ETD Forms and Policy

Document Type


Publication Date


Thesis/Dissertation Embargo Procedures


Utah State University is committed to the open dissemination of knowledge. As part of this commitment, USU requires its graduate students to submit their theses and dissertations to UMI/ProQuest and the University’s Institutional Repository, DigitalCommons@USU. However, USU recognizes that in some rare situations, release of a dissertation/thesis may need to be delayed. For these situations, USU provides the option of embargoing (i.e. delaying release) of a dissertation or thesis for five years after graduation, with an option to extend indefinitely. Students requesting delayed release of their work must obtain approval and signatures from the head of their academic department and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

The following conditions may be deemed reasonable grounds for obtaining a delay:

  • The student plans to file a patent based on the research in the thesis/dissertation
  • The work contains data that the student or other members of his/her research team are using in future publication
  • Work in the thesis or dissertation was supported by a grant or contract and is subject to review by the sponsor or grantor prior to publication.
  • Student plans to publish thesis/dissertation and the publisher has indicated that it considers its release “prior publication”


A student who wishes to delay release of his/her work must follow two distinct procedures, one for USU and one for UMI/Proquest.

USU Digital Commons Embargo Process: First, the student must contact his/her department head. The department head must then sign the embargo form, also indicating the reason for the embargo. The student must then obtain the approval and signature of the Dean of Graduate Studies. On approval, the student attaches the embargo form to the approval form for submission to the library. The thesis or dissertation will then be hidden from public view in the DigitalCommons for the entire five-year embargo period. Students who wish to extend an existing embargo may do so by contacting the DigitalCommons Administrator at DigitalCommons@usu.edu.

ProQuest Embargo Process: During the electronic thesis/dissertation submission process through ProQuest, the student must select the appropriate embargo option under the publishing restrictions setting. The student’s work will then be hidden from public view for the specified duration. ProQuest allows embargoes in two-year increments, so it is the responsibility of the student to renew the embargo through ProQuest for the appropriate duration.

Extensions and Post-Facto Embargoes: If a student needs to embargo a thesis/dissertation after it has already been submitted to the USU repository and UMI/Proquest, he or she needs to obtain approval and signatures on the embargo form as described above and bring/send it to the Library’s Scholarly Communication Librarian (see contact info below). The Library will withdraw the thesis/dissertation from the DigitalCommons. In order to embargo the work from UMI/Proquest, the student must work directly with they via email at disspub@proquest.com or phone at 1-800-521-0600, ext. 7- 7020.

Mail: Scholarly Communication Librarian, USU, Merrill-Cazier Library, 3000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-3000

In person: Merrill-Cazier Library, 2nd floor, room 202

Email: Becky.Thoms@usu.edu


Please visit library.usu.edu for more information

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