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Submit Your Dissertation or Thesis

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To submit your dissertation or thesis, you must meet numerous requirements and consider a variety of factors. Review these requirements and considerations to prepare yourself for the submission process.

To assist you during the submission process, review this Checklist for Submitting My Dissertation or Thesis.

Submission Requirements

You will not be able to submit your dissertation or thesis through the Dissertation & Thesis Center in Axess unless you have met all requirements outlined below.

  • Registration
    • You must be registered for classes or on an approved Graduation Quarter during the term in which your dissertation or thesis is submitted. 

  • Application to Graduate
    • An application to graduate should be filed through Axess early in the degree quarter but no later than the date specified in the academic calendar for that quarter. View details in this article: How do I Apply to Graduate?

      When you apply to graduate, you will be instructed to enter the title of your dissertation or thesis. You are not eligible to submit your work until an application to graduate has been filed for the current quarter.  

  • Program Requirements
    • In order to submit your work in Axess, you must ensure:

      • Your candidacy is valid
      • Your reading committee is accurate
      • You’ve completed all relevant milestones

      If you have any questions about the status of your milestones, accuracy of your reading committee, or your candidacy end date, reach out to the Student Services Officer in your department.  

  • Holds
    • Students with unmet financial obligations resulting in the placement of a hold will not receive a transcript, statement of completion, degree certificate, or diploma until the hold is released by Student Financial Services. Be sure your financial obligations are in order before submission of the dissertation.  

  • Submission of the Reading Committee Page eForm

Considerations During Submission

Consider these other items during the submission process of your dissertation or thesis.

  • Copyright Review
    • Managing copyright is an important responsibility in your academic career.

      For this reason, all students are required to review a resource on Copyright Considerations prior to submission of a thesis or dissertation for publication by Stanford, produced by Stanford Libraries in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel.

      You are encouraged to review this resource as early as possible in the dissertation or thesis preparation process.

  • Publication Agreement
    • During the online submission process, you, as the author, will sign the Stanford University Thesis and Dissertation Publication License.

      By accepting the terms of this agreement, you are granting Stanford the non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable right to reproduce, distribute, display and transmit the dissertation or thesis. Read the full text of the agreement.

      Stanford will make your full dissertation or thesis available online through its library website, and may also make it available through third-party search engines and distributors. Supplementary material submitted along with the dissertation or thesis will be available only from Stanford Libraries website.

      On occasion, when a dissertation or thesis author enters into a contract with a publisher, the publisher requests the author to "pull back" their dissertation or thesis to limit accessibility. Stanford can often accommodate these requests, in which case the thesis or dissertation will be available only to those in hard copy, or those with a Stanford network account. Indexing of the document will continue to be allowed, however. Requests for pull-backs must be made through the Registrar's Office.

  • Creative Commons Licenses
    • A dissertation or thesis author has the option to apply a Creative Commons license during submission.

      Because Stanford will make your dissertation or thesis publicly accessible, readers may locate your publication and may wish to use parts of it in their own work. Because you hold the copyright to your work, your permission for that reuse is necessary.

      By applying a Creative Commons license to your work, you make clear to users the terms and conditions under which they may reuse your material, obviating the need for them to contact you directly. Applying a Creative Commons license does not take away any of your rights; rather, it makes clear to readers of your work what kind of reuse you permit.

      You may optionally apply for one Creative Commons license. Stanford Libraries recommends the "Attribution Non-Commercial" license, because it encourages open access and collaboration in the scholarly process. For more information on Creative Commons license options, please visit the Creative Commons website.

      For specific questions about applying a Creative Commons license to your submission, please submit a help request, which will be reviewed by the library.

  • Delayed Release (Embargo)
    • You, as the author, have the option to delay the release of a dissertation or thesis to search engines outside of Stanford and other third-party distributors. Under an embargo, the dissertation or thesis will be available online to Stanford-authenticated users, but not to readers outside the Stanford network.

      Release delay options are: six months, one year, or two years. Embargos of longer than two years require the review and approval of the Subcommittee on Exceptions to Graduate Policy (S-EGP).

      The embargo option may be appropriate for a student who wants to delay access to the dissertation or thesis for a limited amount of time in order to pursue other publications.

      Embargos and Patent Protection

      Please note that the laws of different jurisdictions vary on what constitutes a public disclosure that could prevent or impede one’s ability to obtain patent protection for inventions disclosed therein.

      Stanford takes no position with regards to whether the delayed release of a dissertation or thesis will safeguard the ability to obtain patent protection for inventions disclosed therein.  Instead, Stanford recommends that any patent filings relating to material described in the dissertation or thesis occur prior to submission, whether or not the dissertation or thesis is under delayed release.

      If you have any questions, please contact Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing at (650) 723-0651 or info@otlmail.stanford.edu.

      Embargos and Grant-Funded Research

      If your thesis or dissertation includes any research conducted as part of an active grant-funded project, discuss the embargo option with the project's principal investigator. 

      Embargos and Multiple Authorship

      Multiple authorship has implications with respect to copyright and public release of the material. Be sure to discuss copyright clearance and embargo options with your co-authors and your advisor well in advance of preparing your dissertation or thesis for submission.  Embargoes may be lifted early at the request of the author.

      Embargos and Copyright Permissions

      You may not select embargoed status in lieu of obtaining appropriate copyright permissions. A dissertation or thesis, in its entirety, will be governed by only one level of distribution at any given time; the work may not be subdivided with sections disseminated under differing levels of distribution.

      If you have any questions about whether you should embargo your dissertation or thesis, please consult with your advisor.

      Extending Embargos

      Students who designate an embargo period (of six months or one year) during the initial submission, may later wish to either extend their original embargo period (to one year or two years from the time of submission).

      To make such a request, submit a help request to the Office of the Registrar no later than four weeks before your original embargo selection expires.