Withholding Thesis and Copyright

The ProQuest/UMI thesis submission site allows authors to select a 6 month to two year embargo/hold on their thesis. ISU, as a public institution, is obliged to make our research available to the public in a timely manner. ISU discourages embargoes and requires students to use this UMI feature with great care.

If you do need to place a hold on your thesis/dissertation, you can do it in one of two ways.

  • If you need to withhold only the text portion of your thesis/dissertation, and it is OK for the title and abstract to be made available to the public, you can choose that publishing option when you submit your paper through ProQuest/UMI. At the end of the chosen hold period, your text will be released. If you need to make a change on the end date, it is your responsibility to contact ProQuest/UMI to have the change made.
  • If your work is of a sensitive nature and you do not wish the title, abstract, or text to be made public for a certain period of time, you and your major professor must fill out and sign a Thesis Hold form and return that to the Thesis Office before graduation, with documentation of the publisher's conditions. E-mail correspondence or the publisher's on-line rules or specifications are often sufficient.
  • If your thesis concerns a device or process that may be patentable or has contract requirements, you or your major professor should consult with ISU Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (OIPTT), 310 Lab of Mechanics Building, before you submit the final thesis. The Thesis Office will review each case.

As a simpler alternative, you can put: 'Modified from a paper accepted by (or 'published in') The Journal of XYZ' and then modify your thesis version of your journal paper so that it is different in some way.

To protect the right of authorship by copyright, it is only necessary under current law to put a notice of copyright on the title page. The copyright notice should give the full legal name of the author matching the name under the title of the title page, and is centered at the bottom of the title page. (See title page examples.)

If the thesis has a notice of copyright and also has been registered with the copyright office, legal damages may be awarded and may include attorney's fees for prosecuting the lawsuit. Registration of the thesis or dissertation with the copyright office can be done at the ProQuest/UMI submission website for an additional $65 fee.