Thesis and Dissertation FAQ

Are TAD Services’ workshops mandatory?

The TAD Graduation Workshop and the Word Training workshops are free and optional. Both are geared toward students who have questions or concerns after reviewing the web site or who are having technical issues while formatting documents. TAD Services recommends attending at least one of the Word workshops in the semester that you begin working on your document. The Graduation Workshop is especially useful in the semester you plan to graduate.

I cannot schedule my oral defense before the oral defense deadline. Will I be prevented from graduating?

Yes, beginning in Fall semester 2012, all deadlines are firm. Missing the oral defense deadline, but meeting other deadlines does not permit graduation.

TAD Services sets all deadlines based on rules set out by Graduate Council and therefore has no authority to extend deadlines or grant exceptions.

What is "Early for Fall/Spring/Summer"?

A student who missed a deadline for the semester in which he or she intended to graduate, but can complete all paperwork before the first day of the next semester can meet the "Early" deadlines. 

While the student will be a graduate in the following term, "early" status allows a student with no other obligations to the university to graduate in the next semester without having to enroll for the minimum one credit hour, allowing the student to avoid tuition and fees. He or she must simply reapply for graduation.

There are limitations on who qualifies for this option. The eligible student must:

  1. have been enrolled in the semester they originally intended to graduate.
  2. have no visa restrictions requiring him or her to be registered in the quarter in which he or she graduates. To clarify if you are eligible, contact the International Student Services Office at 740-593-7330.
  3. Meet all Early deadlines.
If I submit my document electronically, will my department still need a printed hard copy?

Some departments still require a printed copy, while others do not. Please check with your adviser regarding departmental expectations of printed copies and where to deliver them if they are required.

When will my transcript/diploma become available?

Transcripts are available approximately four weeks after the end of the semester and diplomas are available approximately eight weeks after the end of the semester.

Transcripts and diplomas are issued by the Office of the Registrar, not TAD Services or the Graduate College. Questions about a particular situation should be directed to

What is a pre-oral defense review and why should I request one?

The pre-oral defense review is a review conducted when the document is nearly complete, but has not yet been defended. While the pre-oral defense review is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to catch errors and avoid major formatting changes at the end of the process.

Students who do not receive a pre-oral defense review may find themselves struggling to meet the deadlines as in-depth, hands-on formatting support during the busy deadline may not be available, delaying graduation.

Documents may be submitted for review at any time; however TAD Services will not review documents that do not include the following:

  • Title page
  • Signature page
  • Abstract (body of the abstract may be in draft form)
  • Table of Contents
  • References

We recommend that you be at least 75% through your writing process and include any tables and figures in the pre-oral defense review.
When requesting a format review, please specify what stage your document is in:

  • Pre-oral defense
  • Final, post-oral defense

Most documents only need a pre-oral defense review and a final review. Do not re-send your document after a pre-oral defense review unless requested. For questions, contact the office by email or phone, rather than re-sending the document unless requested.

Can I send my document for review in several parts?

TAD Services requests documents be submitted as one Microsoft Word file or PDF if the student is working in LaTeX. 

If it is unavoidable, TAD Services will accept multiple files. If filing electronically, the final Word files should be converted to PDF format and combined before uploading to the OhioLINK database. Supplemental materials such as video, audio or slide presentations are acceptable.

Can I come to the TAD offices for help?

Due to a reduction in staff, we request that students use our troubleshooting guides, checklists and the TAD guidelines to answer questions before requesting an appointment. We also recommend our formatting workshops when time permits. Appointments are limited in availability, but we will do our best to help.

TAD Services retains a list of contacts for students who need more help with their documents in the writing and editing stages than TAD Services can offer. Contact to receive a copy of the list. These contacts are available for hire and fee negotiation is between the student and the editor.

I am writing my document in Latex. Is there support available?

TAD Services will review PDF documents for students writing in Latex. The TAD Services staff is not familiar with Latex code and cannot offer advice on formatting in Latex, however we do have a Latex template and the creator of the template has offered to assist should someone need help. Contact information is in the included Readme file. Alternately, students may check within their department to see if there is assistance available.

What sort of technical support does TAD Services offer?

Formatting support:

TAD Services will conduct document reviews on Microsoft Word documents and respond with instructions on required formatting changes. TAD Services does not have the staff available to make corrections to documents on behalf of students.

sample document [PDF] as well as a formatting checklist [PDF] is available for students to reference while creating their documents. Use of the TAD templates is highly recommended. Group training for the use of the templates is available during the fall and spring semesters. Online video training is available for both PC and Mac users.

Technical errors:

Minor technical errors will be addressed in document review emails with an explanation of how to correct the error.

For more complex technical errors, TAD services will suggest attending a workshop or scheduling an appointment.

I don't have a full version of Adobe Acrobat. What do I do?

For students who do not own Adobe Acrobat and for whom other options noted in "How do I convert my word document to PDF?" have several options. Students may:

  • Visit any of the on-campus maintained computer labs which have Adobe Acrobat.
  • Download the trial version of Adobe Acrobat X Pro from Adobe's website. It provides all the necessary features, but expires after 30 days.
  • Use the Adobe Online PDF Maker. This service allows 5 free trial conversions with registration, and unlimited conversions for a fee of $9.99/month.
Am I required to have a copyright line on my document?

TAD Services recommends a copyright line on the document except in the cases where the copyright is no longer the property of the author, for example in paid research or if the rights to the finished work have already been sold. 

Anyone may use the copyright line without paying the fee to register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. Any work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Students may choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Information on registering a copyright can be found at

How will people be able to access my ETD?

Your Thesis or Dissertation will be indexed by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Internet search engines for download on the internet. It will also be found in the ALICE catalog through Alden Library

Where is my ETD published?

Theses are published on the world wide web via OhioLINK, the Ohio Library and Information Network. Publishing to OhioLINK does not cost any money. Masters students may choose to publish a thesis through ProQuest/UMI on his or her own. More information is available under "What is ProQuest/UMI and why do doctoral candidates have to submit to it?"

Dissertations are published on the world wide web via OhioLINK, the Ohio Library and Information Network. Publishing to OhioLINK does not cost any money. The dissertation is also published to ProQuest/UMI, the University of Michigan Index. Basic publication to ProQuest/UMI is free of charge, but the offer additional paid services including copyright registration and binding.

What is ProQuest/UMI and why do doctoral candidates have to submit to it?

ProQuest, a corporation in Ann Arbor, Michigan, maintains a microform archive of approximately 1.5 million dissertations, as well as an online service called Dissertation Abstracts. Most dissertations written in the US are submitted to ProQuest for archiving on microfilm, from which microform or paper copies may be produced. ProQuest functions as an on-demand book publisher that eliminates the editorial process. In the U.S., all dissertations must be filed with the Library of Congress and ProQuest/UMI fulfills that role while providing permanent digital off-site backups of all dissertations. 

Doctoral candidates are required to file under the Traditional Publishing option with ProQuest/UMI. The cost to the student is free. Open access options are available through ProQuest/UMI, but a fee is assessed.

Masters candidates are not required to submit to ProQuest/UMI, but may do so on their own.

Do I have to upload my full text document to OhioLINK?

The following colleges allow students to elect to file their thesis or dissertation in hard copy rather than uploading a full-text PDF to the OhioLINK ETD Center:

  • Scripps College of Communication
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of Health and Human Services

Students in all other colleges are required to upload their full text Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD) to OhioLINK.

Even if a student elects to complete the TAD Process in "hard copy" all students must submit an electronic abstract to OhioLINK and a copy of the document must be available through the Alden Library.

Master's candidates who choose to file a hard copy thesis in lieu of digital publication are required to submit one complete copy of the thesis on cotton-bond paper including a blank front and back sheet for binding and shelving in the library.

Doctoral candidates choosing this option must submit the full text PDF to ProQuest as the full text PDF is only freely available to on-campus computers, but the full text PDF will not appear as an open access document on OhioLINK.

Publication delays are available if a student wishes to delay publication for purposes of submitting their work to journals or other publications, filing a patent or delay the release of sensitive information, but want to enjoy the benefits of a searchable full-text record of their work.

Why would I want to make my ETD freely available?

The world of scholarship depends on people making their research available to others. When this is done electronically, more people may receive access at a lower cost, and more knowledge transfer occurs. This stimulates education and research. For the student, open access  ensures that his or her research is cited in others' publications, which adds to prestige and aids the student's future advancement.

Before theses and dissertations were available electronically, not many were read. Electronic access multiplies the number of times works are read by a factor of ten or more. In fact, one author at Virginia Tech increased accesses to 56,399 from 9,920 in only one year. Since students spent a great deal of time on their research, it should be encouraging to know that others are reading this work. The research may guide others, and one's results may save others the time of redoing your study.

It is estimated that about 200,000 theses or dissertations are completed each year. It would greatly aid graduate education if as many as possible of these were made freely available. Since state universities aim to maximize access, OhioLINK will not charge fees. Therefore, there are no royalties to share.

How long does it take for my document to appear on OhioLINK?

Generally, your document will appear on OhioLINK by the end of the semester following your graduation. The degree must be posted to the student transcript before the final accuracy check and release of the document to OhioLINK occurs. Dissertation documents are released first to increase the processing time through ProQuest/UMI (Dissertation Abstracts).

What is a Publication Delay? Should I request one?

When a student requests a Publication Delay, the title and abstract of the document will be available for the public but the full text of the PDF document will be hidden for a period of time. Students can delay publication for one or two years at a time for a total of 5 years. At that time the PDF will be released to the internet. Students might choose to embargo the full text because of a patent application or a pending publication in a journal. We recommend that students talk with their advisors about whether or not to embargo. It is important to speak with your publisher regarding rules and restrictions of publication.

What are my copyright options?

On OhioLINK there are three types of Copyright to choose from:

Creative Commons licenses are non-revocable; once granted, they cannot be taken away. Please review the terms carefully before selecting a Creative Commons option.

What if I want to write a book from my thesis or dissertation?

We realize that some students prepare books related to their theses or dissertations. Since publishers vary widely in their policies, students should share with publishers that their work is available on OhioLINK. A student may want to embargo his or her work for a year or two until the publication comes out. 

In general, it appears to be the case that electronic release of early versions of a book leads to greater sales of such books. Indeed, having an electronic work made available on the Internet, and showing a publisher a large number of electronic accesses to that work, may help land a book contract.

Usually, books that relate to theses or dissertations turn out to be significantly changed as part of the editorial process. This makes it likely that those interested in a thesis or dissertation will buy a book when it comes out, even if they have reviewed the ETD.

However, since publishers vary widely in their policies, it is wise for students to share this information and other documents about the ETD initiative with publishers to which they are are likely to submit their work. TAD Services is open to discussions with publishers regarding policies or helping in the publicity process.

The form for publication delays is posted on the Forms and Templates page of this website. Complete, print, sign, and drop off the form to TAD Services by the deadline for the semester.

What do I need to know about signing agreements with publishers?

When one has his or her research published in a conference, book, or journal, he or she usually signs some type of agreement with the publisher. A student should read the agreement carefully before signing, making sure he or she understands and agrees with the terms and conditions. If not, the author may want to change the agreement in connection with discussion/negotiation with the publisher, and possibly with advice of legal or other counsel. The agreement should be explicit about what future rights of use the author retains. If the author wanta to include the materials in a dissertation or to reuse the materials for teaching or a book chapter, it is important to document this in the agreement.

As the author, one is entitled to discuss one's plans with the publisher. TAD Services encourages students to obtain an agreement that allows them to include research in a freely available electronic thesis or dissertation. Authors have the right to negotiate with a publisher to reduce access to the ETD for a limited amount of time, if they request this as a condition on publishing the article. However, most publishers consider a thesis or dissertation to be quite different from a journal article. Typically an article is much shorter than the chapter or full work and has been revised as a result of the editorial process and peer review. Sometimes, it might also have several authors. Because of these reasons many publishers have no concerns regarding fully accessible ETDs.

Where are theses and dissertations published?

The Ohio Department of Education maintains our local repository for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in Ohio. This repository is an open access website called the OhioLINK ETD Center and currently has over 20,000 ETDs from Ohio universities. ProQuest (Dissertation Abstracts) is a second repository used by most universities throughout the United States and includes many other theses and dissertations from around the world. Ohio University publishes all dissertations in the ProQuest repository as well. ETDs are viewed as a way to allow students and universities to gain greater access to research and to obtain cost savings and flexibility. At Ohio University, all documents filed electronically can be found at OhioLINK and also through the Alden Library ALICE Catalog.

What are the graduation requirements, in line with TAD?
  • Apply for graduation by the published deadline.
  • Be enrolled in thesis (6950) or dissertation (8950) hours.
  • Complete all other course requirements.
  • Earn an accumulated GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Meet all TAD deadlines for format reviews, publication, and form submission. 
How do I submit my documents to TAD?

Submit documents and forms to