Western Graduate & Postdoctoral  Studies

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Project

The Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) project at The University of Western Ontario is a collaborative effort between the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Western Libraries.  ETD provides a technologically advanced medium for expressing research at Western. By providing electronic thesis and dissertation, Western aims to:

Western launched the final phase of the ETD project September 2011.  All graduate theses may now be submitted via the repository.

Graduate Electronic Theses and Dissertations Policy

All dissertations written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for any doctorate degree conferred by the University must ordinarily be filed electronically with the Scholarship@Western system according to University procedures. Exceptions to filing electronically must be approved by the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Copyright to electronic theses and dissertations are subject to the appropriate provisions of the Western Author Agreement as seen below:

Author Agreement for Electronic Theses and Dissertations
I hereby grant University of Western Ontario the non-exclusive right to distribute my submission ("the Work") over the Internet and make it part of the Scholarship@Western repository pending successful examination. I warrant as follows:

Digital Publication

After the final submission of an ETD is received, ETDs are published as follows:

Copyright and Electronic Distribution
Authors become the owner of the copyright in their work the moment it is fixed in a tangible form inlcuding digital publication. Authors continue to own that copyright until it is transferred to another party in writing. The ETD author agreement gives license to Western to put your work within the Scholarship@Western ETD repository and to make it available online in a format that allows other scholars to read it and potentially use it for non-commercial purposes, as long as they do so without changes to your work and while giving you credit.

Delaying Publication (Embargo)
All works submitted as ETD will be catalogued within the Scholarship@Western ETD library upon successful examination and final submission. Candidates may request a publication embargo on their work for a maximum of two years. Embargoed works are still indexed within the ETD library but the work itself is not accessible until the embargo date has passed.

ProQuest (UMI)
ProQuest (formerly UMI) has led the effort to archive and provide access to theses and dissertations worldwide. As with paper documents, The University of Western Ontario will send dissertations and theses to ProQuest for abstract publication, electronic backup and microfilm archiving services. This will provide an added level of security to ensure archival protection as the firm has a stated commitment to provide a parallel system (microfilm and digital), along with the assurance that as technology changes dictate, the ETDs will be reformatted and preserved on whatever medium is deemed appropriate according to future standards.

The ETD Process

Western has purchased and developed the Berkeley Electronic Press software package Digital Commons in order to manage the Western ETD process. This is a software package created specifically to collect, showcase and preserve scholarly output.

This software, now labeled Scholarship@Western provides the following features:

The thesis or dissertation will normally be typed using a standard word processing package, (e.g. Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, LaTeX, OpenOffice, etc.). If you do not use standard word processing software to create your document, SGPS encourages you to visit an Western Computing Lab early in the process to determine that the finished document will transfer into PDF format. Test the transfer of any special fonts or other textual features, which are not typically found in a routine text document. It is possible to embed fonts when transferring your document to PDF.

Submission/Collection of Research
Once a candidate is ready to submit their work, they will visit the Scholarship@Western portal and "Submit Research". This collection portal will require candidates to label their research with standard metadata for cataloging purposes. Submissions are collected and converted into .pdf format for viewing purposes. Supplementary information can be associated with the research, including music and image files.

Distribution of Research
Upon submission, Scholarship@Western can communicate electronic copies of the research to the thesis examiners. Alerts are sent to the examiners via e-mail, prompting them to visit Scholarship@Western and access the research online.

Preliminary Examination
Scholarship@Western prompts standardized questions and gathers examination feedback directly from examiners. Feedback is delivered to the candidate once all examiners have concluded their preliminary examination and prompts successful candidates to prepare for the examination.

Collection of Final Thesis Submission/Revisions
Upon successful completion of the examination, candidates will be prompted to submit any required revisions directly to Scholarship@Western. The process will then forward submission of these revisions directly to the supervisor for final approval. Upon final approval, the research will be published (pending any embargoes) within the Western ETD Repository.

Storage and Access to Research within a Digital Library
Completed research will reside within the Scholarship@Western database and be accessible to a global online audience. Visitors to the database will be prompted to search for research with a variety of indexing options directed towards providing the most relevant works Western has to offer.

The ETD Document

Basic Considerations

Recommended Format for the Thesis/Dissertation Body

Supplementary Content

Hard Copy Documents

Additional Developments

Thesis/Dissertation Template
The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will facilitate the creation of a standardized template in both Word and LaTeX formats. These templates will reside on the SGPS website and be accessible to all students.

Electronic Thesis Board
The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will facilitate the creation of an electronic process to gather and validate thesis board information submitted by graduate programs.

Examination Chairs
The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will faciliate the creation of an electronic process that will search for possible examination chairs and validate their availability.