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ETD Access Restrictions

Can I restrict access to my thesis or dissertation?

Yes, you can embargo your work, which restricts public access for a specified period of time. You may choose to restrict access to your work for six months, one year, two years, or six years, depending on your school's embargo policies.

Consult with your advisor about your wish to restrict access to your thesis or dissertation. Your school or program must approve any embargo request. Your school or program must also approve requests to renew or extend access restrictions after graduation and considers such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Restricting access to your entire thesis or dissertation requires several steps. Make sure you read the instructions carefully during the submission process.

For students submitting their work to ProQuest: the embargo period you request through Emory's ETD submission process must match the embargo you request from ProQuest. If you are requesting an embargo longer than two years, you must contact ProQuest directly at

What does restricted access include?

Emory offers three options for restricted access:

  • Restrict files only (visitors will not be able to see the full-text PDF of your work or any supplemental files you attached to the record)
  • Restrict files and table of contents
  • Restrict files, table of contents, and abstract

If your abstract or table of contents contain sensitive information, you may wish to restrict access to them. Discuss this with your advisor and school or department, and follow the instructions during the submission process to restrict access to the appropriate sections.

If you restrict access to your abstract, notify ProQuest soon after graduation to request that your abstract not be included in Dissertation Abstracts. You must contact ProQuest directly at Provide your name, your dissertation's title, your school (Emory University), and, if possible, the publication number. If you need to speak with someone at ProQuest, call 734-761-4700, Ext. 2.

Please note that while you may request to temporarily restrict acess to your abstract, table of contents, and/or files, the rest of your record will be accessible by the public through Emory's ETD website and popular search engines. Publicly accessible information will include your work's title, author, committee members, program of study, research fields, and keywords.

How do I decide whether to restrict access to my work?

Choosing to embargo your thesis or dissertation is often related to your desire to publish your work after graduation.

If your dissertation contains work you previously published in journals or elsewhere, check that your access level is compatible with the permissions granted by the entities who published your work.

If you plan to publish all or part of your thesis or dissertation in the future, check whether the publishers with whom you might publish consider an electronically accessible thesis or dissertation to be "prior publication." However, most books produced from dissertations require considerable revision, so your publisher may not consider depositing your thesis or dissertation in the repository as a prior publication. Some publishers may want to be the first place your work is published, a requirement that you can satisfy through the use of an embargo.

The Emory Libraries' Scholarly Communications Office offers regular information sessions on copyright and intellectual property. Information about upcoming sessions is available on the ETD homepage. You may also contact us at