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ISAW Dissertation Collection

About the NYU Libraries ISAW Dissertation Collection

The ISAW Dissertation Collection provides graduates of ISAW the option of depositing an electronic copy of their dissertation with NYU to provide long-term storage and online access to their work. The ISAW Dissertation Collection is hosted by NYU’s institutional repository, the Faculty Digital Archive (archive.nyu.eduOpen link in new window).

The Dissertation Collection is intended to promote access to and scholarly reuse of NYU dissertations, benefitting dissertation authors, NYU Libraries, and the greater scholarly community.

Benefits for Dissertation Authors

1. A permanent URL for the dissertation that will never change and can be used as a citation or link in the author’s CV, online profiles, etc.

2. Greater discoverability: the ISAW Dissertation Collection is intended to be a highly visible repository of NYU digital scholarship and can be picked up by major search engines, such as Google Scholar.

3. The ability to include images or other third-party copyrighted materials within the dissertation, in accordance with fair use. ProQuest, which handles the traditional deposit and distribution of NYU dissertations, has a more restrictive policy regarding images and other copyrighted materials.

4. A no-cost option for making a dissertation publicly available to anyone with internet access, and/or “open access” via a Creative Commons license. Making dissertations available openly can broaden audience, increase citations, and allow potential employers and publishers to more easily find the work. ProQuest, which handles the traditional deposit and distribution of NYU dissertations, charges a fee for open access publication.

5. The ability to embargo your work for the same amount of time allowed under the ProQuest Dissertation Agreement.

6. Archival preservation: The ISAW Dissertation Collection through the NYU Faculty Digital Archive will preserve a complete digital copy of your dissertation.


ISAW Dissertation Collection Deposit Process

Beginning immediately, ISAW dissertation authors will have the option of depositing their dissertation with the ISAW Dissertation Collection.

1. If you wish to deposit a copy of your dissertation in the ISAW Dissertation Collection, please contact the ISAW Curator (gm95@nyu.edu) and provide a PDF copy of your dissertation.


2. Before we can add your dissertation to the Collection, you will need to complete and sign a Dissertation Deposit Form & License Agreement. This form is your grant of permission to NYU to store your dissertation in the Collection and to make copies available for scholarly use.

3. The Dissertation Deposit Form gives you several licensing options. You may elect to make your dissertation available under a Creative Commons license, to use a standard “All Rights Reserved” copyright statement, or to opt out of the ISAW Dissertation Collection entirely.

4. The Dissertation Deposit Form also gives you the option of placing an embargo on access to your dissertation. Embargoes are available for 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. These periods align with the options for ProQuest’s dissertation database.

5. If your dissertation includes images: Images that are subject to copyright or other third party rights may be used when consistent with fair use law and best practices, or with permission from the rights holder. Licensed images must be used in a manner consistent with license terms and conditions. The Dissertation Deposit Form asks you to warrant that any third party copyrighted materials are used appropriately. April Hathcock, Scholarly Communications Librarian at NYU, created this comprehensive guide to copyright lawOpen link in new window as it relates to academic research, teaching, and publication, which includes a section on fair use.Open link in new windowIf you have further questions on what constitutes fair use, please contact fairuse@nyu.edu.

6. The ISAW Curator (gm95@nyu.edu) will notify you when your dissertation has been deposited with the Collection.


NYU ISAW Dissertation Collection: FAQ

Q. What is the ISAW Dissertation Collection?

The ISAW Dissertation Collection provides graduates of ISAW the option of depositing an electronic copy of their dissertation with NYU to provide long-term storage and online access to their work. The ISAW Dissertation Collection is hosted by NYU’s institutional repository, the Faculty Digital Archive (archive.nyu.eduOpen link in new window). The collection is intended to promote access to and scholarly reuse of NYU dissertations, benefitting dissertation authors, NYU Libraries, and the greater scholarly community.

Q. What are the benefits of depositing with the ISAW Dissertation Collection?

Benefits to authors include:

1. A permanent URL for the dissertation that will never change and can be used as a citation or link in the author’s CV, online profiles, etc.

2. Greater discoverability: the ISAW Dissertation Collection is intended to be a highly visible repository of NYU digital scholarship and can be picked up by major search engines, such as Google Scholar.

3. The ability to include images or other third-party copyrighted materials within the dissertation, in accordance with fair use. Under ProQuest/UMI’s current policies and practices, authors are required to submit proof of copyright permission in order to include any third-party images or other copyrighted works. Images without accompanying permissions are typically removed by ProQuest prior to distribution via PQDT. This means that authors must either deal with the potentially burdensome and/or expensive process of obtaining permissions from rights holders, or have images stripped from their dissertation.

4. A no-cost option for making a dissertation publicly available to anyone with internet access, and/or “open access” via a Creative Commons license. ProQuest also offers an open access publishing option, but charges authors a fee for this (currently $150). Making dissertations available openly can broaden audience, increase citations, and allow potential employers and publishers to more easily find the work.

5. An embargo option: The ability to restrict access to your work for the same amount of time allowed under the ProQuest Dissertation Agreement (6 months, 1 year, or 2 years).

6. Archival preservation: ProQuest has made no commitment to preserve NYU dissertations. The ISAW Dissertation Collection through the NYU Faculty Digital Archive provides state-of-the-art archival digital preservation.

Q. Am I required to deposit my dissertation in the ISAW Dissertation Collection?

No. You are required to deposit your dissertation in ProQuest, but submission to the ISAW Dissertation Collection is optional. That said, ISAW strongly encourages you to deposit your dissertation in the ISAW Dissertation Collection as part of its commitment to fair use and open access and its interest in ensuring that a complete version of your dissertation is preserved.

Q. Am I required to submit my dissertation to ProQuest?

Yes. NYU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences requires that all completed dissertations be electronically deposited with ProQuest. See: http://gsas.nyu.edu/page/grad.life.dissertationOpen link in new window. ProQuest will in turn distribute your thesis via its online subscription database after a maximum embargo period of 2 years.

Q. I signed a ProQuest Dissertation Agreement. Can I still deposit my dissertation with ISAW?

Yes. The agreement that graduating students sign with ProQuest is non-exclusive, and allows for alternative distribution methods like the ISAW Dissertation Collection. As the author, you own the copyright to your work, and you retain that copyright under both the ProQuest agreement and the ISAW Dissertation Deposit Form.


Q. Can I place an embargo on access to my dissertation?

Yes. Theses included in the ISAW Dissertation Collection will have the same embargo period you selected on your ProQuest Dissertation Agreement. The embargo periods offered by ProQuest are 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. After a maximum embargo period of 2 years, all NYU dissertations become available through ProQuest’s subscription database.

Q. Can I include images or other copyrighted materials?

Images can be included in dissertations distributed via the ISAW Dissertation Collection when in
accordance with fair use, or with permission from the copyright holder. (This is a more open policy than that offered by ProQuest, which requires you to obtain licenses for any third-party copyrighted material included in your dissertation.) Prior to submitting your thesis to the ISAW Dissertation Collection, you should ensure that any third-party copyrighted materials are used in a manner consistent with fair use law and best practices, as set forth in Visual Resource Association: Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, &
Study
Open PDF in new window, principle 6, and the Fair Use Open link in new window section of NYU’s guide to copyright lawOpen link in new window as it relates to academic research, teaching, and publication, created by April Hathcock, Scholarly Communications Librarian at NYU.

Q. Who will have access to my dissertation?

Dissertations included in the ISAW Dissertation Collection are available online to the general public under the copyright license you select with your submission. Please bear in mind that all NYU dissertations will be distributed by ProQuest as part of their subscription database after a maximum embargo period of two years.

Q. Who holds the copyright to my dissertation, and will including it in the ISAW Dissertation Collection affect its copyright status?

As the author of your dissertation, you retain full ownership rights to its copyright, including the right to republish or otherwise use all or part of the dissertation in future works (such as articles or books). Including your dissertation in the ISAW Dissertation Collection means granting a non-exclusive license to ISAW and NYU for online distribution, but the copyright itself belongs to you. 


Q. What does it mean to distribute my dissertation under a Creative Commons license?

Creative Commons licenses are a way for you as an author to retain the copyright to your work, while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make certain other uses of  it. The ISAW Dissertation Collection uses an Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. This license allows others to freely copy, share, and reuse your work for non-commercial purposes only, provided they attribute you as its creator.

To learn more, visit creativecommons.orgOpen link in new windowor see this useful guideOpen link in new windowto Creative Commons licenses created by April Hathcock, NYU’s Scholarly Communications Librarian.

Q. Will issuing my dissertation online make it more difficult to find a publisher?

It’s understandable to be worried that making your dissertation available may harm your chances of finding a publisher. However, there’s little evidence to date to suggest that online distribution will make a book proposal less appealing to an academic press. Audrey Truschke, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, has written a series of blog postsOpen link in new windowabout online publication of dissertations, concluding that “most university press editors said they never look for, much less at, the earlier dissertation form of a book they decide to publish... Editors evaluate revisions and whether a manuscript is ready for publication independent of any review of the dissertation and usually without even bothering to determine if the thesis is available online.” Indeed, making your dissertation available online could make your work more appealing by making your work more visible and increasing the likelihood of other scholars citing you. Most importantly, you should bear in mind that your dissertation will be available through ProQuest after a maximum of two years, regardless of whether you include it in the ISAW Dissertation Collection or not.