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Editing and Publishing options are two important steps that should not be neglected as you complete your thesis or dissertation since all theses and dissertations will be published electronically through the UAB libraries.

  • Editing

    grant writing

    The responsibility for editing UAB theses and dissertations resides with the student and the individual departments and programs. Signatures of committee members and program directors on the approval forms indicate their assurance that they have examined the document and have found that it is of professional quality from all standpoints, including writing quality, technical correctness, and professional competency, and that the document conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation.

    Because members of your committee read your manuscript carefully, sometimes numerous times, you may feel that it will automatically be sufficiently edited. Keep in mind, however, that the focus of your committee is often quite different from that of an editor. Editing involves reading carefully with the very specific aim of correcting inadvertent errors (e.g., grammar, punctuation, inconsistency in style) that may detract from the coherency and professional appearance of your work. Check with your committee members to determine how they would like to handle the editing process. They may prefer that you employ a professional editor. Some departments keep a list of editors who have been approved by the department and who are knowledgeable and experienced in that particular field of study.

    You will need to consult with your committee and your editor to discuss the level of editing you expect and to determine the time and costs involved. Professional editing is very time consuming and can be costly; however, the result is a high quality manuscript that meets the accepted standards of academic and professional publications.

    Unless you specifically request other arrangements, the editor will assume that he or she will be expected to do the following:

    • Check for errors in mechanics, such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
    • Check for adherence to UAB format requirements.
    • Check for agreement of page numbers for headings and subheadings in the text and in the Table of Contents.
    • Check list pages to ensure that page numbers, titles, and captions are consistent.
    • Check that all levels of headings and subheadings are consistent in style throughout the document and are consistent with those listed in the Table of Contents.
    • Make suggestions for correcting any unclear or convoluted sentences that detract in any way from the professional quality of the text (e.g., misplaced or unclear modifiers, missing or unclear pronoun antecendents, distracting shifts in tense).
    • Check for adherence to the requirements of your own style guide (i.e., style manual or journal) and correct any errors, such as inconsistencies in citations and references. You will need to supply the editor with a copy of your guide.
    • Cross-check in-text citations against reference list to ensure that all citations are listed in the references and that all entries in the reference list occu in the text.
    • Check for correct and consistent use of terms, abbreviations, and hyphenation.
  • Publishing

    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 online 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.

    Embargoes & Restrictions

    Recommended Action

    Likely submission to a peer-reviewed journal

    • Choose traditional publishing.

    Interested/potential interest by an academic or commercial press

    • Choose traditional publishing.
    • Place an embargo of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years.

    Ethical need to prevent disclosure

    • Choose traditional publishing.
    • Place an embargo of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years.
    • Restrict from Google/search engines and harvesters.

    Patentable rights in the work/other commercial potential

    • Choose traditional publishing.
    • Place an embargo of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years.
    • Restrict from Google/search engines and harvesters.
    • See your institution's technology transfer or research officer. Consult with your advisor and graduate dean.

    Advantages of Open Access

    Before thesis 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:

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