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Purdue University Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Policies and Practices

All thesis-option master’s students and doctoral students must follow the Thesis & Dissertation Policies that are outlined in the University Catalog – Policies and Procedures for Administering Graduate Student Programs.


Students depositing their thesis (or dissertation) with the Purdue University Graduate School must certify that they have prepared the thesis while observing the provisions if Purdue University Policy III.A.2, November 18, 2011, Policy on Research Misconduct. Students will make the appropriate selection using the Electronic Thesis Acceptance Form (ETAF) 9.

Thesis Copyright Protection

Purdue University Policy I.A.1, May 18, 2007, Intellectual Property, established that copyright ownership now resides with you, the author. The copyright symbol © is not required for works to be copyrighted. All candidates have the additional option of applying for registration of their copyright: This establishes a public record of theses/dissertations and confers additional legal rights, enabling individuals to file infringement suits and seek statutory damages as well as attorneys’ fees. Copyright registration can be filed here.

Specific questions regarding your rights and responsibilities under U.S. copyright law may be addressed to the Purdue University Copyright Office: 765.496.3864 or Stewart Center Room 246A.

Using Material Protected by Copyright

Purdue University promotes compliance with U.S. copyright law and understanding of the appropriate use of copyrighted works: Purdue University Policy I.A.3, January 1, 2015 Use of Copyrighted Materials for Educational and Research Purposes.

When quoting extensively from copyrighted material, the author must obtain written permission from the copyright holder. There is no precise relationship between the amount of text quoted and the requirement for written permission to use the material. The law governing copyright infringement is based on the fair use principle. Ordinarily, if you plan to quote more than 150 words of continuous text from copyrighted material, you should ask permission from the author. If the work you are quoting has significant commercial value, you should obtain permission to quote any complete or nearly complete text item or section. When your quotation of copyrighted material could have a negative impact on the existing commercial value of that material, obtain the copyright holder’s permission. Figures or other graphical material, including Web pages, should not be reprinted in your thesis without the author’s consent. Permission to use copyrighted material is usually granted on condition that acknowledgment is made. You will be responsible for any required payments.

You will be required to upload copyright permissions to HammerRR (Figshare) when depositing your thesis with the Purdue University Graduate School.

By depositing a thesis with the Purdue University Graduate School, you certify that all copyrighted material incorporated into the thesis complies with United States copyright law and that you have received written permission from the copyright owners for the use of their work, which is beyond the scope of the law. You also agree to indemnify and save harmless Purdue University from any and all claims that may be asserted or that may arise from any copyright violation.

Publication of the thesis or dissertation is a required part of the deposit process. The university currently uses HammerRR to publish the thesis after which, your thesis will become an Open Access document with no additional cost to you.

All theses submitted to HammerRR are considered the final copy and are required to undergo a format review. Candidates will upload their thesis to HammerRR and Graduate School administrators will review the thesis for any format errors. In the event format changes are required, the administration will provide you a list of necessary changes that you should make and re-submit to HammerRR as soon as possible. Format reviews will continue until your format is in an acceptable condition. You may schedule a Formatting Consultation before your Final Exam (Defense) to avoid an extensive format review during the deposit process.

Open Access Theses and Dissertations

Each student grants, without restriction, royalty free to Purdue University the nonexclusive right and license to reproduce, distribute, and display, in whole or in part, all theses and dissertations in any format now known or later developed for preservation and access in accordance with this agreement and will be made to the general public at no charge.

Benefits of an Open Access Thesis or Dissertation:

[1] Higher Citation Rates

The more users who can access a work, the more researchers that can cite that work.

[2] Better Global Visibility of Your Work

By making their work globally visible through open access, authors are allowing more scholars, more promising students and future scholars, less wealthy institutions, policy makers, news reporters, and the unexpected reader and citizen scholar to have access to their work who may not have otherwise had the ability or funds to access closed-access scholarship.

[3] Meeting the Land Grant Mission of the University

"Open access at Purdue can publicly showcase the scholarly output of the University and its community members, this provides greater visibility and traffic to your department, school, and ultimately the university. It can also show that scholars and researchers at Purdue think beyond their own disciplines by showcasing the interdisciplinary scholarship and research being created at Purdue. Finally, open access scholarship demonstrates accountability to the public that funds the university, while disseminating knowledge gained and created at Purdue; satisfying the public, land-grant mission of the university."

Embargo

Students who wish to delay public release of their thesis must make the appropriate selection on the Electronic Thesis Acceptance Form (ETAF), provide the reasoning for the requested embargo, and make the same embargo selection in their HammerRR profile. The information that is provided to ETAF and HammerRR will be validated for consistency at the time of your thesis submission. If inconsistencies are present between the ETAF and HammerRR, the HammerRR profile will be updated by administrators to match what you have selected and what your committee chair has approved on the ETAF. Embargo periods are 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, or indefinite. During the embargo period, the deposited thesis abstract will be available for viewing; however, the main content will remain unpublished until the embargo period has expired. Students may embargo their thesis when applying for patents, have publications pending, or when proprietary rights are involved.

Confidentiality

Students who are applying for patents, are including sensitive ITAR/Export Controlled material, have a contract on file with Sponsored Program Services (SPS), or are including proprietary information may request confidentiality of their thesis. Confidentiality can be requested for one or two years and students who have contracts on file with SPS may request longer periods.

ADA Compliance and Accessible Documents

Before depositing your thesis with the Graduate School, the PDF copy of your thesis needs to be made accessible (the file will be accessible to screen readers and other assistive computer technologies) to the best of the author’s ability.

Word users: To check your thesis for accessibility it is recommended that you use Word 2013 or Word 2016 as these versions have a built-in accessibility checker. You can learn more about the accessibility checker from the Microsoft Accessibility Checker page. Once you convert your file to PDF, you should also verify that the accessible Word document has converted to an accessible PDF file.

LaTeX users: Authors using LaTeX should manually check the accessibility of their PDF document using Acrobat Pro.

Post-Facto Edits

The Graduate School expects candidates and departments to thoroughly review format and content of theses and dissertations prior to their electronic submission. The Graduate School does not generally permit post-facto revisions to ETDs once they have been accepted for deposit by the Thesis & Dissertation Office. Post acceptance changes are only permitted to correct significant textual, data, or mathematical errors affecting accuracy of content and which could be potentially embarrassing to Purdue University.

If, after appropriate consultation, it is agreed that a candidate’s thesis or dissertation merits post facto revision, please contact the Thesis & Dissertation Office to obtain Graduate School Form 37 – Request for Post Facto Revision of Thesis/Dissertation.

A thesis authored at Purdue University should be structured and formatted using one of the below methods:

Traditional

A traditional thesis is a document that provides a complete and systematic account of your research. A typical traditional thesis suggests the following structure:

  • Preliminary pages
    • Title page
    • Statement of Approval page
    • Dedication (optional)
    • Acknowledgments (optional)
    • Table of Contents
    • List of Tables
    • List of Figures
    • Abstract
  • Main Body pages
    • Introduction
    • Literature Review
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Back Matter pages
    • Appendix (optional)
    • References
    • Vita (optional)
    • List of Publications (optional)

* Thesis structure may vary by department. Please consult your committee for specific departmental requirements.

Article-based

An article-based thesis is a collection of published (or will be published) research articles consisting of an introductory and concluding chapter. A typical article-based thesis suggests the following structure:

  • Preliminary pages
    • Title page
    • Statement of Approval page
    • Dedication (optional)
    • Acknowledgments (optional)
    • Table of Contents
    • List of Tables
    • List of Figures
    • Abstract
  • Main Body pages
    • Introduction
    • Published Article #1
    • Published Article #2
    • Published Article #3
    • Conclusion
  • Back Matter pages
    • Appendix (optional)
    • References
    • Vita (optional)
    • List of Publications (optional)

* Thesis structure may vary by department. Please consult your committee for specific departmental requirements.

Theses authored using this structure will need to include acknowledgement of prior publication within the respective chapter. Although each journal may have specific statement requirements, the acknowledgment should be single spaced and appear 3 single spaces under the chapter title. Consult your publisher regarding required information that should appear in this acknowledgment.

Creative work

The Graduate School is prepared to accept theses in creative formats subject to departmental and committee approval. Students wishing to submit a creative work as their thesis requirement should consult with their committee chair and contact the Thesis & Dissertation Office with their proposal.

If the primary literature on a subject matter is in a language other than English and the thesis or dissertation addresses a community of scholars who publish in a language other than English, a student may elect to write the thesis in a language that all committee members speak and read and support its use in the thesis. In this case, the thesis should contain a title page and abstract page in English.

All West Lafayette, IUPUI, and Northwest candidates are required to submit the ETAF through their Plan of Study portal. This form should be submitted on the day of Defense or no later than the date of the Final Examination Deadline each semester.

Purdue Fort Wayne candidates are required to submit paper versions of Forms 9, 32, and 15. Copies of these forms should be submitted to the Thesis & Dissertation Office prior to submitting the thesis to HammerRR.

Effective September 1, 2014, Purdue’s Graduate School requires that all theses and dissertations be reviewed using the iThenticate software and any issues identified by the software and any issues identified by the software addressed prior to the deposit of the final thesis or dissertation with the Graduate School. Satisfaction of this requirement will be certified by both committee chair and degree candidate on the ETAF. Click here for more information.

All master’s candidates are required to pay a Thesis Deposit Fee of $90 and Ph.D. candidates are required to pay a Thesis Deposit Fee of $125. The fees will be uploaded to a student’s myPurdue account within 3-5 business days after the HammerRR submission is approved.

West Lafayette, PFW, and PNW candidates will pay the fee through their local bursar’s office. IUPUI candidates will receive an e-bill following their successful thesis deposit.

Candidates are required to meet both departmental and Graduate School deadlines each term.

Thesis-option master’s and doctoral students are required to submit their thesis for a final format check to the Graduate School no later than the close of business (5:00pm ET) on the second to last day classes of the session in which their degree is to be awarded. Candidates who miss the deposit deadline at 5:00 pm on the last day of classes, but still wish to graduate, must submit a request for a deposit extension (endorsed by committee chair and department head) to the Graduate School for full consideration. If approved, the student should expect to pay a Late Graduation Deadline Fee. Contact the Thesis & Dissertation Office for questions.

Ph.D. and master’s students are required to complete the Graduate School Exit Questionnaire (GSEQ). In addition to the GSEQ, Ph.D. candidates are required to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates. These surveys will become available to complete during the semester the student registers as a candidate for graduation.

Formatting Guidelines and Procedures Formatting Guidelines and Deposit Procedures
(Presentation~8MB)

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