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For further details, consults these Guides [PDF] from ProQuest on publishing your dissertation.

Traditional Publishing (TR) versus Open Access (OA)

What is Traditional Publishing?
Traditional publishing at UMI® corresponds with the model that generated the publishing industry as soon as mass-reproduction of printed material was possible. That is, the owner of intellectual property and author of the work contracts with the publisher to reproduce, distribute, and sell copies of the work. The publisher pays the author a certain portion of the revenue thus generated. That is why we also refer to our Traditional Publishing model as the ‘copy sales and royalty payments’ model. It’s been our business model since 1938, and we’ve paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties to the authors of dissertations and theses over the decades. Traditional Publishing access fee is $65.

What is Open Access?
The now-common usage of the term ‘open access’ means freely available for viewing or downloading by anyone with access to the internet. Sometimes a distinction is made for ‘limited open access’ meaning that material is available free of charge to a limited group of authorized users. Our usage of ‘open access’ means the former; that is, dissertations and theses published for Open Access with ProQuest/UMI will be available at no charge for viewing or downloading by anyone with access to the internet, indefinitely. Open Access publishing fee is $160.

How do you choose between Traditional Publishing and Open Access?

  • Check into any restrictions imposed by a funding source.
  • Check if you have a patent pending, or there is patentable work in your dissertation.
  • See Embargoes and Restrictions to ensure protections of patentable rights.
  • Check with advisor, committee chair, trusted mentor in your field.
  • Consider your own value system and professional goals. Do you believe that society will benefit from your research?
Consideration Recommended Action
Choose Traditional Publishing Place an embargo of 6- months, 1 year, or 2 years Do NOT choose third-party distribution Restrict from Google/search engines and harvesters See your institution’s technology transfer or research officer. Consult with your advisor and graduate dean.
Likely submission to a peer-reviewed journal X X X
Interested/potential interest by an academic or commercial press X X X
Ethical need to prevent disclosure X X X X
Patentable rights in the work/ other commercial potential X X X X X

Reprinted from Guide 4, Open Access versus Traditional Publishing PQ/UMI® GradWorks Guide F2006




Publishing Embargoes

What is an embargo and why would I want to place one on my paper?
An embargo is a hold placed on the release of your dissertation. You may request we wait to release your document for a period of time. Some reasons for requesting an embargo might be:

  • you are publishing your dissertation in a journal that prefers to publish your document first
  • you have a patent pending on an idea presented in your dissertation
  • you have mentioned sensitive materials and/or names which cannot be released at the time of publication

Reprinted from the ProQuest Support Center.

Copyright Registration

Do I have to copyright my work?
No, you do not have to copyright your work unless your school requires you to do so. However, in order to file a suit for infringement you will need to have your copyright registered. ProQuest provides copyright preparation services at a cost of $65.00 per document. This is available at the time of submission only. Once ProQuest begins to process your dissertation they can no longer file on your behalf, you will need to contact the Library of Congress to file at 202-707-6787 or

For further details on copyright concerns, see Guide 5 and Guide 6 from ProQuest.

Reprinted from the ProQuest Support Center.

Search Engine Indexing

What graduate works are indexed and searched by Google?
Right now, Google and Google Scholar are indexing dissertations and theses published in 2005 and forward. However, Canadian graduate works are not included, nor are any that are embargoed or restricted at an author’s request. Though embargoed dissertations are not submitted for indexing, Google may locate bibliographic information for these documents from other sources.

Reprinted from the ProQuest Support Center.