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Frequently Asked Questions

Submission Process






Submission Process

Whom do I contact if I have problems submitting my thesis or dissertation?


Can I change my PDF after I submit my ETD record?

The PDF and other files you upload to the ETD site must be identical to those submitted to your school or program for approval. Your school administrator or ADAP must approve your requests to alter your files.


What if my department requests changes to my ETD record or file?

When you change your ETD record or file, edit your original submission record. Do not create a new record. Contact ETD staff for assistance, if necessary.


Can I submit audio-visual files with my document?

Yes, but you must submit sound, video, and animation files separately. Do not embed them in your PDF document. You may include images and illustrations in your PDF.

If your use of copyrighted material exceeds what US copyright law covers as “Fair Use," you must get permission from the rights holder to use that material. See the library's Scholarly Communications Office website for more information.  


Will my work be submitted to UMI/ProQuest?

If you are a Laney Graduate School student, you should submit your work to ProQuest. Your document will be microfilmed, indexed in Dissertations Abstracts, and (if you choose ProQuest’s traditional submission method) a PDF of your document will be made available through ProQuest and will be available to the public for a fee. 

As an alternative to the submission method described above, ProQuest has created its own open access dissertation repository. For a fee, you may deposit your dissertation there. Emory provides the same service free, so you may bypass this paid ProQuest service if you wish. 

If you restrict access to your abstract, notify ProQuest soon after graduation to request that your abstract not be included in Dissertations Abstracts. You must contact ProQuest directly at Provide your name, your dissertation’s title, your school (Emory University), and, if possible, the publication number. If you need to speak with someone at ProQuest, call 734-761-4700, Ext. 7020.



Is there a different deadline for my ETD submission?

Your school and program set your ETD submission deadline. If you are unable to meet it, you must contact your school administrator or ADAP for permission to submit your work late.


How does my committee approve my thesis or dissertation?

Your committee will sign a paper document that you will submit to the appropriate administrative contact in your school or program.


What if my advisor or I will apply for a patent based on the research in my thesis or dissertation research?

If your document contains inventions or discoveries with commercial application that warrant patenting, consult with the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) and ETD administrators before submitting your thesis or dissertation. Contact OTT at and ETD administrators via the online help form.


Can I include copyrighted images, illustrations, sound files, and/or datasets with my submission?

In some cases, you need permission from rights holders to use audio-visual materials that are not your original work. Getting permission is time-consuming. Start the process well before publication. If you have questions about intellectual property or copyright, please contact the library’s Scholarly Communications Office at



How do I create an electronic, PDF copy of my thesis or dissertation?

We recommend you create your PDF using Adobe Acrobat Professional. The program is available in Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (located on the 3rd floor of Woodruff Library), MediaLab, and possibly in your department. You may also purchase a copy of the software through Emory University.


Where can I get help creating a PDF copy of my thesis or dissertation?

Consult the technology support staff in Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (located on the 3rd floor of Woodruff Library), MediaLab, Student Technology Support (located on the 1st floor of Woodruff Library), or your department.



How do I get a bound copy of my thesis or dissertation?

You may arrange with the library's local binder or send your ETD to an online vendor to purchase a bound copy of your thesis or dissertation. For examples of the work of the various vendors, contact your school’s administrator or ADAP.


How will people access my dissertation?

If you do not embargo your thesis or dissertation for a time, your PDF will be available on the web in its entirety. It will be accessible through the ETD website and through internet search engines. Your document will also have a permanent URL associated with it that you can share with others.


Can I restrict access to my dissertation?

Yes. Emory’s ETD program uses an embargo system that you may use to keep your work out of the repository for a period. You can choose to restrict access to your dissertation for six months, one year, two years, six years, or indefinitely, under special circumstances.

Consult with your advisor about your wish to restrict access to your dissertation. Your school or program must approve any request to do so and considers such requests on a case-by-case basis. Your school or program must also approve requests to renew or extend access restrictions.  

Restricting access to your entire dissertation (i.e. the abstract and table of contents in addition to the full text) requires several steps. Make sure you read the instructions carefully.

The embargo period you request through Emory’s ETD submission process must match the embargo you request from ProQuest. If you are requesting an embargo longer than six years, you must contact ProQuest directly.


If I plan to write a book related to my thesis or dissertation, should I restrict access?

Publishers may have concerns about your thesis or dissertation being available on the web. Check with your publisher to discuss how depositing your document in the ETD repository will affect your publication plans. However, most books produced from dissertations require considerable revision, so your publisher may not consider depositing your thesis or dissertation in the repository as a prior publication.



Why do we need an ETD repository?

The ETD repository provides convenient access to important products of the university – master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, and undergraduate honors theses. The repository offers web-based access to these documents, increasing the visibility of our scholars and fulfilling our mission to contribute to academic scholarship.


Is the submission process time-consuming or complicated?

No. You will likely complete the submission process in less than 30 minutes.


Does Emory no longer keep paper copies of dissertations?

Replacing the library’s paper copies of theses and dissertations with electronic copies saves space and increases accessibility.