We are currently installing new doors in the stairwell in Lauinger Library. During this time, visitors will not be able to use landings that are under construction, either to enter that floor or pass through en route to another. We encourage visitors to use the elevators, although the stairwell may still be used to access floors that are not under construction. Landings under construction should only be used in the case of an emergency.

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Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)

Information sessions for thesis authors are held regularly every semester, as advertised through the Library and Graduate School. These sessions provide information on submission procedures, copyright, and University policies. If you cannot attend the session in person, visit our Dissertation Overview page. (coming soon)

Who is responsible for ETDs at Georgetown?

  • The submission process for Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) is administered by the Graduate School. PhD candidates should review the Graduate School's Dissertation and Thesis Information before they begin to write their thesis. All documentation relating to theses is kept in on file in the office of the Academic Coordinator.
  • The actual submission process is operated by ProQuest/UMI, a third party vendor, which will retain the file in its database. During the submission process, thesis authors may grant ProQuest/UMI important rights relating to the the distribution and use of the thesis (see below "Who owns copyright?" and "What publication options are available?")
  • The Library receives a copy of all files submitted to the Graduate School. Library staff will create an entry in the Library Catalog for each thesis. Pursuant to the Graduate School's policy that all theses are public documents, all theses are freely available through Georgetown's Institutional Repository, unless an author requests and is granted an embargo.

Who owns copyright?

  • Thesis authors own copyright to their thesis. You may register your copyright through ProQuest/UMI or directly with the United States Copyright Office, although registration is not required to retain rights to your work.
  • During the submission process, authors are not required to transfer their ownership of the copyright. They are, however, required to extend a license to both Georgetown and ProQuest to make their theses available. To do so, authors must complete two release forms. The first form releases the thesis for publication in the University's Institutional Repository, while the second form governs the use of the thesis by ProQuest.

What publication options does ProQuest offer?

The full

There are three basic options:

  • free distribution: free, worldwide access
  • commercial distribution via ProQuest and its affiliates
  • an embargo of up to two years

The implications of each of these options are laid out in the online summary.

Where can I get help?

If you have questions about copyright and your thesis, please contact Meg Oakley, Interm Director, Copyright & Scholarly Communication, at meg.oakley@georgetown.edu.