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Scholarly Communications

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."


Am I required to submit my thesis or dissertation?

Yes. Based on W&M University Archives policy and the records retention schedule for state agencies, honors theses produced in partial fulfillment of a degree from W&M are part of the permanent university record. Barring an established term-limited embargo upon submission to the W&M Libraries ETD Repository, they are considered permanent public record.

What are embargoes?

Embargoes are set periods through which the full-text for a publication is not open access (freely available online).

What about copyright?

You own the copyright for your work but should ensure that you obtained permission to reprint if you don't think your use of others' work constitutes fair use. Consult Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis for more information. 

How do I license my work, and what is a Creative Commons license?

Learn more about copyright and licensing your work through a creative commons license in our licensing guide.

How do I get a print copy of my thesis or dissertation?

Graduate students have the option to order a printed, bound copy when you submit your thesis or dissertation to W&M ETD Administrator (ProQuest ETD portal.) You can also use online vendors like Lulu or local companies like Long's Roullet Bookbinders, Inc for printing and binding.

Departments interested in bound copies may also purchase titles directly from ProQuest.

What if I have already published some of my dissertation chapters as articles?

Best practice is to tell the publisher(s) of your articles that your submission to them will appear in your dissertation before you sign the contract with the journal publisher. If you have already published the article, it's not entirely black and white but speaking conservatively, the permission will depend on the publisher. Read more on MIT's guide on this topic.

Can I extend my embargo? 

Yes. You will need to contact ScholarWorks to extend the embargo on the IR's side; the graduate office to extend the embargo through the grad school; AND ProQuest to extend the embargo from their database. It's a lot of emailing, but it can be done. 

Can I change the name on my thesis or dissertation? 

It depends. According to International Cataloging Rules and Regulations, the ETD serves as a permanent university record. The submitted content of the document cannot be changed; however, the metadata or information about the record can be changed on a case-by-case basis and only on the library's pages and feeder pages such as the catalog, IR, WorldCat, etc. 

Is it harder to publish elsewhere if your dissertation or thesis is open access?

Scholarly research indicates that not only are publishers offering more open access content from their own platforms, but they are increasingly receptive to publishing content which originally was posted open access elsewhere. Generally, this is because scholarship goes under extensive editing between initial publication as a thesis or dissertation and acceptance into a peer-review publication. The articles below speak to this effect.