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 participate. But for other students, ProQuest represents an obstacle that should be removed.”

Louisiana State University

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Doctoral Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • Summary:Submission through ETD-DB system. Silent on ProQuest/UMI submission

Massachusetts Institute of Technology : Abstract only goes to PQ

  • AAU Member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #16
  • Summary: "Doctoral abstracts are submitted to UMI/ProQuest for inclusion in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, an online database. Doctoral candidates should keep their abstracts under 350 words, as longer abstracts will be edited by UMI/ProQuest."

Miami University

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity | Graduate Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: "The Graduate School at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) does not require ProQuest. It is completely optional, and we have now moved to asking the students to get in touch with ProQuest themselves if they wish to be included in their database or use any of their services. Our students are required to upload their work to OhioLINK. — Thesis Director Lou Haines, Posting to FUSE blog, May 13, 2013

Oregon State University

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • Silent on ProQuest/UMI submission

Stanford University

  • AAU Member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #10
  • Silent on ProQuest/UMI submission

University of Central Florida

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: "Are UCF students still allowed to submit to ProQuest?: Definitely. The University is simply dropping the mandatory requirement but in no way is hindering or prohibiting the students’ rights to have their works available in UMI/ProQuest or any other fee based or free service. The student holds the copyright to their work and can choose additional methods for publishing and archiving their thesis or dissertation at their own discretion and expense."

University of Georgia

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #38
  • Summary: Doctoral students may elect to submit the abstract of their dissertation or the entire dissertation to Dissertation Abstracts for processing and distribution. Students should discuss this option with their major professor prior to making a decision to utilize this service. Students choosing this option may access the Proquest (UMI) website for more information or to obtain the appropriate agreement form. The Graduate School is no longer involved in this process.

University of Houston All schools with exception of Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences do not require PQ

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: "Do I have to submit my ETD to UMI/Proquest? Currently the C.T. Bauer College of Business and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences submit ETDs to Proquest."

University of Illinois

  • AAU member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #8
  • Summary:"(OPTIONAL) ProQuest publishing agreement - Doctoral students only. In step 2 of the submission profile, doctoral students will be given the option to have the Graduate College send their dissertation to ProQuest for inclusion in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global and Dissertation Abstracts International databases"

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school.
  • Summary: "Students have the option of submitting to ProQuest directly, but we stopped the required ProQuest submissions in 2014." (per email message of 2/23/2017 from U Mass Library)

University of Michigan

  • AAU member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #2
  • Summary: "As of August 1, 2012 Rackham Graduate School no longer requires doctoral students to submit their dissertations to UMI Dissertation Publishing (a division of ProQuest)."

University of Nebraska - Omaha

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University of North Florida

  • Carnegie Class: Master's Colleges & Universities: Larger Programs | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Single program-Education
  • Summary: …”We only require our graduate students to deposit their ETDs into the UNF institutional repository Digital Commons since 2012 and never required the use of Proquest for our ETDs. However, because the student holds the copyright to their work they can choose additional methods for publishing and archiving their thesis or dissertation at their own discretion and expense.”

[University of North Texas] (https://tsgs.unt.edu/new-current-students/theses-and-dissertations)

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: **Highest Research Activity **| Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: "ProQuest submission in Vireo is optional."

University of Oklahoma

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity | Grad Program = Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, no medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: "We do not require our graduate students to deposit with UMI/Proquest." (email from instituion, 2-27-2017")

University of Southern California

  • AAU Member
  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity; Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • NSF Ranking #34
    Summary: Silent on submission to PQ

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

  • Carnegie Class: Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity; Research Doctoral: Comprehensive programs, with medical/veterinary school
  • Summary: The Graduate School has dropped the requirement for dissertations to be submitted to Proquest for digital distribution since dissertations are available widely through
    the University of Tennessee Library and through the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.

University of Texas at Austin

  • AAU Member
  • Car