3. Upload and submit a PDF copy of your dissertation.
With this step, the digital copy of your dissertation is uploaded to both ProQuest/UMI and Academic Commons (Columbia's online research repository). Dissertations from Teachers College are also uploaded to Pocket Knowledge (TC's online research repository), and JSD dissertations are also added to the Law Library's catalog.
Do not upload your dissertation directly to Academic Commons using their website. Following the procedures outlined below will result in your dissertation being uploaded to both ProQuest/UMI and Academic Commons.
Your dissertation must be uploaded in PDF format. If you have not already created a PDF, or if you are unable to do so, there is a PDF Conversion Tool available as part of the upload process. You will also need a copy of your abstract that you can copy and paste into a text box.
Carefully review your dissertation thoroughly and check your document before uploading to the Electronic Deposit Gateway. Should any formatting revisions need to be made to the dissertation, the Dissertation Office will be in contact to address changes.
If you have included images, tables, and/or figures in the dissertation, please ensure that you have obtained copyright permissions for those materials. If you have been denied permissions or have not received approval for fair use, you are not authorized to include previously published materials in the dissertation. For more information, please refer to the Copyright Law and Dissertation Preparation Guide and commercial work guidelines.
Public Accessibility and Dissertation Embargoes
By default, your dissertation will be made publicly available online in an open-access repository. If you have questions or concerns about the digital availability of your dissertation, please click here for frequently asked questions on this topic.
If you choose, you may place a one-, two-, or five-year embargo on your dissertation. The option to request an embargo of one or two years will be offered to you in the upload process under the section "Delaying release in ProQuest"; please see here for instructions on requesting a five-year embargo.
If you indicate your request for an embargo in this section, your dissertation will also be embargoed in Academic Commons. The title and abstract of embargoed dissertations will still be available to the public through ProQuest. Until the end of the embargo period, the full text of any embargoed dissertation will not be released to the public under any circumstances by GSAS, Academic Commons, or ProQuest.
Extending an Embargo
Under compelling circumstances, GSAS may authorize an embargo to be extended beyond the period originally requested. Alumni who wish to extend their embargo should complete both of the following steps:
- Send an email to gsas-dissertations [at] columbia.edu one month before the scheduled end of the embargo, briefly outlining the circumstances and explaining the reasons for the extension. The request will be reviewed in the Office of the Dean, and if approved, the embargo will be extended for either one or two more years within Academic Commons.
- Write to disspub [at] proquest.com before the scheduled end of the embargo, so that the extension may be processed by ProQuest.
Search Engine Access
During the upload process, you will be asked whether to allow major search engines to discover your work. This option only applies to the copy of your dissertation in ProQuest. All unembargoed dissertations in Academic Commons are catalogued by major search engines.
Please note that under copyright law, you automatically hold a copyright on your work. This is why we have you include a copyright page in your dissertation. Copyright registration provides important practical and legal benefits beyond those you already enjoy as the creator of an original work. Columbia’s Copyright Advisory Office provides extensive information about copyright issues; of particular interest is this page, which explains your rights as the author of a dissertation or of any other original work.
If you are the sole author of your dissertation, you may proceed with single-author copyright registration through ProQuest/UMI. This service costs $75, and can be paid via credit card directly to ProQuest through the upload system. Dissertations that include coauthored text or materials must be registered directly with the US Copyright Office via a Standard Application.
Uploading Your Dissertation
Before beginning the upload process, please note the following; failure to do so may delay processing of your deposit.
On the page marked "Dissertation/Thesis Details":
- Under "Advisor/Committee Chair," provide your advisor/sponsor's name, not the chair of your dissertation defense committee. If you have two co-sponsors, list your primary academic sponsor as "Advisor # 1." You have two co-sponsors if at the time of your prospectus defense or MPhil application your department indicated two co-sponsors.
- Under "Committee Members," do not include any names. Dissertations from Columbia are only catalogued with the author's name and the sponsor's name.
If you have read and understand the information above, click here to access the upload system.