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Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Submitting your Graduate Thesis/Dissertation


What are the formatting requirements?

The Libraries do not determine or enforce formatting standards. Often formatting information is located on a school's thesis and dissertation informational pages. If you do not find it there, contact your Dean's office. 

Are there any tutorials for how to do formatting tasks in Word?

Yes! Boston College now has access to LinkedIn Learning. Useful videos include:


Copyright Page

What should the copyright page look like?

The copyright page should have the following, © Copyright Year Your Name. For example:

© Copyright 2021 Mary Smith

Embedding Fonts

How can I ensure that all of my fonts are preserved when I convert from Microsoft Word to PDF?

See our help document for embedding fonts in your PDF. ProQuest requires that you do so. And, doing so will ensure that your thesis or dissertation will look the same in the future as when you wrote it, despite any changes in font technology.

Converting from LaTeX to PDF

How can I convert from LaTeX to PDF without altering the layout of equations?

We recommend the use of Overleaf as a TeX editor. Overleaf has specific instructions on embedding fonts when converting to PDF. Note that if you use embedded-PDF or EPS file formats for figures, then you must embed the fonts in those figures at the time of creation (there are commands for Stata, R, etc. to do this). Alternatively, you can simply use PNG, JPG, etc. image formats for figures.

  • For Windows, the application MikTeX can be used to convert to PDF.
  • For Mac, the application TeXShop can be used to convert to PDF.


How can I format characters (bold, italic, underline, etc.) in the abstract that is entered online into the ProQuest text box?

Authors can simply copy and paste their abstracts from the PDF into the ProQuest text box without formatting. ProQuest will then format the submitted abstract using the same formatting as that employed in the author's PDF.

Note that abstracts using equations rendered in LaTeX must either be re-written to remove the equation or the equation must be rendered in plain-text.

Concerns about Full-Text Access

If the full text of my dissertation is available online, might publishers be less willing to consider it for publication?

Students who plan to publish their dissertation as a book or article sometimes ask whether publishers will consider dissertations that are freely available online to be prior publications. Though this is an important question, it's impossible to provide a single definitive answer with which all publishers would agree. Publication policies are quite diverse.

Most dissertations that become books or journal articles are heavily revised because of publishers' requirements; the subsequent book or article is a different work from the original dissertation. In such cases, most publishers would not be worried that an openly available ETD was a prior publication. If students plan to publish a dissertation, they may want to consult potential publishers in their discipline before deciding on an embargo period. In some cases, the increased visibility of an openly available dissertation can increase the likelihood of publisher interest.

To better understand the effects of the embargo decision, please see eScholarship@BC and embargoes below.

Students with concerns about the availability of their ETD should refer to the following resources:

It is important to remember that even if a student agrees to make the full-text dissertation available in eScholarship@BC, the student retains copyright to the work.


How do I extend the embargo period beyond the time that is allowed?

You must acquire permission from your school to extend your embargo period beyond the maximum time allowed in the Proquest eTD Administrator. This also applies if you later decide (post-graduation) that you want to extend the existing period you originally selected. When contacting your school, let them know the reason for the extension. If they decide to grant the extension (it is up to their discretion), they will inform the Library and the Library will make the change.


How do I remove an embargo early?

If want to remove the embargo so that your work can be accessed, contact ETD Administrator and request the change.


Are these two choices dependent on each other?

No, the decisions about including your work in eScholarship@BC and about an embargo are independent. These decisions are made in two steps:


Submit dissertation to ProQuest  => User or subscribing institution pays a fee to access.


  • NO EMBARGO: Full text available in about 10 weeks.
  • EMBARGO: Full-text available when embargo ends.

In eScholarship@BC => Free access for anyone.


  • NO EMBARGO: Full text available within weeks.
  • EMBARGO: Full text available when embargo ends.

If you choose to delay the release, you will need to request an embargo separately for the ProQuest copy and the eScholarship@BC copy during the submission process.


Can I reuse my previously published work in my dissertation?

If you have previously published work that you wish to include in your dissertation (e.g. a journal article as a chapter), you should check the publishing agreement or the publisher's website to determine what the publisher's policies are concerning the reuse of this material in a dissertation. Many publishing agreements allow authors to use their article in a dissertation, but it's important to read and understand the rights that you retain when you sign. If you are considering using an article as part of your dissertation, you can negotiate with the publisher at submission to retain the right to reuse it. If you do not still have the rights to use your work, you will need to ask for permission from the publisher to reuse it. Along with obtaining proper permission, please include any set statements that the publisher requires, which often consist of the full attribution of the published work in the dissertation.


Where can I get help with questions about copyright?

The Libraries have created a Copyright and Scholarship guide to answer basic copyright questions. If you need more help, please contact the library copyright group.

Creative Commons Licenses

Why would I choose a Creative Commons license, and if I do, which one should I choose?

Choose a Creative Commons license if you wish to allow users of your work to make broader use of your work than they could if you reserve all rights under copyright law. There are six licenses to choose from allowing different levels of use.

The description of the Attribution license (considered the most liberal) states:

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.

The description of the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license states:

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Much more information is included about each of the licenses on the Creative Commons site and should be reviewed before making a choice of license. Questions about the Creative Commons license options can be addressed to Melanie Hubbard.

The descriptive record of your ETD in eScholarship@BC will include the information about the license you have chosen.

Discovery and Access

How will researchers or potential employers discover my dissertation?

Choosing your keywords and phrases carefully will enable other scholars to find your work easily. What search terms would they need? Please provide at least one and up to six keywords or phrases that describe the topic and content of your thesis. Separate keywords and key phrases with semicolons.

NOTE: Subject specialists in the BC Libraries can help you to optimize your choices of keywords and phrases. Here is a list of subject specialists and their contact information. Please avail yourself of their services; creating subject-specific metadata is one of their core competencies.

A record of your dissertation will be displayed on eScholarship@BC and will be available through the main library catalog.

During the online submission to ProQuest you will be asked whether you want major search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo) to discover your work in ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses Full-Text database. We highly recommend agreeing to this. Please note that agreeing to this does not mean granting access to the full text of your dissertation.


How will researchers or potential employers access the full text of my dissertation?

1.) After any embargo period, your thesis or dissertation will be available in eScholarship@BC. You will retain your copyright. A permanent link will be created that you can put in your CV.

2.) Based on your publishing agreement with ProQuest, your dissertation will be found by anyone who searches ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses - Full-Text database. ProQuest charges them (not you) a fee for access. Members of the BC community (faculty, staff, and students) have pre-paid access because BC already subscribes to this ProQuest database. If you have an embargo, access to the full text will be provided only after the embargo has expired.

Scholarly Communication Librarian

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Elliott Hibbler
he / him / his
O'Neill Library
Subjects: Copyright, Law