Difference Between Published And Unpublished Dissertation

Once your thesis, dissertation, or manuscript has been accepted by the Graduate Division, it is submitted for publication to the UCSF Library and to ProQuest/UMI where it will become available to other academic institutions and to the general public.


The following information was taken from the Proquest/UMI Guide F2009.

Publishing with UMI® Dissertation Publishing: Effects on Publishing your Content Elsewhere

The first thing to remember is that YOU own your copyright; unlike most scholarly publishers, ProQuest/UMI does NOT acquire copyright when we publish your dissertation or thesis. You are free to re-publish your work in whole or in part, with whomever you choose without asking our permission.

Some authors are concerned that journals and other publishers will not accept content that has been published in or as a dissertation or thesis. This concern is less valid in the case of peer-reviewed journals, and potentially more valid in the case of commercial book publishers. While every case is unique, here are some general rules of thumb in examining this issue with regard to your own work:

  • In most cases, you will not be submitting your dissertation or thesis as is to a peer-reviewed journal (unless it is a journal that publishes a monograph series). Most often, the content submitted for journal publication is an excerpt, chapter, or section of your dissertation or thesis. At the very least, it would be a significantly shorter distillation of your graduate work. The content is likely to be rearranged and reformatted to fit the style of the journal to which you submit. Finally, the content is likely to be revised and updated through the peer-review process and finally the editorial process if it is accepted. All of these processes mean that the material as finally published by a journal is substantively and substantially refined and therefore different from the content that is published as your dissertation or thesis. For this reason, journals are not historically concerned about your content having appeared and been distributed as a published graduate work. This is particularly true in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
  • Academic presses, monograph publishers, and commercial presses are more likely to consider your dissertation or thesis as a book. This is more often the case with the humanities, social sciences, and arts. Still, even if not peer-reviewed, the editorial process that turns your graduate work into a book is likely to change it substantially. The key in this consideration is whether the content changes substantively; i.e., is there a real difference in the content that makes the press comfortable with investing its resources in producing a book from your dissertation/thesis. Historically, presses have not been terribly concerned that distribution of your graduate work would harm potential sales as a book. However, as dissertations and theses have become widely available over the internet through libraries, consortia and institutional repositories as well as from our subscription database, more presses may look more carefully at the question of marketability.

Requests for Delayed Publishing

Classified or Confidential Material

Occasionally there are special circumstances when a student does not want all or part of the dissertation to be published. Such circumstances may involve disclosure of patent rights before a patent is granted, disclosures of facts about persons or institutions that violate professional ethics regarding protection of confidentiality or other circumstances that would be detrimental to the rights of the author. In such cases, the dean of the Graduate Division may permit the entire thesis, dissertation, manuscript or an appendix to be held for a specified period of time, usually not longer than one year. This is called a "publishing embargo."

All requests for a publishing embargo must be made to the dean of the Graduate Division. This request should come in the form of a letter from your graduate advisor, PI, or the chair of your thesis, dissertation, or manuscript committee. Unless there are extreme circumstances, the maximum length of the embargo request should not exceed one year. Please email these requests to Ellen Levitan, together with the letter from your advisor or PI. The graduate dean will review your request and the Graduate Division will let you know if your request has been approved or not.

A publishing embargo is usually granted for reasons involving intellectual property or patent filing issues. If this is the reason for requesting the embargo, you should provide as much detail as possible about what is involved, what stage you are at in the patent process, and what needs to be accomplished to complete the patent application or process.

The Graduate Division does not automatically approve embargoes strictly for the purpose of providing additional time to prepare published works, but if there are extenuating circumstances involved (i.e. you are in the patent application process) then this will be taken into consideration.

Time/Deadline Considerations

All requests for embargoes add some time to the dissertation filing process. This is especially important to consider if you are near the end of the term deadline for filing your dissertation. Your request will take at least some time to be reviewed and approved, and the time required to gather additional details from you or others, may bring the actual acceptance date of the dissertation past the end of the deadline for that term. This, in turn, would delay your degree conferral date until the end of the following term, which would require that you be re-registered in that following term in order for the dissertation to be accepted.

Copyright
To retain the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, or sell your work you must copyright the material. To copyright your work, you must include in your thesis, dissertation, or manuscript, a copyright page, which directly follows the title page, and bears the following notice at the center of the page just above the bottom margin:

Copyright (year)
by
(Your name as it appears on the title page)

However, in order to protect your rights in a dispute or to be compensated for damages caused by infringement, you should register your copyright with the Library of Congress. Students may designate UMI to act as their agent in registering the copyright. UMI will file the appropriate forms, submit the fee, and provide a copy to the Library of Congress. If you wish to have UMI register your copyright you may elect to do so during the submission process. You may also register the copyright yourself by paying the registration fee and following the directions provided by the Library of Congress.

Using Previously Published Materials

With the approval of the thesis, dissertation, or manuscript committee and your graduate program, published materials may be accepted as part of the master's thesis, doctoral dissertation, or DPTSc manuscript when:

  • The publication(s) represents research or scholarship comparable in scope and contribution to the portion of the standard thesis or dissertation it replaces.
  • The published material is substantially the product of the student's period of study at UCSF and was primarily conducted and written by the student.

Note:

  • An introduction showing the historical development, methods used, and result is required. This may be summarized if already part of the published material.
  • The usual preliminary pages are required for a thesis, dissertation, or manuscript that includes previously published material. The acknowledgment page of your preliminary pages should include a reference to the publication in which the material originally appeared.
  • The published material and preliminary pages must meet all other formatting requirements for the thesis, dissertation, or manuscript.

Multiple Published Papers
If several papers from the thesis, dissertation, or manuscript have been published they may be used as individual chapters. Conventional thesis, dissertation, or manuscript chapters may be combined with published papers in the thesis, dissertation, or manuscript. Theses, dissertations, or manuscripts at press should be treated as published papers.

Co-Authors
If the published material lists a co-author, and the co-author is the person who directed and supervised the research, then only the student's name is listed as the author in the preliminary pages. However, the acknowledgment page should state: “The text of this thesis/dissertation/manuscript is a reprint of the material as it appears in ______________ (name of publication). The co-author listed in this publication directed and supervised the research that forms the basis for the dissertation/thesis.”

If the published material lists co-authors other than the research advisor, a statement from the research advisor clarifying what work the student completed should be included in the acknowledgment page. This statement should also explain how the work is comparable to a standard thesis or dissertation.

See more information on formatting your thesis, dissertation, or manuscript. Or see general information on submitting these documents.

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These rules are not universal. But this is what I have noticed working with dozens of authors and wanna-be authors.

Think of this as a list of best practices.

Difference #1 – Consistency

  • Published authors wake up early and write every day.
  • Unpublished writers write sporadically, often at night.

Difference #2 – Purpose

  • Published authors write to help & inspire others. They write to do something.
  • Unpublished authors write for themselves. They write to be somebody.

Difference #3 – Platform

  • Published authors have a platform that they start building years before their first book comes out.
  • Unpublished authors have little or no platform. Some don’t even know what a platform is.

Difference #4 – Reading

  • Published authors read books about writing and selling books.
  • Unpublished authors complain that the publishing world is ignoring their ground-breaking work.

Difference #5 – Work

  • Published authors know that the difference between Great and Lame lies in hard work. They know they must earn industry attention by being faithful in the little things (tweets, blog posts, magazine articles).
  • Unpublished authors feel that they are the next best thing just waiting to be discovered.

Difference #6 – Website

  • Published authors have a website usually www.TheirName.com.
  • Unpublished authors have a free Blogger blog that they rarely update.

Difference #7 – Marketing

  • Published authors see marketing as part of their mission to help & inspire others.
  • Unpublished authors see marketing as their publisher’s job.

I hope this encourages you. None of these differences are secrets or hard to emulate.

What do you think?

Do you agree? What are some other differences you have noticed?

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