All NDSU disquisitions are expected to be made available to the public shortly after they are approved by the Graduate School. However, for a number of reasons a student may wish to delay the release of his or her disquisition. These reasons may include:
- Patent application review or the protection of proprietary material
- Sensitive information provided by a data source
- Academic or commercial publication
NDSU allows for a 6 month, 1 year, or 2 year delayed release period. The delayed release period will begin on the final day of the semester in which the student graduates, and will extend for the period requested. During this time, the disquisition will not be available to the public (to include employers and other researchers) for the time requested. For students delaying release of doctoral dissertations, their dissertation videos will also be embargoed. Also, if any printed copies are ordered through ProQuest they will not be delivered until the end of the requested time period.
To request an extension to an approved delayed release, you must contact the Graduate School directly (firstname.lastname@example.org). Any additional extensions to the time period requested in the initial delayed release may only be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. You will not be contacted regarding the expiration of your delayed release, and you are solely responsible for requesting any extensions to an approved delayed release.
To request a delayed release of your disquisition:
- Complete and submit the Delayed Release form to the Graduate School. Please note that the completed form must be approved and signed by your adviser, Department Chair/Program Director, and the Graduate Dean. While obtaining these signatures, consult with your adviser and your department to make sure a delayed release is necessary.
- If submitting a Master’s Paper to the Institutional Repository, at the submission form question: “Do you want to request delayed release/embargo?” select the option “Yes.”
If submitting through ProQuest, select the option “No” to the Publishing Options question: “I want my work to be available on ProQuest as soon as it is published.” Then, select a time period of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years of delayed release.
Students should be aware of the benefits of disquisition publication. For example, as a land grant institution, North Dakota State University’s tradition and mission includes sharing research with others. Publication upon approval of the disquisition establishes the student’s copyright ownership of the work. Citation of the disquisition by others can be beneficial to the creator of the work, and making work available to others can promote contact with researchers within and across disciplines.
In a major study published in July 2013, based on a 2011 survey, only 7% of scholarly presses would refuse to consider a book manuscript because a dissertation was available in a digital repository. However — again reinforcing the need for discipline-specific guidance for students making decisions about sharing their work — publishers in some specific fields indicated they would never consider for book publication a manuscript based on a publically available dissertation. The study found a strong correlation between the size of the university press and willingness to consider manuscripts on a case by case basis, with larger presses indicating they would always review such proposals. In general, university press comments in this study, like those elsewhere, emphasize the fact that the book manuscript is always revised in response to editorial guidance.
Harvard University Press has argued for the positive role of digital dissemination in allowing the press to discover worthy manuscripts:
Johns Hopkins University Press published the reflections of one of its recent authors, whose dissertation being accessible led to her book contract:
The information provided in this section is from the memorandum Advising doctoral candidates on dissertation embargoes and eScholarship repository, by Joyce, R.A., 2013. Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley Graduate Division, Office of the Dean. Copyright 2013 by University of California, Berkeley Graduate Division, Office of the Dean. Available at: http://grad.berkeley.edu/academic-progress/dissertation/#withholding-your-dissertation