Repository FAQ

Submission/Administrative Issues
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 Mountain Scholar and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

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 Mountain Scholar?

A primary purpose of Mountain Scholar is to provide convenient access to one of the most important intellectual products of the university: master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. Mountain Scholar 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 if we have Mountain Scholar?

When you submit your thesis or dissertation to ProQuest, your document will be indexed in its Dissertations & Theses Global database together with research and scholarship of other institutions and archived at an additional location remote from CSU. If you choose ProQuest’s Traditional Publishing option, submission is free. ProQuest 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 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 MOUNTAIN SCHOLAR.

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):

The Bookbinders
Denver Bookbinding Company

Note: The Libraries and Graduate School recommend that you not purchase departmental copies of your ETD from ProQuest 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 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 Mountain Scholar.

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 Helen Baer at or (970) 491-5934 to make arrangements to provide access via Mountain Scholar. The Libraries will scan one of its print copies, if available.

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Submission/Administrative Issues

Why am I asked to complete a deposit agreement for Mountain Scholar during the ETD submission process?

All students submitting an ETD at Colorado State University are asked to read and complete a deposit agreement for Mountain Scholar. 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.

What if I am having problems creating a PDF?

In order to submit your ETD, you must convert it to a PDF. For problems creating a PDF, please contact your local IT administrator or the Computing Help Desk at (970) 491-7276 or

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 Helen Baer at or (970) 491-5934.

For problems with the ProQuest ETD Administrator site, please contact ProQuest 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.

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Access and Repository-Related Questions

How will people access my ETD?

Most submissions to Mountain Scholar 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 Mountain Scholar. 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 Mountain Scholar and ProQuest 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 Mountain Scholar must be compatible with the embargo period requested when submitting to ProQuest. 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 CSU STRATA is contacted.

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