Publishing Your Thesis or Dissertation

All UAB theses and dissertations are published electronically through the UAB libraries and are available full text unless access is restricted by the author. The UAB Publication Agreement form is available in Online Forms on this website and must be submitted before the thesis or dissertation is reviewed by the Graduate School

For Doctoral and Masters Students

All doctoral and masters students submitting a dissertation to the UAB Graduate School, must sign an agreement with ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing, the firm that has acted as the repository and distributor for the majority of dissertations written in the United States for more than sixty years. For more than a decade, ProQuest/UMI has also provided on line access to this database. It is important that you read and understand the ramifications of the Proquest/UMI agreement, and any other publishing agreement that you may be asked to sign. To make informed decisions, you, your faculty advisor, and your committee should be aware of the publication practices in your field of study, particularly if you have previously published or plan to publish any part of your research in a journal or book. See Prior Publication Issues and links to journal policies below.

The ProQuest/UMI Publication Agreement

A copy of each UAB dissertation is submitted to ProQuest/UMI, where a digital copy is stored both in the ProQuest/UMI archives and in the Library of Congress. Unless you choose to embargo your work, any researcher can locate your document through a subject, author, or keyword search, read your abstract, and preview the first 24 pages of your dissertation. Your document may also be purchased by anyone as a download or as a bound copy. ProQuest/UMI pays you royalties on those sales at the rate of 10% for any year in which this amount accrues to $10 or more. If you choose to embargo your work, only the abstract will be available via the Internet until the embargo period expires.  

ProQuest/UMI also provides free access to the full text of UAB dissertations when they are accessed by any computer with a UAB IP address. This level of accessibility has numerous advantages for both the student and the university; however, immediate open access is not appropriate for all students. See Advantages of Open Access and Prior Publication Issues below and read the ProQuest booklet, Publishing Your Graduate Work with UMI Dissertation Publishing very carefully before signing any publication agreement.

Submission Requirements

Submission of dissertations to ProQuest/UMI for inclusion in this repository for current research is required by most American universities, including UAB.

Advantages of Open Access

Before theses and dissertations were available electronically, only those that were later published in a journal or book were readily available outside the university in which they were written. As a result, much valuable research went unnoticed and was often unnecessarily repeated. Open access to theses and dissertations results in a wider dissemination of information. Students and universities around the world can easily, quickly, and inexpensively share knowledge. Research can advance more effectively; also the visibility, usage, and impact of your own findings increase, as does your access to the findings of others. The more widely available your research, the more other researchers are likely to give credit to you in their own publications, and the more your own visibility is increased.

Prior Publication Issues

If you have patent concerns or concerns that the electronic posting of your dissertation might prevent later acceptance to a professional journal or book publisher, it is your responsibility to consult with possible future publishers and with your committee in order to make an informed publication choice. 

Some publishers of professional journals now state that they do not consider doctoral dissertations that are made available by UMI/Proquest or institutional repositories as prior publication. However, not all journals adhere to this policy.

To determine the policies of a particular journal, see Instructions to Authors on the publisher’s website and refer to policies on prior publication.Following are links to prior publication statements of some major publishers of scientific journals:

Elsevier:http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authorsview.authors/copyright#whatrights

The American Physiological Society: http://www.the-aps.org/publications/journals/apsethic.htm

Nature: http://www.nature.com/authors/editorial_policies/duplicate.html 

(Updated: 06/12/08)