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Proposed Presidential Policy on Open Access for Theses and Dissertations

A proposed new presidential policy on open access theses and dissertations is open for systemwide review until February 28, 2018. All members of the UC community are invited to comment on the draft policy. Visit the UC Academic Affairs website to read the draft policy, a cover letter with instructions on where to send comments, and a set of Frequently Asked Questions.

The draft policy was written by a task force including graduate students as well as representatives of the Graduate Deans, the Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs, the UC Libraries, and others. If passed, the policy will expand the University of California’s commitment to disseminating UC research as widely as possible by building on the Academic Senate and Presidential open access policies already in place. Like its predecessors, this policy on open access theses and dissertations would enable California and the rest of the world to freely access the research of UC scholars and, likewise, would improve the ability of UC’s graduates to reach a global audience.

Many UC dissertations are already freely available to read online; the draft policy would align practices across the UC system by requiring all new UC dissertations and theses to be made open access. The policy does not affect copyright ownership, which remains with graduate student authors absent unusual circumstances. Students who do not want their work to be available immediately can specify an embargo period. (more…)

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My dissertation is online! Wait – my dissertation is online!? Copyright & your magnum opus

You’ve worked painstakingly for years (we won’t let on how many) on your magnum opus: your dissertation—the scholarly key to completing your graduate degree, securing a possible first book deal, and making inroads toward faculty status somewhere. Then, as you are about to submit your pièce de résistance through ProQuest’s online administration system, you are confronted with the realization that—for students at many institutions—your dissertation is about to be made available open access online to readers all over the world (hurrah! and gulp).

Because your dissertation will be openly available online, there are many questions you need to address—both about what you put in your dissertation, and the choices you’ll need to make as you put it online. If you are a first-time author, facing these concerns can be daunting to say the least. And you definitely don’t want to be thinking about them for the first time when you are scrambling to submit your dissertation to ProQuest. (more…)

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