Doctoral dissertations and abstracts are normally made publicly available upon degree conferral when they are deposited electronically in Deep Blue, the permanent digital repository of the University Library. In limited circumstances, a doctoral student may wish to postpone public release of the final dissertation of record that is deposited in Deep Blue, this is called a dissertation embargo (section 4.4.12 of the academic policies).
Considering an Embargo Request
A student who is considering a dissertation embargo should discuss the option with their faculty advisor and the rest of their dissertation committee. The student is responsible for requesting an embargo of their dissertation. The request must be approved by the chair and, if applicable, co-chair of their dissertation committee.
Students may choose to delay the public release of their dissertation for a period of two years in order to:
- Protect intellectual property during the patent application process.
- Maintain confidentiality agreements protecting third-party proprietary information.
- Provide sufficient time to publish their dissertation in book form or as journal articles.
- Protect informants at risk of identity exposure.
Embargo requests must be submitted before the final dissertation submission deadline with which the student is working.
Embargo Restriction Levels
During the first two years in which public release is delayed students may choose one of two levels for restricting access to their dissertation in Deep Blue:
- The author, title, abstract, and dissertation will not be listed or accessible to anyone.
- Dissertations that are fully restricted are not included in the online listings of the University Library and the title and abstract are not available to the public or the university community.
- A full restriction cannot be renewed beyond the initial two-year period.
Partial Restriction, Only Members of the University of Michigan Community
- Access is limited to those within the University of Michigan community.
- The author, title, and abstract will be listed
Renewing the Dissertation Embargo
Permission to renew an embargo is granted by the Graduate School. Graduates wishing to extend their dissertation embargo must request and be granted a renewal; otherwise the dissertation will be fully released at the end of the initial two-year period.
While a full restriction cannot be renewed an additional two years at the partial restriction level may be requested.
The partial restriction may be extended for a fifth and final year only for purposes of protecting the ability to publish the dissertation in book form. This request must be via email to email@example.com and approved by the Graduate School.
A student may independently choose among several levels of embargo for the copy of the dissertation that is deposited electronically with UMI/ProQuest.
Contact Academic Records and Dissertations
0120 Rackham Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Academic Records and Dissertations is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.