in the studies.

What are the specific embargo options?

Authors have the ability to embargo their work indefinitely or for a certain period of time. ProQuest honors the author’s wishes and can accommodate as needed. ProQuest also upholds a take-down policy within 24-48 hrs, Find details on ProQuest’s Full Text Take Down process here. if an author wishes to request that their work be embargoed or removed at any time. Contact disspub@proquest.com to make a request.

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Questions about Publishing Rights

Does ProQuest “publish” dissertations?

Primarily, ProQuest is an archiving and dissemination partner for thousands of institutions worldwide, enabling the works of their graduate students to become part of the larger scholarly record. Authors retain the copyright to their work. ProQuest retains a non-exclusive right to publish the dissertation. Because ProQuest assigns ISBNs to dissertations, inclusion in the database could be considered to represent a form of publishing. However, most publishers do not hold this viewpoint, 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.

If my dissertation is published into a book, will the copyright shift to the book publisher and will the dissertation need to be removed from ProQuest’s database?

The copyright of the dissertation is held by the author. The author grants ProQuest the “license” – i.e. the right to display the dissertation on the ProQuest platform. The license is non-exclusive: the author has full authorization to publish a book or to have the dissertation available on another website. The work can exist in both places – both with ProQuest and elsewhere. In most cases a book has considerable changes from the original dissertation and is defined as a derivative and not an exact replication. In some instances where an author has their dissertation turned into a monograph, the author can contact ProQuest at the request of the publisher and put a “do not sell” restriction on the work. This would prohibit ProQuest from selling the dissertation in formats such as, downloadable PDFs and print copies. If you wish to request this option, please email disspub@proquest.com.

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 3,100 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 print copy sales and downloads of their work.

Does ProQuest sell dissertations on commercial sites such as Amazon?

No, ProQuest no longer provides graduate works to third-party retailers for distribution. Our reseller program with Amazon was discontinued in 2014.

Will ProQuest have the right to reproduce the thesis in other formats ("microform and print formats") and sell them?

Many researchers want a bound print copy for their personal library and many libraries including the Library of Congress archive microform copies. ProQuest offers print and microform formats as purchase options for these reasons. Authors receive royalty payments on all purchases of their work. See above Author royalty question for details.

Does ProQuest pay author royalties?

Yes, ProQuest pays royalties to authors based on copy sales and usage of dissertations. 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. For further questions about royalties, or to update your address for future royalty payments, please contact disspub@proquest.com.

Do you allow Open Access discovery?

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

  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. ProQuest helps to enhance the discoverability in the IR by enhancing keywords and metadata for improved search results.
  2. ProQuest Open Access Publishing PLUS: At participating institutions, authors who wish to extend discovery of their works via Open Access, 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.
  • Search Engine Optimization – ProQuest allows Google, Bing, etc. to index PQDT to retrieve bibliographic information, but PQDT Open Access Publishing PLUS works can be accessed in their entirety through standard search engines.

Are there author rights concerns for theses and dissertations once they are submitted to Turnitin/iThenticate?

No, students retain the copyright of documents submitted to Turnitin/iThenticate, which 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.

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.

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