Electronic Thesis & Dissertation FAQs

Student working on a laptop sitting at a desk with a lamp.

General Questions

What is an ETD?

An ETD is an electronic version of a thesis or dissertation. The ETD is formatted like a traditional paper thesis or dissertation (with pagination, table of contents, figures, references, etc.) but is saved as a PDF and submitted electronically through the ETD submission website to the Graduate School for review and approval. Shortly after degree conferral, your thesis or dissertation will be delivered to UB's Institutional Repository (UBIR) and to ProQuest. Your manuscript (and any supplemental files) will be cataloged and publicly accessible in perpetuity through the UBIR. Please refer to the Public Access of Theses and Dissertations policy for more information.

Your ETD will also be microfilmed, cataloged and published through ProQuest’s dissertations and theses database, the world’s largest recognized repository of graduate student research.

What are the benefits of ETDs?

An ETD makes your research quickly accessible to a broad audience, while reducing printing and binding costs for you and processing and physical storage costs for the university. The electronic format is widely accessible and can incorporate a range of enhanced formats, including multimedia.

Formatting and Submission

Will the Graduate School accept a paper copy of my thesis or dissertation?

No. In 2005, UB moved from accepting paper copies to accepting only electronic theses/dissertations for publishing and archiving in ProQuest’s dissertations and theses database. Even if your department requires a paper copy, your thesis or dissertation must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School.

When should I submit my thesis or dissertation?

You should submit your dissertation only after your defense and after all recommended revisions have been incorporated and approved by your major advisor and committee members. Your thesis or dissertation, M-form (doctoral degree recipients surveys - for PhD students only) must be submitted by the deadline for your anticipated conferral date. No extensions will be granted. Please see our Important Academic Deadlines page and our Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines page for more information regarding deadlines for conferral materials and submission of your thesis or dissertation.

Are there formatting requirements?

Yes. While your manuscript may be written following whichever style is recognized and appropriate for your discipline, your final document must minimally adhere to certain formatting guidelines for publication. Review our Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Guidelines page for more details. Please pay particular attention to the format of the title page, table of contents, references and page numbering and be sure there are no blank pages in your document.

What should my title page look like?

Your title page must adhere to the format proscribed on the Electronic Thesis & Dissertation (ETD) Guidelines page.

How should I submit my thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School?

You will submit your thesis or dissertation as a PDF via the ProQuest ETD submission website. Your supplemental files may be uploaded in other formats, but the main text of your document should be submitted in a PDF File. 

How do I convert my MS Word Doc or LaTex file, etc. to PDF?

As you’re writing your dissertation, refer to the ETD administrator website for tips on how to format your manuscript so that your later conversion to PDF from MS Word, LaTex, etc. will go smoothly. You can convert your Word document to PDF on the computers in UB’s libraries which are all equipped with Adobe Acrobat. Alternatively, during the submission process, you will have the opportunity to use a “PDF converter.”

What information do I need to have to begin the submission process?

To begin the submission process, you will need:

  • Full text of your thesis or dissertation in PDF format.
  • Full text of your abstract.
  • Optional supplementary files (images, sound, etc.) that are an integral part of the dissertation, but not part of the full text.
  • The names of your advisor and other committee members.
  • Subject category. You must choose one main category from the list provided during the submission process. Two optional supplementary subject areas may also be entered.
  • Keywords (optional; up to six).
  • Ensure that you receive written copyright permission for any previously published items that you plan to use in your thesis or dissertation. Such proprietary information includes long excerpts, tables, figures, photographs and charts from previously published books or other print material, as well as “screen shots” or other images from copyrighted websites. Include any copyright permission letters in an appendix of your electronic submission.
  • Discuss ETD publishing and release options with your major professor and advisor. Information regarding the publishing and release options can be found in on ProQuest's Resources and Guidelines page.

Copyrighting, Fees, Publishing, etc.

Should I file for copyright?

Copyright is established as soon as the dissertation is fixed in a tangible medium, i.e., saved on a computer hard drive. It is your choice whether or not to then register that copyright. Registering the copyright will allow you to file suit against anyone who infringes upon this copyright in the future. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required in order to establish copyright. The rights of a copyright owner include the ability to make copies of the work, make derivative works, distribute copies of the work, perform the work publicly and display the work publicly. Whether or not you choose to register your copyright, you retain the rights to your dissertation and may authorize others (i.e., a publisher or another researcher) to exercise them.

If your manuscript contains previously copyrighted material, you must be sure to obtain written permission from the author(s). Ensure that you receive written copyright permission for any previously published items that you plan to use in your thesis or dissertation. Such proprietary information includes long excerpts, tables, figures, photographs and charts from previously published books or other print material, as well as “screen shots” or other images from copyrighted websites. Include any copyright permission letters as an appendix in your electronic submission.

Is there a fee associated with the electronic submission and publishing of my dissertation?

For the “traditional publishing” option, there is no fee. If you select the optional services of “open access publishing,” copyright filing or purchasing bound copies of your dissertation from ProQuest, there are associated fees.

  • Traditional publishing:  No Fee. 
  • Open access publishing:  $95.
  • Copyright filing by ProQuest to the U.S. Library of Congress: $75.

To whom should I pay the fees for the optional services?

If you select the optional open access publishing and/or the copyright filing service, you will pay your fees via credit card directly to ProQuest during the online submission process.

When will my dissertation be accessible in the UB Libraries and the ProQuest database?

Approximately one-to-two months after degree conferral, your abstract and manuscript (along with supplemental files) will be accessible to the public through UB's Institutional Repository (UBIR) and to subscribers of the ProQuest dissertations and theses database. See the Public Access of Theses and Dissertations policy for more information.

My dissertation contains patentable material or is being submitted for consideration to peer-reviewed journals or to an outside publisher. What should I do if I want to delay the release of my manuscript through UB's Institutional Repository (UBIR) and ProQuest?

You must complete the Request for Embargo (Delayed Release) of Thesis or Dissertation form and submit it to the Graduate School at the time you upload your manuscript through the ETD submission site. Please refer to the Graduate School's Embargo (Delayed Release) of Thesis or Dissertation policy for more information.

Should I choose traditional publishing or open access publishing?

This question refers to your agreement with ProQuest. With traditional publishing, the author contracts with ProQuest to reproduce, distribute and sell copies of the thesis or dissertation, and ProQuest provides the author with royalties from those sales. Open access publishing provides the broadest means of complete access to the thesis or dissertation for viewing or downloading by anyone with access to the internet. To make an informed decision regarding your publishing options from ProQuest, please review ProQuest's Publishing Option's Guide and discuss the choices with your advisor. Please remember that your manuscript will also be publicly accessible through UB's Institutional Repository (UBIR).

I would like to have a bound copy of my dissertation. Where can I get my manuscript bound?

While the Graduate School does not endorse any particular vendor, we know of the following local binding options:

PhD Bookbinding
Austin, Texas

Quality Bindery
501 Amherst St., Buffalo

Many of the local UPS stores also provide printing and binding options. There is a location on UB’s North Campus in the Commons at 520 Lee Road Suite 105. They can be reached at 716-636-8440. Please visit www.theupsstore.com/print for more information.

During your ETD submission process, you will also have the opportunity to purchase bound copies of your dissertation from ProQuest. If you choose to purchase from ProQuest, keep in mind that it will be eight to 12 weeks after your degree conferral date before you will receive your bound dissertation. Furthermore, if there are issues with that copy, you will need to communicate directly with ProQuest to return or correct any issues.

Additional Resources