In 2003, ACRL defined scholarly communication as "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to to the scholarly community, and preserved."
When you submit your thesis or dissertation, you have an option to set an embargo for a limited time which will limit the availability of your work. For sensitive content, you may also opt to have minor portions of your thesis or dissertation redacted.
Embargoes are set periods through which the full-text for an electronic publication is not freely available online. For example, a publication embargoed until January 1, 2020 won't be accessible online until that date.There are some embargo alternatives, such as redaction, that can also be implemented.
W&M honors theses
Effective May 2021, access to undergraduate honors theses by default are restricted to the W&M Community (William & Mary IP and W&M credentials) unless, after consultation with your advisor, you elect to make your work freely available online, as Open Access. Embargo terms of 1-3+ years are offered.
W&M masters theses and doctoral dissertations
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences:
W&M masters theses and doctoral dissertations in the Arts & Sciences may be embargoed up to 12 years per the wishes of the student. For embargoes of 2 or more years, students will need to fill out the petition form with the rationale for embargo and the signature of their committee chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. For embargoes lasting more than 6 years, it's required that the student also meet with a Research Librarian to learn more about the embargoes and that the librarian then sign off on the embargo form. For more info, see the relevant A&S embargoes page.
School of Education:
W&M School of Education dissertations may be embargoed for up to 2 years during the submission process. For more info, see the SOE FAQ.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS):
VIMS master theses and dissertations may be embargoed up to 2 years during the submission process. For more info, see VIMS ETD page.