Open Access Dissertations in University Repositories:
The Shift to NoQuest or Proquest-optional Policies among American Institutions

Originally Posted on the (now-closed) blog Free US ETDs (FUSE) as "ETDs freed here"


Introduction

The ubiquity of academic scholarship on the Internet and the ready availability of rich online digital media provide superior methods to broadly disseminate and responsibly preserve doctoral dissertations. Management and discovery of dissertations via Open Access repositories, combined with unfettered global distribution via scholarly sharing networks, offer far greater exposure, access to, and the potential for reuse of electronic theses and dissertations. Institution decision makers interested in reviewing the many benefits of open ETDs in Open Access repositories may find the associated reading list of interest.

Updated List of Institutions Promoting Open Access Dissertations

The following American universities prefer ETD access from open access repositories. Research has shown that Universities that have shifted away from a ProQuest/UMI mandate see a precipitous decline in student uptake of that service (Potvin, 2012).

Note that the universities with NoQuest or Proquest-optional policies are all heavy-hitters in terms of research output and scholarly impact. Their institutional status is noted below in terms of Carnegie Classification; top ranking in graduate program size (according to NSF's Science and Engineering Doctorates Report 2014) and membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

This list continues to grow

Please feel free to add a comment to let us know of any schools we’ve missed!


Boise State University

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Moderate Research Activity| Grad Program=Research Doctoral: STEM-dominant
  • Summary: "The Graduate College no longer sends copies of the dissertation to ProQuest. If you would like to submit your dissertation to ProQuest, contact ProQuest directly" (p. 19)

Brown University

  • AAU member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program=Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: "Brown ETDs will be available in the Brown Digital Repository (BDR). A permanent URL will be available for use in your resume. Dissertations of candidates who elect to enter into an individual publication agreement with ProQuest will also be available in the commercial ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full Text database."

California Institute of Technology - Caltech

  • AAU member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program =** Research Doctoral**: STEM-dominant
  • Summary: Submission to CaltechThesis required. No submission to ProQuest/UMI.

Florida International University

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: "On the Final ETD Approval form, Doctoral students can opt to let UGS submit their dissertation to ProQuest."

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • AAU member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #19
  • Summary: "Stopped requiring submission to ProQuest in 2012."

Georgia State University

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: Submission to ScholarWorks repository. Silent on ProQuest/UMI submission

Johns Hopkins

  • AAU Member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #32
  • Summary: The Ph.D. Board policy document states that “ProQuest participation will be optional for JHU students. For some students, ProQuest adds value, so those students should be free to part