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FAQ for theses, dissertations, and other projects required to complete degrees: Home

Questions and Answers

Guidance on the University of Florida Electronic Theses and Dissertations collection,

The questions and answers below are based on questions sent to our Ask-A-Librarian service or directly to the IR@UF. No FAQ can cover all possible questions, so please do not hesitate to reach out to the Mediated Submissions team at

  • ETD: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
  • Final approvals from the Graduate School then transfer to the Libraries for custodianship and sharing
  • UFETD: University of Florida Electronic Theses and Dissertations collection
    • Includes traditional ETDs (born-digital, transmitted to us by Graduate Editorial), RTDS items, born-digital and digitized OTPs
  • RTDS: Retrospective Theses and Dissertations Scanning project
  • TD: thesis or dissertation
  • OTP: Other Terminal Project
    • Graduate projects not from the Grad School
    • Includes items resembling traditional ETDs, projects that include multiple files, audio and video recordings, and computer code
  • UFHONORS: University of Florida Undergraduate Honors Theses collection
    • Sub-collection of UFETD
    • Includes some multimedia projects

The short answer is, “no.” We do provide some descriptive information and reference links on, but the academic units are responsible for setting formatting standards for the works and defining their internal submission process. We receive the works, permission agreements, and a handoff inventory directly from the program offices, not from individual students.

Yes. We are happy to digitize on request.

We can make almost all dissertations available on the public web. Other items need to remain behind the UF firewall unless we have permission from the author. If the patron has contact information for the author, we can request permission from them.

Turnaround time for a request is usually about two weeks but can take longer if Digital Services have a large, high-priority project underway

Some very traditional institutions, particularly in other countries, ask applicants for a bound copy of their thesis or dissertation that includes the signature page(s). The ETDs in the IR@UF do not have signature pages; the choice was made to reduce chances for identity theft. Graduates who need their signature pages can contact the Graduate Editorial Office, < href="">, for an electronic signature page. If you must have a copy of the ink-on-paper signatures, you will need to contact their former departmental/program office where a copy should be on file.

If you are a graduate student and want to change a restriction, please send email to If you are an Honors student, please email

Please reach out to Many factors can lead to the absence of a digital item. If you can see a bound copy of a title in the catalog, you can ask us to digitize it.

Short answer

A few hundred dissertations from early in our long-term digitization project predate current visibility policy and are Dark/Secret. We have a cleanup project planned to make all those titles permanently campus-restricted. In the meantime, you can email make a Dark title campus-restricted.

Dissertations are legally considered published while master’s theses are not.* This means that no dissertations can be kept offline permanently. Theses from the RTDS project should all be public or campus-restricted. We have around 257 currently Dark dissertations that need to be made campus-restricted. Theses and dissertations from the Graduate School can have various restrictions that always end on specific dates:

Restriction types Expiration date cycle
6 months campus-only (available to computers on a UF campus or the UF VPN) Expirations on Feb 28/29, June 30, and Nov 30
1 year campus-only Spring expirations are on May 31
2 years campus-only Summer expirations are on Aug 31
Secret for 2 years (dark) Fall expirations are on Dec 31

Authors of Honors theses/projects are also able to choose a permanent campus restriction and a permanent full embargo (Dark item). All authors are also entitled to lift a restriction early or ask for extensions on their restrictions. Very few do so.

*The Libraries’ policy was inspired by the following article: Clement, Gail, and Melissa Levine. “Copyright and Publication Status of Pre-1978 Dissertations: A Content Analysis Approach.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 11, no. 3 (2011): 813–29.

Based on guidance from the Graduate School: Candidates often plan to publish the results of their research as journal articles. For example, a thesis or dissertation chapter might later become a journal article, and, with permission from their committee, previously published journal articles by the author can be included as part of the student’s thesis or dissertation. Please note that:

  • Students must follow Graduate School guidelines (not those of the journal) when formatting the ETD.
  • All copyright considerations must be addressed; the student and the committee must ensure this.
  • Material produced by coauthors should be so noted and cited appropriately (and only by permission).

You may not present coauthored work as your own scholarship, including presenting a chapter in your document that directly duplicates another’s work. The dissertation chapters must vary to indicate the your direct contribution to the studies. You must also obtain copyright permission from the journal and any other coauthors before republishing the work as part of the ETD and ensure that an unnumbered footnote on the chapter heading indicates that the chapter has been adapted from the full citation (as it appears in the reference list). If you are the sole author of the work, you can state that the chapter is being reprinted with permission from the journal with the full citation noted.

Most of these items are born-digital ETDs and are scheduled to have their Secret for 2 years (Dark item) restriction lifted on the first business day after the date given in the placeholder title. If you find an item where the expiration date given in the placeholder title is more than a few weeks ago, please email the UFDC link to

If there is a bound copy in the University Archives, we disbind the former circulating copy to sheet-feed scan it and then recycle the pages. If a book is the only known copy of a work, we scan it intact and then transfer it to the Archives.

Sometimes it can be a few days after an expiration date before our IT team can run the release automation. It should be available in a week or less. If you are still unable to access the work 7-10 days after the restriction expired, reach out to We can investigate and and resolve the problem or provide some context about why this particular cycle is late.

The current recommendation from the Graduate School and the Libraries is to use Zenodo to host supplemental materials, This change is because self-submissions will be deprecated, probably in the next year or two. Using Zenodo will also give you lasting direct control of the materials and a free DOI for easy reference.

However, as of summer 2023, graduate students can still add items to the IR on their own. If you are already in the process of doing that and are having problems, please contact us at or

Some older items might not have a PDF attached; you can email to request generation of a PDF.

If the item is restricted to campus, you will need to be able to log onto the UF VPN or visit campus to use one of the public computers in the Libraries to access the PDF.

The Mediated Submissions unit ( can almost always answer any questions about when a digital thesis, dissertation, or other terminal project was first made available on UFDC. If the question is about a dissertation, we can also find when it was sent to ProQuest to be added to their system. We are also able to estimate when the subset of dissertations scanned by Internet Archive were online there.

First, we have not begun putting master’s theses in the regular digitization workflow. Theses should start regular production when we are down to the last few hundred difficult to digitize dissertations, e.g., ones where the only known copy is on microfilm.

Unlike dissertations, master’s theses are not considered published works under the law. We cannot make them public without a formal grant of permission from the author. When we lack permission from the author, we can only make the thesis available to computers physically connected to the UF network or connected to the UF VPN. Many of the theses that we digitize on request are in this category.

Currently $12.80, the Library Processing Fee goes to the Institutional Repository (IR@UF) to support the costs of loading, managing, and archiving electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) and final projects from other graduate-level degree programs.

UF does not send master’s theses to ProQuest. Any that you might find there were individually submitted by the authors and are not official copies.

When you can find a dissertation in our catalog but not at ProQuest that can mean either the title is still under a campus-only or secret restriction, or it is ‘stuck’ somewhere in the shared UF/ProQuest process that eventually makes UF dissertations, or just their abstracts, appear in the ProQuest system. If you are confident that the work should be live at ProQuest, please refer email

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