Publishing Your Thesis with Brandeis Univeristy

Overview and Publication Information

As part of the requirements for the Master’s degree, as specified in the University Bulletin, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) requires electronic submission of your thesis to the Brandeis Institutional Repository. In addition, the Certification of Master’s Thesis Acceptance Form must be turned into the GSAS Office one day before the specified submission deadline outlined in the University’s Academic Calendar. 

GSAS collaborates with the Brandeis University Library for submission and archiving of electronic versions of theses through electronic deposit to the GSAS Master’s Thesis Collection in the Brandeis Institutional Repository. Authors may find this advantageous since an electronic version of the thesis can include photographs, simulations, video clips and sound, thumbnail pages, and links to aid navigation through the document. Adding color to diagrams of molecules and simulating three-dimensional models would enhance the impact and possibly clarify for readers some of your ideas. 

If you have any questions about acceptable formats, review both the GSAS and repository guidelines.     

Once your thesis is in a suitable PDF format for submission, go to the Brandeis Institutional Repository and select “login” under My Account. Use your Unet ID and password to log in. Select the Submissions option under My Account. This will take you to the first step of the submission process.

A PDF tutorial of how to submit (screenshots included) is available here

After GSAS has approved the formatting, and your degree has been conferred by the Office of the Registrar GSAS will release your thesis to the University Repository for public access.If you submit your thesis well before the submission deadline, it will not go into the electronic system until your degree has been conferred by the Registrar. Also, if the document appears to be incomplete or if there are questions about the reproduction of previously copyrighted materials, publication will be delayed until all concerns are resolved.

Once published, your thesis will be available on the World Wide Web as well as through the LOUIS system. In some circumstances, it may be possible to limit access to your work through a temporary embargo. Contact GSAS to discuss limitations on access.  

Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues

Copyright registration is not a prerequisite to copyright protection, but if a work is not registered within three months of first publication, attorney's fees may not be recovered if a suit is brought nor can you collect statutory damages which the law provides in cases where real damage is difficult to show. It is your choice whether to register for copyright. For information on copyright registration or if you want more general information on copyrighting, please visit the United States Copyright Office

Publishing an Electronic Thesis

Electronic theses are defined as those theses submitted, archived, or accessed primarily in electronic formats. Publishers may be concerned about the relationship of electronic archival submission to other forms of publication. Often a thesis becomes the basis for a scholar's dissertation or first book.  While most of those works are considerably revised for publication, some are published with relatively few changes.  Even though theses are available on-line, most academic presses are not as concerned that on-line publication represents prior publication, probably because of the barriers of time, distance, and cost. On the other hand, greater access might be seen as a way to induce readers to preview a book. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education (Winkler, 1997), some academic publishers consider online publication to be "great advertising":  "For each of our electronic books, we've approximately doubled our sales," says Marney Smyth, electronic-productions editor of the MIT Press. "The plain fact is that no one is going to sit there and read a whole book online. And it costs money and time to download it." The National Academy Press has already put nearly 2,000 of its books online, and has found that the electronic publication of some books has boosted sales of paper copies often by as much as two to three times from previous levels.  

Another concern is the use of copyrighted material in an electronic thesis. Authors sometimes include graphics and other copyrighted material in their theses without acquiring permissions (unless the work was accepted for commercial publication).  f theses are published on the Web, authors will need to ensure compliance with copyright law and fair-use guidelines.  That may include acquiring permission to use copyrighted material, which can sometimes be costly. Copyright issues and fair-use guidelines are being debated hotly in light of the explosion of electronic publishing. Authors must consider the impact of that debate on their ability to use copyrighted materials. 

The above information is excerpted from an article in the Journal of Electronic Publishing, Electronic Dissertations and Theses: Digitizing Scholarship for Its Own Sake by Christian R. Weisser and Janice R. Walker. Available here. The article covers other areas germane to this topic like the history of ETDs, access and distribution, so you might want to read it.

The Publishing Agreement Form

When you submit your thesis to the Brandeis Institutional Repository, you will be asked to accept the following agreement, which allows Brandeis to preserve and publish your work:

Non-exclusive Distribution License for Submissions to the Brandeis Institutional Repository

  • By signing and submitting this license, you (the author(s) or copyright owner) grants Brandeis University (Brandeis) the non-exclusive right to reproduce translate (as defined below), and/or distribute your submission (including abstract) worldwide in print and electronic format and in any medium, including but not limited to audio or video.
  • You agree that Brandeis may, without changing the content, translate the submission to any medium or format for the purpose of preservation.
  • You also agree that Brandeis may keep more than one copy of this submission for the purposes of security, back-up and preservation.
  • You represent that the submission is your original work, and that you have the right to grant the rights contained in this license. You represent that your submission does not, to the best of your knowledge, infringe upon anyone’s copyright.
  • If the submission contains material for which you do not hold copyright, you represent that you have obtained the unrestricted permission of the copyright owner to grant Brandeis the rights required by this license, and that such third-party owned materials is clearly identified and acknowledged within the text or contents of the submissions.
  • Brandeis will clearly identify your name(s) as the author(s) or owner(s) of the submission, and will not make any alteration, other than as allowed by this license, to your submission.