Embargoing your Electronically Submitted Thesis or Dissertation

ETD Embargo Form

All master's and doctoral students at UNM must submit their theses and dissertations to Graduate Studies electronically for filing in UNM Library’s electronic, open-access database (UNM Digital Repository) where their work is accessible to internet search engines, such as Google. Open access allows scholars and researchers around the world to access the results of your research and scholarship with the click of a button. Thus, open access accelerates and broadens the dissemination of your work, increasing the likelihood that your work will be acknowledged and cited early in your scholarly career. Your open access work is fully copyrighted, and scholars who cite your work are expected to respect your intellectual property rights in the same manner as they would any published work. PhD students also file their dissertations through Graduate Studies with ProQuest (previously UMI) (See Submitting your Manuscript section).

In some cases, you may find it appropriate to submit a petition to the Dean of Graduate Studies to approve delaying the release of your electronically submitted thesis or dissertation (ETD) into open access. An embargo is a period of time during which researchers cannot access your ETD from external search engines. Embargos may be appropriate for authors

  • Who are seeking patents,
  • Who want to publish their work through a traditional press that considers open access publication to be equivalent to prior publication,
  • Who have published material from their work with a publisher that does not allow open access release for a certain period of time, or
  • Who need to protect sensitive data or information.

You should consult with your dissertation chair about the standards in your field before deciding whether or not to request an embargo. Be sure to consider the advantages of open access availability of your work before making a final decision. The Graduate Studies manuscript coordinator will be able to advise you as well.

The default embargo period is for two years. Upon expiration of the embargo period, your ETD will be moved into open access, although you may request an extension of the embargo by petitioning the Dean of Graduate Studies, who will weigh your request against the larger needs of the scholarly community for broad and open access to scholarly work. Authors of embargoed theses and dissertations must petition for renewal at least three months prior to the expiration date of the embargo in place at the time.

In rare and extraordinary cases where sensitive data or information needs to be protected, writers of such theses and dissertations may also petition the Dean of Graduate Studies to exempt their work from open access.