ETD Council Policy Decision Guide

Table of Contents

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Take Down Requests
Submission Deadline
Document Review Process
Submission Process
Corrections of Published ETDs
Digital/Institutional Repository Submission
Library and Graduate School Relationship
Non-Traditional ETDs and Supplemental Files
Resources Provided about ETDs for Students



The purpose of this document is to capture a majority of important decisions to consider when setting up or reviewing local ETD policies and workflows for staff and students. The OhioLINK ETD Center community is made up of 31 institutions, each of whom address these topics in different ways for local reasons. This document is meant to give guidance by providing various views and reasoning for their local policies as examples of what is possible and why their particular policies are in place.

This is a living document and will be updated periodically. If you would like to add information about your school's policies and procedures, please contact OhioLINK Support. 

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  • Whether or not to grant and in which circumstances
  • Why or why not to grant an embargo after publication
  • Set for any date in the future versus set for particular date every August (for ease of cataloging once available)

University of Toledo Embargo Policy


  1. Policy is written in the Graduate Student Handbook, which is updated yearly
    1. Managed with the Intellectual Protection and Patent Sign-off form
    2. Form revised recently in collaboration with the Technology Transfer division
    3. Utilizing Tech Transfer’s experience and resources to provide more robust information and support to students and faculty with regards to intellectual property issues, including teaming on workshop
    4. Form found here:
    5. Form protects both the student’s and University’s legal rights
      1. All graduate students engaged in thesis or dissertation research are required to submit this completed form
      2. Revision included section on public disclosure of proprietary information in defenses, which our office now announces and tracks
  2. All embargo requests are granted
    1. Embargoes are granted in one-year increments
    2. Embargoes are renewable up to a maximum of four times (five years total)
    3. Embargo release dates are set to the last day of graduation months, regardless of upload date
      1. May 31, August 31, and December 31
      2. If you upload in August but graduate in December, your embargo will be set to expire the following year on December 31
  3. Embargo and ProQuest
    1. All dissertations and theses are electronically forwarded to ProQuest
    2. If an embargo is granted, no information is sent to ProQuest, including the metadata, which means that the ETD will not be indexed at ProQuest until the embargo has expired. 
      1.  All students are informed of this via email from the graduate office after their submission has been reviewed and accepted
      2. "We are pleased to inform you that your recent submission to OhioLINK was accepted and will be released for publication after you have been cleared for graduation, approximately 45 – 60 days after the last day of the term. If you selected a publication delay, the only information released will be your name, title, and abstract. Your submission will not be sent nor indexed with ProQuest until your publication delay has expired."
  4. We do not currently have written policy to address possible requests that deviate from our practice. However, any exception to a written guideline or policy would go through the University Graduate Council Executive Committee via written appeal to the Dean. 


The Ohio State University Embargo Policy


  1. The option for an embargo is stated in the Graduate School Handbook.  The details of the policy are available on the Graduate School’s web site in the document Access and Distribution to Ohio State Dissertations and Theses:
  2. All embargo requests are granted
    1. The initial maximum embargo period is five years
    2. Students that are involved in a publication agreement when the initial five year  embargo expires can ask for an additional embargo period.  We would review these requests on a yearly basis, but would normally allow only two yearly extensions as a maximum.
    3. Students must complete an electronic Delay of Final Document form at the time of the final dissertation submission.  The Delay form outlines the embargo policy with OhioLINK and ProQuest and students must confirm on the form that they understand the embargo guidelines
    4. Embargos are posted after graduation on OhioLINK, but normally the degree conferral date is used as the embargo release date.
  3. Embargo and ProQuest
    1. All dissertations are sent to ProQuest.  There are no exceptions.  Based on OhioLink policy, no dissertations are sent to ProQuest until an embargo period expires.
    2. Master’s theses are not sent to ProQuest.  The OhioLINK copy is used as the archival copy of the theses

The Bowling Green State University Delayed Publication Policy


  1. The option for a Delay in Publication is stated in the Thesis and Dissertation Handbook for BGSU Faculty and Students.  This same information is reiterated on the Graduate College’s website. 
    1. A link to the form is also located on this same web page.
    2. It is up to the Graduate College to approve a request.  
    3. Students can request from 6 months up to 5 years.
    4. Embargos expire after the approved length of time to the day of the approval, usually graduation but can be a different date due to request that come in after the fact. 
  2. Embargo and ProQuest
    1. Students choose through OhioLINK if their document is harvested by ProQuest.
    2. It is possible that it was already harvested by ProQuest when a former student contacts us for a Delay in Publication after graduation.  Contacting ProQuest is the student’s responsibility since they choose to have it uploaded to ProQuest. 

Miami University Delayed Publication Policy


  1. Students have the option to delay publication of their thesis/dissertation for the period of one to five years.  
  2. When requested, students are emailed a form that is completed by the student and adviser to request the embargo. 
  3. The manager of graduate student services reviews the requests, and they are typically approved without question for up to five years.  We do not allow any embargo longer than five years except when student has a publishing contract.  Up to an additional five years can then be granted with the approval of the graduate dean and department chair.

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Take-Down Requests

  • Complete removal versus document removal (placeholder uploaded) with metadata remaining

University of Toledo Take-Down Request Policy


  1. We do not have an articulated policy on take-down requests
  2. We have received one take-down notice (January 2011 from Pearson Publishing) for a dissertation that had been on the ETD Center for nearly two years.
    1. OhioLink ETD Center immediately embargoed the dissertation and forwarded the letter from Pearson to our office.
    2. The take-down letter specified the terms of the take-down request
      1. The infringing material was to be redacted on all forms of the document and on all platforms. In this case it was a survey instrument that was copied verbatim and constituted an appendix.
      2. After the infringing material had been redacted, we were permitted to republish the redacted document. 
  3. The entire process of locating the dissertation author and the advisor, notifying them about the take-down notice and providing instruction on the redaction process, and then receiving the redacted document and replacing it took nearly 6 months.
    1. This process took place just prior to the OhioLINK ETD Center rebuild, so the author’s dissertation was in the “frozen” database for an additional 4 months,  making it nearly a year that the document was de facto embargoed. 
  4. Conclusion: we should maintain a forwarding permanent email for all depositors, and provide additional language on our forms, especially on our Intellectual Property form, regarding the consequences of including infringing material.

The Ohio State University Take-Down Request Policy


  1. Documents submitted to OhioLINK for graduates since 2001 cannot be taken down. Documents are submitted in order to meet graduation requirements.
  2. Only documents that have a copyright infringement claim can be modified
  3. Documents submitted as part of retrospective upload by OSU Libraries can be taken down per author requests.  All requests are granted.

The Bowling Green State University Take-Down Request Policy


  1. Documents submitted to OhioLINK for graduates since 2005 cannot be taken down. Documents are submitted in order to meet graduation requirements.
  2. Former students can request a Delay in Publication if they receive a journal or book deal after the document has been published. 
  3. BGSU has not had a copyright infringement issue to date but would comply with any official request.  

Miami University Correction and Take-Down Policy of Published ETDs


  1. Miami University does not permit documents submitted since 2001 to be removed from OhioLINK.  
  2. ETDs facing copyright infringement or ones that could do personal harm to a person named in the document may be modified with the approval of the graduate dean. 

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Submission Deadlines

  • Final version by deadline versus submission by deadline with additional revisions allowed for a short period after

The University of Toledo Submission Deadline Process


  1. We changed our final submission deadline (uploading to OhioLINK) in 2014, from four weeks prior to the last day of each term, to the last day of each term. We made that decision after evaluating our current process/timeline, staffing levels, job duties, and in consultation with the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, who approved it without having to go to the Graduate Council.
    1. Reason one: many students were unable to schedule their defense prior to the upload deadline, thus delaying their graduation by an entire semester when they had no more courses to take or research to conduct, plus requiring registration for the following semester.
    2. Reason two: Numerous students requested Early Filing status when in fact they simply hadn’t completed the work in a timely fashion, and not of extenuating circumstances beyond their control. This special status waives the registration requirement but requires additional work on the office’s part to finalize their graduation status prior to the beginning of the following semester.
    3. Reason three:Students were submitting poorly formatted documents or incomplete documents, which caused additional work for the ETD reviewer and delay in graduation processing.
  2. After changing the final submission deadline to 11:59 pm on the last day of term, we saw improvement in terms of student response and quality of submissions.
    1. The number of Early Filers decreased by more than half, meaning students were graduating in the appropriate semester without unnecessary delay or additional cost, and our office’s workload was better balanced.
    2. The time for our office to conduct format reviews increased and we were able to meet more initial requests and conduct second reviews if needed.
    3. The increased time between format review and submission meant we were able to conduct more Open Labs for formatting assistance.

The additional time afforded the student resulted in an increase in the number of documents that were correctly completed and formatted, which reduced the amount of time our office had to spend on document readiness at submission time. 

  1. Faculty provided positive feedback on the change, and noted that it made it easier for them to schedule defenses and provide other review/feedback to the students. Students told us that the extra time was vital for them in terms of document presentation and incorporating changes recommended at their defense.
  2. We began to track the defenses, and incorporated that language and procedure into our required forms, making explicit that a student could not upload to OhioLINK if their document was not complete and successfully defended. Because of this, students are able to “work backwards” from the submission deadline to better manage their defense scheduling and reviewing of intellectual property, patents, and embargo considerations. Again, the additional four weeks is vital to ensuring that students are managing their timelines in consultation with their advisors to ensure a timely graduation. 

The Bowling Green State University Submission Deadline Process


  1. Our submission deadline is 4 weeks before graduation.  The Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation Handbook as well as our Important Dates and Deadlines both state that “an error-free copy” is due by this date.
    1. However, there are still errors due to inconsistent formatting, not using the required templates, forgetting an HSRB form, or not putting the exact title that was approved by their committee, etc.  
    2. We give them one week to the date of our letter to make these corrections.
    3. Once approved by the BGSU OhioLINK administrator, BGSU’s Registration and Records then reviews all qualifications of graduation and whether or not these have been met.  Their office actually publishes the document in OhioLINK. 
The Ohio State University Submission Deadline Process


  1. Final theses/dissertations are due on the Friday two weeks before commencement.  The Graduate School must approve the formatting of the final version posted by the student on OhioLINK by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day, so students are encouraged to submit at least a day or two before the deadline.  No corrections to the document are allowed once approved by the Graduate School.
  2. Once the student submits the final document, this is reviewed by Graduate School staff up until the submission deadline.  If corrections are required, the document is returned to the student through OhioLINK with the formatting comments provided in the OhioLINK e-mail.   

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Document Review Process

Bowling Green State University Document Review Process


  1. Student’s have the option of attending one of two workshops taught each semester about formatting, using our templates, what is in the handbook, various forms, and submitting to OhioLINK.  
  2. Students also have the option of attending “Drop-In Week” to gain assistance with any of the items listed above. Students have access to templates and tutorials for using Acrobat Professional on the Graduate College website.  Video tutorials have been created and will be available soon. 
  3. The BGSU OhioLINK administrator and their Graduate Assistant review all documents, review forms submitted to the Graduate College, and send letters for correction(s). 
  4. The BGSU OhioLINK administrator and their Graduate Assistant reviews any resubmissions that are “on time” (one week to the date of the letter we have sent through BGSU e-mail).

The Ohio State University Document Review Process


  1. Ph.D. students are required to bring in their dissertation to the Graduate School for an initial format review at least two weeks before their defense date.  Master’s students are encouraged to bring in their thesis, but this is not required.
  2. Document reviews are done on a walk-in basis and normally take about 15-20 minutes.
  3. The Graduate School does not provide any technical assistance in person.  We do offer general formatting guidelines, a sheet of Formatting Tips and Tricks, formatting sample pages, and a template for PC users.  There is an IT help office on campus where students are referred for assistance with technical problems.

University of Toledo Review Process


  1. Document format reviews are not mandatory, but are strongly encouraged.
  2. ‘Soft deadline’ for format reviews is four [4] weeks before the last day of classes.
  3.  A service email is setup to receive requests.
  4. Student emails their PDF or Word file.
  5. UT OhioLINK administrator reviews all documents and sends a specially created correction checklist back to students. A ‘boiler plate’ reply email that contains directions for uploading and other final documents that are needed comprises the body of the email.
  6. If there is time, students may receive a second review after making corrections
  7. We do not do format reviews or set up appointments with students in person.
    1. If a student wants information on the process they are given the link to our process overview page: and instructed to review the material and submit for a format review first. 
    2. If after receiving the format review they have specific questions regarding making the corrections, or on copyright, they can make an appointment for a one-on-one.
  8. Four [4] workshops to facilitate the ETD process are given per semester.
    1. An Overview which includes a live walk through the OhioLINK ETD submission site.
    2. Three [3] ‘Formatting and Submission Open Labs’. Each lab is two hours long and are first come-first served. UT OhioLINK administrator and library faculty partner facilitate the labs, moving from student to student. 
    3. Open labs provide one-on-one assistance with technical issues [Endnote, Table of Contents, converting to PDF, resizing illustrative material, correcting pagination, etc.] and uploading to OhioLINK.
    4. Open labs take place 1 to 2 weeks prior to the upload deadline.
    5. Students must have requested and received a format review prior to attending.
    6. No format reviews are performed in an open lab. 

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Submission Process

Bowling Green State University Submission Process


  1. Students are welcome to come in for assistance with submitting to OhioLINK.  This information is reviewed in our workshops and is located on the Graduate College webpage: 

University of Toledo


  1. We provide a Three Easy Steps - Start Here! ETD process overview webpage that covers the following plus any academic program forms that are required as part of those steps:
    1. Format review 
    2. 2. Final defense
    3. ETD Upload
  2. The submission deadline is always the last day of classes, by 11:59 pm. No extensions are given. If they do not upload by the deadline, they will not graduate that semester.
  3. All uploads are reviewed a second time by the UT OhioLINK administrator.
    1. If formatting corrections still need to be made, the ETD is returned to the submitter with the corrections checklist attached, and they are given one week to make the necessary corrections and resubmit from the date of the email.
    2. If no further corrections are needed, they are emailed and informed that their submission was accepted and will be released within 30 days subject to any requested and approved embargo.
  4. Only the UT OhioLINK administrator has the ability to release the ETDs.

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Corrections of Published ETDs

Bowling Green State University Corrections of Published ETDs


  1. Currently we do not correct published documents.  It has been discussed that this could open the flood gates to data corrects and other possible corrections.  What is submitted is what was submitted to meet the qualification of graduation.  The information submitted was what was known at that time.


The Ohio State University Corrections of Published ETDs


  1. The Graduate School’s policy is that no corrections to the document are possible once submitted and approved for graduation, and the submission deadline has passed.  The only exceptions are for copyright infringement or under extenuating circumstances when a student might be unduly harmed by personal information included in the document.

University of Toledo


  1. The Graduate School’s policy is that no corrections to the document are possible once submitted and approved for graduation, and the submission deadline has passed.  The only exceptions are for copyright infringement or under extenuating circumstances such as when a student might be unduly harmed by personal information included in the document. Extenuating circumstances also involve the student’s advisor to verify the validity of the circumstances.

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Digital/Institutional Repository Submission

The Ohio State University

The Knowledge Bank, OSU’s institutional repository, accepts undergraduate theses and research projects, but does not accept graduate theses or dissertations.  Any OSU ETDs are submitted to and hosted in the OhioLINK ETD Center.

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Library and Graduate School Relationship

Bowling Green State University


  1. We have an 11 X 17 flowchart of our process because the Library, the Graduate College, Registration and Records, and the Collab Lablocated in the library all have a hand in the process.  

The Ohio State University


The University Libraries and the Graduate School work together to make sure that all ETDs are available.Graduate School takes lead on recent/current ETDs, the Libraries ensure ETDs are findable via the Libraries’ catalog.

For retrospective ETDs, the Graduate School and Libraries work together on policy for uploading and cataloging, and responding to inquiries about these documents.

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Non-Traditional ETDs and Supplemental Files

The Ohio State University


  1. The Graduate School supports the submission of ETDs that include multimedia formats as well as true digital ETDs.  Students are encouraged to use standard audio and video file formats.  Even for fully digital ETDs, a document  must be submitted to OhioLINK that contains required front matter (title page, table of contents, etc.), a brief explanation of the focus of the thesis/dissertation, as well as a list of references.  

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Resources Provided About ETDs for Students

The Ohio State University

University Libraries, Copyright Services


  • Copyright in Your Thesis or Dissertation
  • What's the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement?

Bowling Green State University 

 The Useful Links section of the Graduate College website located at includes information about:

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How do you deal with copyright questions?
OSU - Refer students to the OSU Libraries Copyright Services

How do you deal with acknowledgement of third party rights?
OSU - It is the responsibility of the student to secure appropriate approvals and add citations to the document.  The Graduate School does not monitor these approvals. Students who were a co-author on a published article that is included in the dissertation must list all co-authors and provide a brief explanation of the student’s role in the research and in preparing the article.

How do you deal with plagiarism?
OSU - This is the sole responsibility of the advisor and dissertation committee

What do you use for graduate/approval/exam forms?
        OSU automated system called Gradforms

Do you use electronic signatures?
OSU - Yes, with our on-line forms system all approvals are done electronically.

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Last Updated: March 22, 2018