Submission Guidelines for Doctoral Dissertations

Guidelines for Doctoral Dissertations

  • Document Type and Embargo Periods
  • Creative Commons (CC) Licenses
  • Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)
  • Document Type and Embargo Periods

    You have two different kinds of controls available to temporarily limit the access to your manuscript: Document Type and Embargo Period.

    Document Type defines who may access the manuscript.

    • You will select a Document Type in ScholarWorks. “Open Access” means that anyone who has Internet access can view, cite, and download your work. “Campus Only Access” restricts the audience to those who have a UMass Amherst NetID and password or who use the Interlibrary Loan service.
    • The Campus Access option will expire after a period of either one year or five years, depending on the term you select. The manuscript will become available automatically via Open Access in ScholarWorks after the Campus Access period has expired.

    Embargo Period will shield the manuscript for a specific length of time. Documents under embargo are neither visible nor downloadable in their entirety to anyone other than the author; titles and abstracts for embargoed documents are visible.

    • Doctoral candidates typically use an Embargo Period only if patent applications or publication contracts are pending.
    • There are three choices for embargo term lengths: six months, one year or five years.
    • If you need an Embargo Period that is longer than one year, you must request a memo from your Graduate Program Director stating that person’s approval for the extension. The memo must be submitted to the Graduate Student Service Center prior to your degree date.
    • Campus Only Access and Embargo Periods are both time-limited. The start date for either or both types of protection is the same as your degree date. If you invoke both, the embargo will supersede the Campus Access control.

    Questions about access control should be addressed to the staff of the Graduate Student Service Center at 545-0722

    Creative Commons (CC) Licenses

    Creative Commons (CC) licenses help authors indicate how they would like their materials to be used. Authors who want to make their work available to the public for limited kinds of uses while preserving their copyright may want to consider using a CC license:

    • Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY): This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered.
    • Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation as long as what they've created is distributed under the same CC BY-SA license.
    • Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially and they must credit you for the original creation.
    • Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND): This license lets others share and redistribute your work in any medium or format provided that they credit you for the original creation, they do not use your work commercially. If they remix, transform, or build upon your work, they may not distribute the modified material.


    You are required to register for an ORCID and enter your ORCID in your dissertation submission form. ORCIDs are unique author identifiers for researchers that are becoming integrated into research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission. Registration is free and takes 30 seconds.

    Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

    Dissertations deposited in ScholarWorks are assigned a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). DOIs are permanent unique identifiers assigned to publications, data, and other scholarly products that make it easier to be discovered, cited, and credited.

    If you have questions regarding the submission guidelines or due dates, please contact the Graduate School directly. Dissertation guidelines can be found at