Meaning of Dissertations
There are a number of items to consider as you prepare to submit your graduate work.
If your university does not participate in ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Dissemination program, you can still submit your work to us; use this form to request a publishing agreement.
Preparing your manuscript for submission
Depending on the method supported by your graduate school, you will submit your manuscript in one of three ways:
- As a paper copy we will digitize
Authors enter into a non-exclusive publishing agreement with ProQuest, where the author keeps the copyright in their graduate work. Authors are paid a 10% royalty for sales in all formats. See the full traditional publishing agreement for the details.
Inclusion of other people's copyrighted material
Including material produced by other authors in your dissertation or thesis can serve a legitimate research purpose, but you want to avoid copyright infringement in the process. Republishing someone else's work, even in abbreviated form, requires permission from the author or copyright owner. You must receive permission from the author(s) and include it with your submission before we can publish it in your dissertation or thesis.
For more detailed guidance on avoiding copyright infringement, please see our Copyright Guide. In addition, Dr. Kenneth D. Crews, a Professor at Indiana University's School of Law, has kindly given us permission to provide a PDF copy of his booklet Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities. It provides a detailed overview of copyright law that no new dissertation author should miss.
Optional Copyright Registration at Participating Institutions
If you live in the United States, registering for U.S. copyright can be a significant benefit for the protection of your work because of the availability of content on the open web via repositories and other avenues. For only $55, you can protect your dissertation or master’s theses and become immediately eligible for statutory damages and attorney fees. Registering for copyright allows for the claimant to receive statutory damages set out in Title 17, Section 504 of the U.S. Code, which range from $750 – $150, 000 plus attorney fees per copyright infraction. This contrasts with those who do not register for copyright – authors without copyright registration can claim only actual damages and no attorney fees.
At ProQuest, we make copyright registration easy—by submitting your application to the United States Copyright on your behalf and providing you with the certificate from the Library of Congress. Once your dissertation is published, a permanent link to your citation is created for your curriculum vitae and to refer scholars to your work.
Registering with the U.S. Office of Copyright establishes your claim to the copyright for your dissertation (which you already own) and provides certain protections if your copyright is violated. If you wish, ProQuest Dissertation Publishing will act on your behalf as your agent with the United States Copyright Office and apply for copyright registration as part of the publishing process. We will prepare an application in your name, submit your application fee, deposit the required copy or copies of the manuscript, and mail you the completed certificate of registration from the Library of Congress.