Dissertation Release/Embargo Options: 

From the inception of the modern doctorate in the early 19th century, a central purpose of doctoral education has been to prepare students to make significant scholarly contributions to knowledge. The dissertation is submitted as public evidence of your scholarly accomplishment meriting the conferral of the doctoral degree. In keeping with this long-standing tradition, which is consistent with the university's public mission, it has always been the university's expectation that every doctoral dissertation and abstract will be released upon conferral of the degree. Only in specific circumstances may release of a dissertation be deferred, and then only for a limited period of time. 

Doctoral dissertations and abstracts are normally made publicly available upon degree conferral when they are deposited electronically in Deep Blue. If a doctoral student wishes to postpone public release of the final dissertation, also called a dissertation embargo, the student should discuss this option with his or her faculty advisor and the rest of the dissertation committee. The student is responsible for requesting an embargo of the dissertation, and the request must be approved by the chair (and co-chair, if any) of the dissertation committee.

Two dissertation embargo options are available:

University of Michigan only access. A student may choose to restrict access to the dissertation to members of the University of Michigan community (those with a uniqname and a Kerberos password) for up to one year from the date of degree conferral. The title and abstract will be displayed in online listings of the University of Michigan Library, but the content of the dissertation will not be available to view or to download.

Full restriction.  A student may seek permission from the Graduate Studies Office for an embargo that restricts all access to the dissertation for up to one year from the date of degree conferral. Permission will be granted only when:

  • The student (or his or her collaborators) is applying for a patent on research contained in the dissertation and does not wish to make the contents public until the patent application has been filed; or
  • The dissertation includes information that is covered for a limited period of time by a confidentiality agreement or contains third-party proprietary information.

Dissertations that are fully restricted are not included in the online listings of the University of Michigan Library and the title and abstract are not available to the public or the university community. A full restriction cannot be extended beyond one year. Unless the graduate requests and is granted permission for an additional year of University of Michigan only access, the dissertation will be fully released.

Restriction Renewal Request: At the end of the one year University of Michigan only or full restriction embargo period, graduates may ask the Graduate Studies Office to postpone full public release for an additional year at the University of Michigan only access level. Full restriction cannot be renewed. Permission from the Graduate Studies Office is required to renew an embargo. Permission will be given only for specific reasons, such as the graduate’s intention to publish work from the dissertation in a journal or book with a publisher that restricts consideration of manuscripts derived from dissertations that have been made available online. (Please note that most publishers do not have restrictive pre-publication policies.) It is the graduate’s responsibility to request a renewal of the University of Michigan only dissertation embargo. Permission is not guaranteed. Graduates may ask for up to two annual renewals, for a total of three years of University of Michigan only access (or one year full restriction renewed into two years University of Michigan only access).

A student may independently choose among several levels of embargo for the copy of the dissertation that is deposited electronically with ProQuest.

Embargo requests must be submitted before the final dissertation submission deadline with which the student is working.  See links below for the appropriate forms:

Dissertation Embargo Limited Access Request Form
Dissertation Embargo Full Restriction Request Form
Dissertation Embargo Restriction Renewal Request Form

Other Publishing Information 

Your Rights As An Author
Publishing With ProQuest - Students are encouraged to submit the final digital copy of their dissertation to ProQuest, the world's largest permanent archive of doctoral dissertations. Abstracts of dissertations submitted to ProQuest are listed with the Library of Congress collections and are published in Dissertation Abstracts International.