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ETD Frequently Asked Questions


What is an ETD?

An ETD is an electronic version of a thesis or dissertation. An ETD is formatted just like a traditional thesis or dissertation (with pagination, tables, figures, references, etc.), but is saved as a PDF file and submitted electronically to the university instead of printed on paper. Once approved, your thesis or dissertation will be archived, stored, and made available via the {CSU Digital Repository...Link } and ProQuest/UMI's Digital Dissertations & Theses database.

What are the benefits of ETDs?

An ETD makes your research immediately accessible to a broad audience, while reducing both printing/binding costs for you and processing/storage costs for the university. The electronic format is more readily searchable than a print document, and can incorporate added features such as color, multimedia, and supplemental files. Through the electronic preparation and submission process, you will also gain experience in intellectual property issues and electronic document preparation that will be useful in your future academic or professional pursuits.

Why do we want ETDs in the CSU Digital Repository?

A primary purpose of the CSU Digital Repository is to provide convenient access to one of the most important intellectual products of the university: master's theses and doctoral dissertations. In the past, access to a CSU thesis or dissertation was quite limited. Beyond reading a copy held in Morgan Library, interested (non-CSU) researchers could only acquire copies of theses and dissertations through interlibrary loan or by purchasing a paper or electronic copy from ProQuest/UMI. Moreover, it often took a number of months after the author's graduation before the academic community could access the document. The CSU Digital Repository offers prompt web-based access to these documents, greatly increasing the visibility of our scholars and fulfilling our core mission: to contribute to academic scholarship.

Why do we submit theses and dissertations to ProQuest/UMI if we have the CSU Digital Repository?

When you submit your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest/UMI, your document will be microfilmed, indexed in its Digital Dissertations & Theses database together with research and scholarship of other institutions, and archived at an additional location remote from CSU. If you choose ProQuest/UMI's Traditional Publishing option, submission is free. ProQuest/UMI theses and dissertations by CSU authors are available via a free download to CSU students and faculty. As an alternative to the Traditional Publishing option, ProQuest/UMI is creating its own open access repository, and for a fee ($55 for a thesis, $65 for a dissertation, plus $95) you may deposit your work there. We expect most students interested in open access to bypass this service, since CSU is providing an identical service at no cost through the CSU Digital Repository.

Will submitting be time-consuming and complicated?

No. One of the primary goals of converting from print to electronic is to streamline the submission process for theses and dissertations. Although the introduction of the ETD program requires the creation and submission of an electronic document, we anticipate that most users will be able to complete the ETD submission process in less than 30 minutes.

Does this mean CSU will no longer accept and keep paper copies of theses and dissertations?

Yes. Morgan Library is attempting to control the growth of its ever-growing physical collections. Replacing the library's bound paper copies of theses and dissertations with an electronic copy will create significant space savings and increase accessibility.

How can I produce a bound paper copy? What about my advisor or my department/program?

Individual graduate programs may have their own requirements with respect to students producing copies for program/departmental libraries or for committee members. To have bound copies produced, you may make arrangements directly with a binder recommended by the Libraries.

Submission/Administrative Issues

How does my committee approve my thesis or dissertation?

There will be no change in this regard.

Why am I asked to complete a deposit agreement for the CSU Digital Repository during the ETD submission process?

All students submitting an ETD at Colorado State University are asked to read and complete a deposit agreement for the CSU Digital Repository. Basically, your agreement is a non-exclusive transfer of ownership of a single copy of your ETD to the CSU Libraries. It allows the Libraries to make your ETD available according to the release option you choose during ETD submission, and to make backup copies of your ETD or migrate it to future file formats as necessary for preservation purposes. Students retain the copyright to their own work.

Who can I contact for help if I have a problem submitting my thesis or dissertation?

For problems with the CSU ETD submission site, please submit your questions to E-mail address of {e-mail Adress} or call {phone Number}

For problems with the ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator site, please contact...{e-mail}

For general questions about submitting your thesis or dissertation, you should contact the {Graduate School...Link}

Once I have submitted my ETD, can I make corrections to the PDF?

You may not make corrections to the PDF file without permission or instructions from the Graduate School.

Access and Repository-Related Questions

How will people access my ETD?

Most submissions to the CSU Digital Repository will be classified as "open access." This means they will be available on the web as a PDF file in their entirety. While most searchers may find your document by using an Internet search engine, some will access it directly through the CSU Digital Repository. Your ETD will have a permanent URL to which you can refer colleagues, employers, and other interested parties.

What if I want to restrict access to my ETD?

The move to electronic theses and dissertations creates unparalleled opportunities for wide and timely dissemination of the research of CSU graduates, creating greater opportunities for your scholarly work to be recognized by others. You are therefore encouraged to make your ETD available worldwide. However, there may be a number of reasons that you would like to restrict access to your work, including patent pending, data sensitivity, and pre-publication concerns.

It is important that you make an informed decision about the terms of access to your ETD. In particular, you need to learn about two issues:

  • If your ETD contains articles that were published in scholarly journals or elsewhere, you need to make sure that the terms of access you stipulate with the CSU Digital Repository and ProQuest/UMI are compatible with the permissions granted by those journals or other entities. Don’t assume that articles you have published can be placed in your ETD and then made available online.
  • If you plan to publish some or all of your ETD, you need to find out whether the journals and publishers who would be likely to publish your work regard an electronically accessible thesis or dissertation as a prior publication.

The policies on both these issues vary widely across fields and publishers, and are changing quickly. Take the time to investigate the conditions in your field, and make your decision with accurate and up-to-date information—and in consultation with your advisor.

Authors may request restricted access to their work for up to one year. Your advisor must submit an explanation of the restriction to the Graduate School with your thesis or dissertation paperwork. Access restrictions submitted for PhD students for the CSU Digital Repository must be compatible with the embargo period requested when submitting to ProQuest/UMI.

If you wish to restrict temporarily the publication of your ETD because it contains potentially patentable material, work with your advisor to ensure that the <link>Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF) </link>is contacted.

Technical Questions

How do I format my electronic thesis or dissertation?

All CSU theses and dissertations must adhere to the Graduate School’s <link>Thesis and Dissertation Manual.</link>

Additional requirements for ETDs include:

  • The document must be submitted as a single Portable Document File (PDF).
  • The PDF file must be named Lastname_Firstname.pdf, where “Lastname” and “Firstname” are that of the student.
  • Security settings should not be applied to the PDF file.
  • The PDF file should not contain embedded multimedia.

How do I convert my document into PDF format?

In order to convert your thesis or dissertation to a PDF, you must use PDF creation software. A PDF conversion tool is available on this page and the ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator site. For information on campus availability of Adobe Acrobat Professional for your use, please contact your local IT administrator or the Computing Help Desk at (phone# & email for help desk. You may purchase your own copy of the Adobe software through RamTech.

Before beginning the PDF conversion process, however, you are strongly encouraged to embed the fonts you have used in your thesis into the file to be converted. Embedding fonts will help to ensure that the material in your thesis will display correctly when viewed or printed from the PDF file. (To further ensure that material displays correctly in the PDF file, use of either a Type 1 or TrueType font is recommended. Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri are among the numerous TrueType fonts that are available in popular word processing programs.) For example:

  • In MS Word 2003, fonts are embedded by selecting “Options . . .” from the “Tools” drop-down menu and then clicking on the “Save” tab. Place a check in the checkbox next to “Embed TrueType fonts” and remove any checks from the two checkboxes located immediately beneath. You will need to re-save your file.
  • In MS Word 2007, fonts are embedded by clicking on the Office button located in the upper left corner and then clicking on the “Word Options” button. Select “Save” from the list on the left, place a check in the checkbox next to “Embed fonts in this file”, and remove any checks from the two checkboxes located immediately beneath. You will need to re-save your file.

What if I am having problems creating a PDF?

Please call Karen Pardue at (719) 549-2326, or email at karen.pardue@colostate-pueblo.edu for assistance with conversion to PDF.

Used with permission from CSU Libraries Digital Repository page