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UKnowledge: Theses & Dissertations

This guide provides information about the University of Kentucky's institutional repository, UKnowledge.

Submission of Theses and Dissertations

Graduate School

The Graduate School at the University of Kentucky implemented a policy in Fall 2013 that requires all finalized master's theses and doctoral dissertations to be submitted to UKnowledge and made freely accessible online.  Depositing theses and dissertations in UKnowledge enhances their online visibility and discoverability.  It does not require authors to transfer copyright to the university.  Templates for theses and dissertations are available online.  Information about preparing theses and dissertations are available here.  A thesis/dissertation submission guide is available to walk you through the submission process. 

Students should pay attention to these issues before submitting their theses/dissertations:

  1. The ETD approval form must be filled out, signed by both the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, and uploaded to UKnowledge with the thesis/dissertation as instructed in the submission guide.
  2. Students wishing to request an embargo on their theses/dissertations (i.e., a delay in online access) should discuss it with their thesis/dissertation committee chair (or co-chairs if any).  If the committee chair(s) supports the embargo, they must indicate it on their ETD approval form.
  3. Students should ensure that their theses/dissertations are free of errors.
  4. Students have to follow the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations guidelines to convert their theses/dissertations to PDF format. 

If you have any questions about preparing your thesis/dissertation, please contact the Degree Certification Officer assigned to your department/program.  If you reuse copyrighted materials in your thesis/dissertation and have questions about it, feel free to contact Digital Scholarship in UK Libraries for assistance.

Finding Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations completed by University of Kentucky students can be found in InfoKat Discovery. For new theses and dissertations that have just been released, they may be findable on UKnowledge only until after they have been added to InfoKat Discovery.

Other resources for finding theses and dissertations include:

Copyright Registration

Students as authors by default hold the copyright of their theses and dissertations.  Regarding whether to register copyright of a thesis or dissertation, the Authors Alliance has discussed some of the benefits and explained how to register copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office.  For more information and resources concerning various aspects of author rights, visit this tab of the Open Access guide.  If you have questions about copyright ownership, please contact Digital Scholarship in UK Libraries for assistance. 

ORCID ID for Researchers

There is an international initiative that addresses problems related to confirming the identity of researchers with similar or the same name. It is ORCID, which issues unique identifiers to distinguish individual researchers. Different stakeholders in the research community, including funding agencies, higher education institutions, and publishers, plan to adopt the ORCID ID as a means to disambiguate the identity of researchers and to track their scholarly activities and contributions. More information about ORCID is available from the video below. 

Click here to register for an ORCID ID. Once you have created the ID, take some time to add information about yourself and your research outputs.  This will help build your professional online presence and reputation.  Last but not least, remember to add the ORCID ID to your CV, scholarly publications, grant applications, and academic profiles such as a personal Web page. This will help clarify your identity as a scholar among others who have names similar to or same as yours.

New Master's Theses Released on UKnowledge

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What Is an Embargo Policy?

Doctoral dissertations and master’s theses are freely available in the University of Kentucky’s institutional repository, UKnowledge, upon acceptance by the Graduate School.  In limited circumstances, students may want to postpone public access to their thesis/dissertation.  Such a postponement is known as an embargo. 

There is a record of each embargoed thesis/dissertation on UKnowledge that displays the author name, thesis/dissertation title, abstract, publication year, and college and department affiliations.  The record also shows when the embargo will expire.  Only the student (as the author) and the administrators of UKnowledge can access the thesis/dissertation before the embargo expiration date.

Students should think carefully about their need for an embargo.  Common reasons for an embargo are:

  • The student is applying for a patent on an invention or procedure documented in the thesis/dissertation and does not wish to make the contents public until the patent application has been filed. 
  • The thesis/dissertation contains sensitive and/or classified information. 
  • Immediate release of the thesis/dissertation may impact an existing or potential publishing agreement. 

To protect their interests, students may choose from the following embargo duration options:

  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 2 years

Students and their committee chairs (or co-chairs if any) should discuss and reach a mutual agreement regarding which embargo option is appropriate. Conflicts between the wishes of the students and the committee chair should be resolved before the students complete the ETD approval form.  The student will then have to submit the finalized thesis/dissertation and the signed approval form to UKnowledge.  Details about the submission procedure are available in this submission guide

As the thesis/dissertation is the student’s intellectual property, only the student can initiate a cancellation or an extension of an embargo. To do that, the student should contact the Assistant Dean of Graduate Academic Services at the Graduate School at 257-4613.

Panel Discussion on Embargo

The City University of New York hosted the panel discussion, Share It Now or Save It For Later: Making Choices about Dissertations and Publishing, on May 1, 2014.  Five panelists discussed from different perspectives whether to impose an embargo on a dissertation.  Highlights of the panelists' remarks are available on this page.

What Is a Dissertation? New Models, Methods, Media

The Graduate Center at the City University of New York hosted the panel discussion, What Is a Dissertation? New Models, New Methods, New Media, on October 10, 2014.  The panelists discussed how their dissertations exemplify innovative, experimental formats.  There is an open document accompanying this program. 

New Doctoral Dissertations Released on UKnowledge

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