Open Access for Theses and Dissertations
|Applies to:||Original Policy Date:||Date of Last Review:||Approved by:|
|Graduate Students||October 2022||October 2022||Dr. Marco Carvalho
Executive Vice President & Provost
Policy Owner: Office of the Provost-Office of Graduate Programs
This policy establishes a process for permanent and open access dissemination of thesis and dissertation research and the consideration and review of requests to amend a published thesis or dissertation.
This policy applies to all graduate students, regardless of location or modality, who author a thesis or dissertation as part of their degree requirements in a graduate program at Florida Tech.
Florida Institute of Technology is committed to the dissemination of research conducted by the University’s graduate students. All graduate students who author a thesis or dissertation in partial fulfillment of graduate degree requirements at Florida Tech must submit a digital copy of the approved thesis or dissertation to the Scholarship Repository of Florida Tech before conferral of the degree.
This archival copy of the thesis or dissertation must be approved by the student’s thesis/dissertation committee, include the signed Signature Page, and conform to the required thesis/dissertation format approved by the Office of Graduate Programs. Submission of the archival copy of a thesis or dissertation to the Scholarship Repository grants the University permission to provide permanent and open access to the thesis or dissertation, subject to an embargo period if requested by the student, endorsed by the student’s thesis/dissertation advisor, and approved by the Office of Graduate Programs.
An embargo period for public access may range from a definite period from graduation to an indefinite embargo period. Students are required to provide justification for the requested embargo. An embargo may be requested for reasons including pending patents, pending publications, or proprietary rights. During an embargo period, theses/dissertations will not be available to anyone outside Florida Tech, however, embargoed theses and dissertations will be accessible to students, faculty, and staff of Florida Tech students by request. Thesis/dissertation author may also request the title, abstract, and other metadata to be private during an embargo period.
An indefinite embargo period may be granted under special circumstances such as government contract, commercial sponsorship, export-controlled information, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance, legal or safety risk to the student or third parties mentioned in the thesis/dissertation text, or other reasons as approved by the Office of Graduate Programs.
Once published in the Scholarship Repository of Florida Tech, a thesis or dissertation in its entirety becomes the University’s official record. However, this policy does not preclude submission of entire or partial content of theses or dissertation to other digital repositories or for publication, nor does it impact students’ copyright ownership of their theses or dissertations.
Post-Facto Revision of Theses/Dissertations
The University expects that the content and format of theses and dissertations are thoroughly reviewed by candidates, thesis/dissertation advisors, thesis/dissertation committee members, and the Office of Graduate Programs prior to submission to the Scholarship Repository.
Post-acceptance changes to the submitted thesis or dissertation are not permitted unless there are significant textual errors affecting accuracy of the document content. Only under rare circumstances will a request to add an erratum to correct significant errors in the document content or to remove or modify classified or confidential information be considered.
As part of the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, a request to change name of the author of thesis/dissertation along with associated metadata is allowed to support transgender students and those who may be at risk for religious reasons or vulnerable due to domestic violence or other personal protection reasons. All other name change requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Post-facto revision requests must follow the procedure outlined in this policy.
Preliminary Review of Thesis/Dissertation
- Student submits thesis/dissertation manuscript to the Office of Graduate Programs for initial format check and to confirm the manuscript complies with the Florida Tech Thesis/Dissertation Manual and Style Guide.
- Student submits thesis/dissertation manuscript to the Thesis/Dissertation Committee for review at least two weeks prior to thesis defense or at least one month prior to dissertation defense.
Approval of Thesis/Dissertation
- After the successful completion of thesis/dissertation defense, the Thesis/Dissertation Committee signs the Defense Report.
- Student makes any manuscript revisions as recommended by Thesis/Dissertation Committee.
- Thesis/Dissertation Committee and Academic Unit Head/College Dean sign Signature Page, indicating that the content of thesis/dissertation manuscript has been approved for submission to the Office of Graduate Programs.
Electronic Submission of Thesis/Dissertation
- Student and thesis/dissertation advisor complete and sign the Open Access Form, choosing an embargo option if applicable.
- Student submits the open access form and signed Signature Page along with the revised version of thesis/dissertation manuscript to the Office of Graduate Programs for format check and final approval.
- After final approval, student uploads the approved thesis/dissertation manuscript as a PDF/A file to the University’s online thesis/dissertation management system.
- The Evans Library provides free and open access to thesis/dissertation within the Scholarship Repository of Florida Tech, subject to approved embargo period.
Post-Facto Revision of Thesis/Dissertation
- Under rare circumstances, with recommendation from Thesis/Dissertation Committee and with respective academic unit endorsement, thesis/dissertation advisor may request post-acceptance changes to the submitted thesis/dissertation.
- Thesis/dissertation advisor submits a post-facto revision request along with a rationale to the Office of Graduate Programs.
- The Office of Graduate Programs forwards the post-facto revision request to the Provost for consideration.
- If approved by the Provost, an erratum to thesis/dissertation content or modification/removal of classified or confidential information is made and student follows the procedure for electronic submission of the revised thesis/dissertation.
- Request to change author name of thesis/dissertation along with associated metadata must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Programs and requires the Provost’s approval.
Open Access: Freely and publicly available digital and online information, permitting users to read, download, print, search, or link to the full texts of copyrightable scholarly work
The University: Florida Institute of Technology
Scholarship Repository of Florida Tech: The University’s open access repository
Copyright: Legal right of the authoring student (owner of thesis/dissertation) and anyone given permission by the student to print, publish, or disseminate scholarly work in thesis/dissertation
Embargo: Delayed open access availability of thesis/dissertation, ranging from a definite period from graduation to an indefinite period
Confidentiality: Restricted dissemination of the partial or full thesis/dissertation content due to government contract, commercial sponsorship, export-controlled information, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance, or legal or safety risk to the student or third parties mentioned in the thesis/dissertation text
The Office of the Provost and the Office of Graduate Programs implement policy and develop procedures for submission of theses and dissertations to the Scholarship Repository for open access and approval of post-facto revision of published theses and dissertations. The Office of Graduate Programs monitor for effectiveness and compliance, review the policy at least annually, and recommend updates or revisions as needed.
The Office of Graduate Programs is responsible for communication, compliance, and enforcement of this policy. The Office of Graduate Programs works in collaboration with the Evans Library to maintain copies of the university’s graduate scholarship through the permanent open access of theses and dissertations.
The Evans Library is responsible for maintaining accurate metadata, including embargo requests, for all theses and dissertations ensuring the documents are discoverable and freely available to the public within the Scholarship Repository of Florida Tech.