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.
In certain circumstances, students may seek to effect a “split deposit” of the dissertation. In a split deposit, a student deposits all copyrighted materials and/or data included in the thesis in a separate file. Two files are submitted through the deposit gateway, namely:
- the full text of the dissertation, minus all copyrighted materials and/or data
- a separate appendix with all copyrighted materials and/or data
The appendix should be uploaded into the gateway as a supplemental PDF. The Dissertation Office will instruct ProQuest to suppress indefinitely the appendix so that it is not accessible to the public. All split-deposits requests should be sent to dissertations [at] columbia.edu.
DMA candidates must exclude their music score when depositing their dissertation to the Deposit Gateway. Scores should be submitted to the Music Library in adherence to the Music Department's formatting standards. Please contact the Music and Arts Library for more information on how to submit this component of the dissertation.
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- or two-year embargo on your dissertation. This option will be offered to you in the upload process under the section "Delaying release in ProQuest." If you place 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 two years. Alumni who wish to extend their embargo within Academic Commons should send an email to 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.
Alumni who wish to extend their embargo within ProQuest should email disspub [at] proquest.com before the scheduled end of the embargo.
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 $55, 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 disseration 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.