ETD Frequently Asked Questions
Access and Repository-Related Questions
What is an ETD?
An ETD is an electronic version of a thesis or dissertation. An ETD is formatted just like a traditional thesis or dissertation (with pagination, tables, figures, references, etc.), but is saved as a PDF file and submitted electronically to the university. Once approved, your thesis or dissertation will be archived, stored, and made available via the CSU Digital Repository and ProQuest/UMI’s Digital Dissertations & Theses database.
What are the benefits of ETDs?
An ETD makes your research immediately accessible to a broad audience, while reducing both printing/binding costs for you and processing/storage costs for the university. The electronic format is widely accessible and can incorporate a range of formats, including multimedia.
Why do we want ETDs in the CSU Digital Repository?
A primary purpose of the CSU Digital Repository is to provide convenient access to one of the most important intellectual products of the university: master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. The CSU Digital Repository offers prompt web-based access to these documents, greatly increasing the visibility of our scholars and fulfilling our core mission: to contribute to academic scholarship.
Why do we submit theses and dissertations to ProQuest/UMI if we have the the CSU Digital Repository?
When you submit your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest/UMI, your document will be microfilmed, indexed in its Digital Dissertations & Theses database together with research and scholarship of other institutions, and archived at an additional location remote from CSU. If you choose ProQuest/UMI’s Traditional Publishing option, submission is free. ProQuest/UMI theses and dissertations by CSU authors are available via a free download to CSU students and faculty.
As an alternative to the Traditional Publishing option, ProQuest/UMI is creating its own open access repository, and for a fee ($95) you may deposit your work there. WE EXPECT MOST STUDENTS INTERESTED IN OPEN ACCESS TO BYPASS THIS SERVICE, SINCE CSU IS PROVIDING AN IDENTICAL SERVICE AT NO COST THROUGH THE CSU DIGITAL REPOSITORY.
Will submitting be time-consuming and complicated?
No. One of the primary goals of converting from print to electronic is to streamline the submission process for theses and dissertations. Although the introduction of the ETD program requires the creation and submission of an electronic document, we anticipate that most users will be able to complete the ETD submission process in less than 30 minutes.
Does this mean CSU will no longer accept and keep paper copies of theses and dissertations?
Yes. We want to increase accessibility to your work via the ETD.
How can I produce a bound paper copy? What about my advisor or my department/program?
Individual graduate programs may have their own requirements with respect to students producing copies for program/departmental libraries or for committee members. To have bound copies produced, you may make arrangements directly with the following companies for a fee (these are not endorsed by the Libraries):
Note: The Libraries and Graduate School recommend that you not purchase departmental copies of your ETD from ProQuest/UMI because of possible delays that could impact your graduation date.
When will my ETD be released to ProQuest?
The approved ETDs will be released to ProQuest/UMI approximately six weeks after the end of the term you applied to graduate. Please allow up to an additional eight to twelve weeks for your ETD to be visible in the CSU Digital Repository.
I graduated from CSU when paper copies of theses and dissertations were submitted. How do I request that my thesis or dissertation become accessible online?
Please contact Beth Oehlerts at email@example.com or (970) 491-1827 to make arrangements to provide access via the CSU Digital Repository. The Graduate School requires submission of the original digital file of the final, committee-approved version of your document. If that is no longer available, or no longer readable, the Libraries will scan one of its print copies.
Why am I asked to complete a deposit agreement for the the CSU Digital Repository during the ETD submission process?
All students submitting an ETD at Colorado State University are asked to read and complete a deposit agreement for the CSU Digital Repository. Basically, the agreement is a non-exclusive transfer of ownership of a single copy of your ETD to the CSU Libraries. It allows the Libraries to make your ETD available according to the release option you choose during ETD submission, and to make backup copies of your ETD or migrate it to future file formats as necessary for preservation purposes. Students retain the copyright to their own work.
Who can I contact for help if I have a problem submitting my thesis or dissertation?
For problems with the CSU ETD submission site, please submit your questions to Dawn Paschal at Dawn.Paschal@colostate.edu or (970) 491-1849.
For problems with the ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator site, please contact ProQuest/UMI Technical Support.
For general questions about submitting your thesis or dissertation, you should contact the Graduate School.
Once I have submitted my ETD, can I make corrections to the PDF?
You may not make corrections to the PDF file without permission or instructions from the Graduate School.
How will people access my ETD?
Most submissions to the CSU Digital Repository will be classified as “open access.” This means they will be available on the web as a PDF file in their entirety. While most searchers may find your document by using an Internet search engine, some will access it directly through the CSU Digital Repository. Your ETD will have a permanent URL to which you can refer colleagues, employers, and other interested parties.
What if I want to restrict access to my ETD?
There may be a number of reasons that you would like to restrict access to your work, including a patent pending, data sensitivity, and pre-publication concerns. It is important that you make an informed decision about the terms of access to your ETD. In particular, you need to learn about two issues:
If your ETD contains articles that were published in scholarly journals or elsewhere, you need to ensure that the terms of access you stipulate with the CSU Digital Repository and ProQuest/UMI are compatible with the permissions granted by those journals or other entities. Don’t assume that articles you have published can be placed in your ETD and then made available online. If you plan to publish some or all of your ETD, you need to determine whether the journals and publishers who would be likely to publish your work regard an electronically accessible thesis or dissertation as a prior publication.
The policies on both these issues vary widely across fields and publishers, and change frequently. Take the time to investigate the conditions in your field, and make your decision with accurate and up-to-date information and in consultation with your advisor.
Authors may request restricted access to their work for up to two years. You must submit an explanation of the restriction, signed by your advisor, to the Graduate School with your thesis or dissertation paperwork. Access restrictions submitted for the CSU Digital Repository must be compatible with the embargo period requested when submitting to ProQuest/UMI. Extensions are not possible, as one of the functions of the University is the generation and dissemination of contributions to knowledge and culture. The fundamental purpose of theses is to make such contributions available for public benefit.
The move to electronic theses and dissertations creates unparalleled opportunities for wide and timely dissemination of the research of CSU graduates, creating greater opportunities for your scholarly work to be recognized by others. You are therefore encouraged to make your ETD available worldwide.
If you wish to restrict temporarily the publication of your ETD because it contains potentially patentable material, work with your advisor to ensure that the Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF) is contacted.
How do I format my electronic thesis or dissertation?
All CSU theses and dissertations must adhere to the Graduate School’s Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Guide.
Additional requirements for ETDs include:
- The document must be submitted as a single Portable Document File (PDF).
- The PDF file must be named Lastname_Firstname.pdf, where “Lastname” and “Firstname” are that of the student.
- Security settings should not be applied to the PDF file.
- The PDF file should not contain embedded multimedia.
How do I convert my document into PDF format?
In order to convert your thesis or dissertation to a PDF, you must use PDF creation software. A PDF conversion tool is available on the ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator site. For information on campus availability of Adobe Acrobat Professional for your use, please contact your local IT administrator or the Computing Help Desk at 491-7276 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may purchase your own copy of the Adobe software through RamTech.
Before beginning the PDF conversion process, however, you are strongly encouraged to embed the fonts you have used in your thesis into the file to be converted. Embedding fonts will help to ensure that the material in your thesis will display correctly when viewed or printed from the PDF file. (To further ensure that material displays correctly in the PDF file, use of either a Type 1 or TrueType font is recommended. Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri are among the numerous TrueType fonts that are available in popular word processing programs.)
In Word, fonts are embedded by clicking on the File menu and then selecting Options. On the Word options window, select Save from the options on the left side of the window and then place a check in the checkbox next to Embed fonts in the file. If either of the checkboxes under Embed fonts in the file are checked, uncheck those options and then click on the OK button. The file will have to be re-saved in order to accept these changes.
What if I am having problems creating a PDF?
For problems creating a PDF, please contact your local IT administrator or the Computing Help Desk at (970) 491-7276 or email@example.com. You may also contact
Digital Repositories Librarian
Phone: (970) 491-7333