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, https://ufdc.ufl.edu/ufetd.
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 [email protected] .
What are all these thesis/dissertation acronyms about?
- ETD: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
- Final approvals from the Graduate School then transfer to the Libraries for custodianship and sharing
- 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
- Graduate projects not from the Grad School
- Includes items resembling traditional ETDs, projects that include multiple files, audio and video recordings, and computer code
- Sub-collection of UFETD
- Includes some multimedia projects
Are there instructions for graduate students who want to submit their OTP to the Libraries/IR@UF?
The short answer is, “no.” We do provide some descriptive information and reference links on https://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/etds/pilots , 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.
Can a anyone ask for digitization of a bound TD or OTP?
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
Can ETD authors get a copy of the signature page for their work?
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, [email protected] , 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.
How can I lift, change, or extend the restriction on my thesis or dissertation?
What do I do if I can't find a digital copy of an ETD or OTP that I'm sure should be there?
Please reach out to [email protected] . 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.
What about digitized TDs that are in the catalog but inaccessible?
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 [email protected] make a Dark title campus-restricted.
What are the different access (restriction) levels for content in the Electronic Theses and Dissertations and Undergraduate Honors Theses collections?
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:
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. https://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2011.0031 .
What do I need to do when I want to make a published journal article a chapter of my TD or vice versa?
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.
What does it mean when an ETD’s title begins, “Record for a UF dissertation/thesis?”
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 [email protected] .
What happens to a bound copy of a TD after digitization?
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.
What if a TD is still unavailable after the restriction has expired?
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 [email protected] . We can investigate and and resolve the problem or provide some context about why this particular cycle is late.
I am a thesis or dissertation student. What should I do if I want to add supplemental materials to the IR?
The current recommendation from the Graduate School and the Libraries is to use Zenodo to host supplemental materials, https://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/etds/supplemental . 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 [email protected] or mailto:[email protected] .
What should I do when there is no PDF for a thesis or disseration that I'm interested in?
Some older items might not have a PDF attached; you can email [email protected] 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.
I need to know when a thesis/dissertation/other terminal project was available online.
The Mediated Submissions unit ( [email protected] ) 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.
Why are there so few publicly available digitized master’s theses?
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.
Why are thesis and dissertation students charged a Library Fee?
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.
Why can’t I find a UF thesis or dissertation at ProQuest?
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 [email protected] .
- Last Updated: Nov 14, 2023 9:19 AM
- URL: https://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/theses_dissertations_projects_FAQ
The Dissertation Award offered by the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge is an annual competition for the top doctoral dissertation addressing topics related to social and historical influences shaping the formation of knowledge and which most effectively crosses and bridges disciplinary and divisional boundaries in its research, argument, and conclusions. Submitted dissertations may address any topic that has implications for the formation of knowledge and interrogates traditional ways of knowing. The competition is open to any doctoral student at the University of Chicago graduating at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. Dissertations will be judged by a panel of Institute faculty. The first-place winner will receive an award of $2,000.
Deadline: Monday, May 1, 2023
Questions: [email protected]
View previous winners here!
Two Ph.D. Students Honored with Larry S. Davis Doctoral Dissertation Awards
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland announced its winners of the Larry S. Davis Doctoral Dissertation Award for 2023-24, an annual honor distinguishing the department's two outstanding doctoral dissertations. This year's recipients are Marina Knittel , who plans to graduate this semester and begin a postdoctoral fellowship at UC San Diego in January, and Alexander Levine (Ph.D. '23, computer science), currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.
The award highlights exceptional dissertations noted for their technical depth, significance, potential for impact and presentation quality.
" Whenever you are recognized with such an award, it signifies that others agree that your research is important, and it motivates you to work harder and achieve even greater things," Knittel said. "My goal is to conduct mathematically interesting work on graph algorithms that is always grounded by its practical implications in the real world, which I do in a few ways. First, I study fairness and partake in discussions regarding ethical methodologies to conduct fair algorithmic research. Second, I study scalable graph algorithms—as in, graph algorithms on systems that can efficiently handle massive inputs. This is necessary for algorithms to continue keeping pace with the continual growth of input datasets and user expectations."
Beyond the distinction of the award itself, recipients receive a cash prize of $500. The Department also traditionally nominates the selected dissertations for the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award.
"Marina is exceptional. Not only is she a profound thinker, but she's also a skilled writer,” said Mohammad Hajiaghayi , the Jack and Rita G. Minker Professor of Computer Science and Knittel’s advisor. “She conducts her research with great independence, focusing on big data algorithms. Specifically, she delves into the significant areas of large data sets, emphasizing fair and diverse algorithms and clustering—a crucial topic in today's AI landscape."
The award motivates Levine to further his innovative research in ways that will continue to make a sizable impact.
"My dissertation work was mostly focused on developing machine learning techniques that are guaranteed to be robust to small changes in their inputs, even in the worst case of adversarially distorted inputs," Levine shared. " By providing robustness guarantees for machine learning systems, we can allow these systems to be used more confidently in safety-critical applications. I am honored that my work has been recognized by this award, and am deeply thankful for all of the support I received during my time at UMD from my advisor, my dissertation committee, and the rest of the UMD CS community."
Levine's advisor, Associate Professor Soheil Feizi, is confident in the future impact of his research.
"Alex's thesis addresses key challenges in provably robust learning, offering vital insights into AI model sensitivities against adversarial attacks and suggesting proven solutions,” Feizi said. “He's been outstanding in our department. His passion and sharp intellect stand out, and the depth and impact of his work, even among top Ph.D. students, is truly exceptional."
Named in honor of Computer Science Professor Emeritus Larry Davis , the award celebrates his significant contributions to computer science. Davis served as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1999 to 2012. He also served as director of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies from 1985 to 1994. An IEEE Fellow since 1997, Davis's research legacy includes groundbreaking work in computer vision and high-performance computing, with over 300 publications.
Story by Samuel Malede Zewdu, CS Communications
The Department welcomes comments, suggestions and corrections. Send email to editor [-at-] cs [dot] umd [dot] edu .