Theses and Dissertations Policy

The following policies and procedures pertain to Graduate School theses and dissertations and Honors theses in the University Libraries. These policies have been updated and are effective as of the Fall 2022 semester.

A thesis or dissertation constitutes an important contribution to scholarship. Disseminating such contributions is consistent with the Texas State University’s mission to share its scholarly work with other scholars, students, and the public. Therefore, the University views the wide and timely dissemination of thesis and dissertation results as an important responsibility in the student research process.

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    • The University Libraries collect electronic versions of theses and dissertations (ETDs) via the Vireo platform. A copy is made available in the University Scholarship institutional repository and duplicated in long-term distributed digital preservation in Chronopolis. This preservation copy serves as the official record in compliance with the university's Records Retention Schedule (records series SAP340).
    • Master's theses, Doctoral dissertations, and Honors theses submitted to the University Libraries will be made openly accessible online to the public immediately following the graduating semester term or after the selected embargo period.
    • NOTE: Exceptions include electronic theses or dissertations (ETDs) with Inventions, Discoveries, or Patents (IDPs) or if work described in the thesis or dissertation is restricted by a non-disclosure agreement with a funder or government entity. These are handled by special arrangements and please contact us: uscholarship@txstate.edu
    • Texas State University requires dissertations to be submitted to ProQuest/University Microfilms International (UMI). Dissertations will be electronically archived by ProQuest/UMI and made available in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses and subject specific databases.
    • The author may choose to have the full text of the dissertation embargoed in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database for up to two years. Until the embargo period has ceased, only the abstract and bibliographic data will be available. 
    • The University Libraries sends a digital copy of dissertations to ProQuest/UMI periodically. We encourage students to use the University Scholarship repository copy for access.
    • Students requesting extensions for dissertations in ProQuest must contact the company directly: disspub@proquest.com
    • Master's and Honors theses are not submitted to ProQuest/UMI at this time.
    • The Graduate School and University Libraries require that all TXST theses and dissertations be submitted electronically for management efficiency, cost control, ease of dissemination, and long-term preservation reasons. In addition, your electronic theses or dissertation must eventually be made available openly on the web and hosted in the University Scholarship institutional repository. 
    • Most students choose to make their work available immediately, but you can choose to limit access temporarily before making it available openly. Students may restrict access to their thesis or dissertation for reasons such as:
      • While seeking to publish journal articles or books based on them
      • To protect intellectual property during the patent application process
      • To prevent disclosure of sensitive or classified information
    • While under embargo, no information about the theses or dissertation will be made available through the University Libraries including online or print access, search engine indexing, metadata, citation, or abstract. Additionally, if a dissertation is under a 5-yearembargo, it will not be sent to ProQuest for inclusion in their database.  
    • When students submit their theses or dissertation electronically through the Vireo submission system, you will be presented with the following embargo options: 
    None The work will be included in the University Scholarship repository after approval. 
    One Year Embargo The work will be delayed for inclusion in the University Scholarship repository for one year. This is the only embargo option for Honors theses.
    Two Year Embargo The work will be delayed for inclusion in the University Scholarship for two years.
    Five Year Embargo The work will be delayed for inclusion in the University Scholarship repository for five years.
    IDP Embargo This embargo applies to Inventions, Discoveries, Patents, research with non-disclosure agreements, or documents with confidential and sensitive material.  Please contact copyrightoffice@txstate.edu to make arrangements for how the manuscript must be handled.
    Creative Writing This embargo applies only to Creative Writing majors and Master of Fine Arts degree. Creative Writing thesis will be printed and available in circulation with no online access.
    Privacy Hold Only select if there is a privacy hold in place with the university.
    • Embargo periods for ETDs deposited to the University Scholarship repository may be extended upon request by the student author and must be submitted before the embargo period expires. Upon expiration, the work is automatically made public.
    • An embargo extension may be for up to two years, with no more than two total extensions.
    • Requests for an embargo extension may be completed by filling out this form at least 30 days and no more than 6 months before the embargo expires: ETD Embargo Extension Request
    • The University Libraries staff will deposit the electronic theses or dissertations from Vireo into the University Scholarship repository each semester. 

    • Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) will be cataloged after deposit in the University Scholarship repository, and only after it is made publicly available following any embargo period. 

    • Cataloging & Metadata Services catalogs all theses and dissertations according to established procedures. Permanent links (Handles) to electronic versions in the University Scholarship repository added to the bibliographic record when available. 

    • Print copies of theses and dissertations in the circulating collection include submissions prior to August 2021 and MFA Creative Writing theses. These can be sent out via Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  

    • If an open access digital version is available (excluding Creative Writing), the requesting institution will be provided with a URL rather than a hard copy, in order to minimize possible loss of our print copy.

  • In accordance with Texas State University’s efforts to make educational content available to everyone, it is important to ensure that your electronic theses or dissertation (ETD) is accessible. An accessible document in any digital format means that it will be usable by assistive technologies and will widen the scope of who can access your ETD. Understanding digital accessibility also means understanding the various areas that are affected by digital accessibility issues and this is vital knowledge as part of your education at Texas State and as you move forward in your career.

    User guides, tools, and resources to ensure accessibility of all digital content for your ETD are available in the Information Technology Accessibility User Guides.

  • Plagiarism is using words, ideas, diagrams, and other content from publicly available work without appropriately acknowledging the sources of these materials. This definition constitutes plagiarism whether it is intentional or unintentional and whether it is the work of another or your own, previously published work. 

    Plagiarism is a very serious offense that Texas State University does not tolerate. Evidence of plagiarism may prevent the granting of or result in the revoking of your degree.

    • Just because you are a student at an educational institution does not mean that you can take and share anything you find while creating your own work. For example, background music, photographs, graphics, videos, multimedia, etc. 

    • Crediting sources isn't a cure to copyright infringement. When necessary, obtain permissions and purchasing licenses to use resources is a legal requirement. For assistance, contact the Copyright Office: copyright@txstate.edu

    • Students own the copyright in their thesis or dissertation. If a student wishes to register the copyright, they can do so at: https://copyright.gov/  

    • If a student wishes to publish based on their thesis or dissertation, they should disclose that fact to any publication at the time of submission. Additionally, students should cite their thesis or dissertation in any future publication based on that work.  

    • If a student suspects that someone has infringed their copyright on the internet, they can contact the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) agent at the website and request a take-down. For more information on takedowns and other copyright topics, see the TXST Copyright Office website or contact Stephanie Towery, Copyright Officer, if you have any questions: copyrightoffice@txstate.edu

  • As of 2021, the University Libraries will only collect and preserve digital copies of theses and dissertations.

    If you would like a personal, or departmental, print copy of a theses or dissertation there are many companies that offer bindery services. The Libraries do not recommend specific binderies, but offer the following suggestions for your convenience.

    • Once the University Libraries submit dissertations to ProQuest, they will be available for purchase from Dissertation Express. Keep in mind that you can also access the digital version of theses and dissertations in the University Scholarship repository. 

    • All requests for copies of Texas State University Master's theses should be forwarded to the Copyright Officer (copyrightoffice@txstate.edu), who will determine whether the author has authorized the library to reproduce and distribute the thesis.