FAQ's for ProQuest Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Submission

How do I create an account with ProQuest?
Do I use my WM user name and password to access ProQuest?
How do I submit my thesis or dissertation?
Do I have to use the ProQuest system to submit my thesis or dissertation?
What is ProQuest?
How much does it cost?
How does the W&M Swem LIbrary and VIMS Hargis Library get a copy of my thesis or dissertation?
How do I make sure my thesis or dissertation meets the formatting standards?
Do I need to print copies on acid free paper?
How do I obtain bound copies of my thesis or dissertation?
Are there forms I need to complete to submit my thesis or dissertation?
How will the SMS Graduate Registrar know that I submitted my thesis or dissertation...?
Can I copyright my thesis or dissertation?
Do I have to file for copyright with ProQuest?
Does my work have to be available in the WM Institutional Repository?
What is Creative Commons?
Why would I want to make my thesis or dissertation freely available?
What is an embargo? Should I request an embargo?

How do I create an account with ProQuest?

Follow the instructions for creating your account with ProQuest. Back to Top

Do I use my WM user name and password to access ProQuest?

No. You will create your own user name and password to use with ProQuest. Back to Top

How do I submit my thesis or dissertation?

Visit the ProQuest ETD Administrator website and create an account. You can create the account anytime. You can begin the process, but cannot complete it until you are ready to upload the PDF of your thesis or dissertation. If you have problems, reference the step-by-step instructions document. Back to Top

Do I have to use the ProQuest system to submit my thesis or dissertation?

Yes. All students completing their thesis or dissertation after May 2016 must use the online system. Back to Top

What is ProQuest?

ProQuest provides an online database that indexes, abstracts, and provides full-text access to dissertations and theses. The database includes over 2.4 million records and covers 1637 to the present. ProQuest annually publishes more than 90% of all dissertations submitted from accredited institutions of higher learning in North America as well as from colleges and universities in Europe and Asia. Over the past 60 years, ProQuest has amassed more than 1.4 million titles beginning with the first U.S. dissertation accepted by a university (Yale) in 1861. ProQuest began digitizing dissertations in 1997 from a microform archive. Back to Top

How much does it cost?

Traditional publishing is free. You only pay for bound copies, copyright, and creative commons licensing if you want them. Back to Top

How does the W&M Swem Library and VIMS Hargis Library get a copy of my thesis or dissertation?

When you submit your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest, it automatically goes to the William and Mary Institutional Repository. Back to Top

How do I make sure my thesis or dissertation meets the formatting standards?

When your thesis or dissertation is near the final stage, you should talk to your advisor. Your advisor will look at the formatting of your thesis or dissertation and make sure it meets the Formatting Standards for Theses and Dissertations. Upon submission, the SMS Graduate Registrar will also verify that formatting throughout the document is consistent. If you do not conform to the formatting standards, the SMS Graduate Registrar will return your thesis or dissertation for revisions before the document will be accepted and published to ProQuest.
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Do I need to print copies on acid free paper?

No. You only need to submit a PDF of your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest. Back to Top

How do I obtain bound copies of my thesis or dissertation?

You can order them online via ProQuest. There are options for different sizes and both hard and soft binding. While you can purchase bound copies through ProQuest, other less expensive binding options are available through alternate sites that offer traditional binding and many more print options. Students can upload their final document to the site and choose cover art, etc. for their own print copies. Back to Top

Are there any forms that I need to complete in order to submit my thesis or dissertation?

Yes. You will complete the William and Mary Institutional Repository License and upload it as an administrative form to your ProQuest account. You will also upload the signed Thesis or Dissertation Final Acceptance form, the SMS Graduate Survey, and the Survey of Earned Doctorates "Certification of Completion" (for PhD candidates only) as administrative documents during the submission process. Back to Top

How will the SMS Graduate Registrar know that I submitted my thesis or dissertation via ProQuest?

The registrar will receive an email from ProQuest when you submit your thesis or dissertation. She will then review, accept, and submit it to ProQuest for publication. Back to Top

Can I copyright my thesis or dissertation?

Yes, but copyright registration is optional. Copyright of student work is held exclusively by the student unless it is subject to a provision of the College Intellectual Property Policy (this could be true for a student who is doing the bulk of their thesis or dissertation work as part of a funded position at the College). The copyright registration in ProQuest is a service that will register the work with the Copyright Office; the only additional protection this affords the student is the ability to recover financial damages if they want to pursue legal action against an act of copyright infringement. If you choose not to do this through ProQuest, you can do it through the Copyright Office. More Info | Back to Top

Do I have to file for copyright with ProQuest?

No. If you choose not to do this through ProQuest, you can do it through the Copyright Office. Back to Top

Does my work have to be available in the WM Institutional Repository?

Yes. Back to Top

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it. Creative Commons licensing allows the student to let users know what they can legally do with the thesis or dissertation without asking permission.
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Why would I want to make my thesis or dissertation freely available?

The world of scholarship depends on people making their research available for others to use. When research is shared electronically, more people may receive access at a lower cost, and more knowledge transfer occurs. This stimulates education and research. It also ensures that many people give credit to you for your work, and that your research is cited in others' publications, which adds to your prestige and aids your future advancement. Back to Top

What is an embargo? Should I request an embargo?

An embargo is a delay of publication. Your title and abstract will be available for the public but the full text of your PDF document will be hidden for a period of time. You can embargo for a maximum of two years. After the embargo period expires, the thesis or dissertation will be openly available. You might choose to embargo because of a patent application or a pending publication in a journal. You should talk with your advisor about whether or not to embargo. You should also speak with your publisher regarding rules and restrictions of publication. You can request to embargo your document within the thesis and dissertation submission process.
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