PhD programs prepare students for careers in education, research and public service. Dissertations document the discoveries, findings and insights gained through University-supported research. The University requires — and takes responsibility for ensuring — that dissertations produced in fulfillment of degree requirements will be part of the publically available scholarly record.
TGS deposits dissertations into the ProQuest Database. In addition, the University Library receives one or more copies of the dissertation that can be consulted, circulated through interlibrary loan arrangements and made accessible through the internet. The library also archives electronic copies of dissertations to help ensure that the content is preserved for future generations.
Except under unusual special circumstances, student authors own copyright for their dissertations and the University’s right to publish is non-exclusive. This means that the author, as the copyright owner, is free to also publish the work. Authors may make arrangements with other entities (such as scholarly societies and commercial publishers) for publication of the dissertation as a whole or in part, as well as for publication of other works derived from, or building on, the dissertation work. However, authors may not grant any other entity exclusive publication rights to the dissertation itself.
Northwestern University may use its copy or copies and make the content available to others without restriction. The University Library’s Center for Scholarly Communication and Digital Curation has resources to help scholars understand publishing options and author’s rights.
Copyright policy can be found at NU’s Innovation and New Ventures Office web page.
Delay of Publication
Students may elect to delay publication of the dissertation by selecting an embargo length when depositing the dissertation via ProQuest. An embargo has the effect of restricting online access to the dissertation through the ProQuest database and through the library's discovery systems for the period of the embargo. Metadata (author, title, abstract, keywords and subjects) about the embargoed dissertation will be available through ProQuest and the library catalog. Users of those systems are able to search for and see the metadata, but not the actual text or other content of the dissertation. The University’s expectation is that dissertations approved by TGS will be released for use through the Dissertations International database and through the University Library without delay. The University is proud of the accomplishments of its PhD graduates and wants their research to be available to the world as soon as possible.
TGS recognizes that scholarly writing is a process that benefits from conversations and consultations with others. As such, TGS supports Northwestern services such as The Graduate Writing Place, graduate writing workshops, and dissertation boot camps, which offer appropriate levels of writing assistance, provided by facilitators/consultants who are trained to help you avoid any academic integrity violations. Beyond such services, all graduate student writers should consult with their advisors about appropriate forms of assistance before assistance is rendered. Regardless of the type of assistance you receive with your writing, it is appropriate to acknowledge this support. The policy on Dissertation Assistance can be found in the Policy section.