UPDATED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2015
*Policies are established by the Graduate and Research Affairs office.
If you have questions, call 619-594-5213.
If a student submits for review before the "Last Day to Submit" deadline but does not pass, the student can resubmit at any point until the "Last Day to Submit" deadline or within 45 days of receiving a corrections email, whichever comes later. If the student does not pass or resubmit within this time frame, the thesis will be rejected and the student will have to register in 799B the following semester and re-apply for graduation.
A student must pay for publication within 90 days of the notification that they have passed review. If a student fails to pay for publishing within this timeframe, the thesis will be rejected and the student will have to register in 799B the following semester and re-apply for graduation.
Copyright law is highly complex and what follows is offered as only a general guide. This information is not a substitute for a legal opinion.
Ownership of a dissertation, thesis or project begins at the moment the manuscript or "object" is created. Although no further act of the author is required, the law does provide some advantages in giving formal notice and registration of a copyright.
Formal notice of copyright is given by including a copyright page in the manuscript. This notice does not establish any copyright privileges, but it does signal acknowledgment of a legal right and copyright ownership. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is optional, but it provides a record of the work, the fact of copyright, and the author's name and address. Registration would probably be most important if the author wished to file in the future a lawsuit over copyright infringement.
The university assumes that a dissertation, thesis or project approved by a faculty committee is primarily the product of the student's efforts. Thus, the student will usually be considered the owner of the copyrights associated with the manuscript. Students should be aware, however, that the dissertation, thesis or project is the actual product submitted in satisfaction of one of the requirements for an advanced degree rather than the basic research, the results of which it reports. In some instances, therefore, individual faculty members may retain some copyright or patent interest in the data or other jointly developed work included in the thesis or dissertation. Students are, therefore, strongly advised to resolve any questions about ownership rights to data or other elements of the thesis/dissertation in which the faculty committee chair may have an interest. Agreement over such issues should be obtained in writing before beginning research on the dissertation, thesis or project.
In order to foster broad dissemination of the results of scholarly research, the student, upon submission of the dissertation, thesis or project to the SDSU Graduate Division, agrees to convey to the university a license for the following uses of the product:
- Copying of the work for distribution to other libraries upon the request of those libraries
- Inter-library loans of the work
- Display and use of the work in the University Library
- Circulation of the work by the University Library. These rights become effective upon the shelving of the work in the SDSU University Library. The shelving of the work may be postponed for a period of usually up to one year upon written request of the student and consent of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate Division, Office of Graduate and Research Affairs. (See Requests for Restricted Use of Theses.)
Students wishing more information should access a copy of the U.S. Copyright Office Circular 1, "Copyright Basics" on campus via the SDSU library web site.
The federal government has a very good web site - http://www.copyright.gov/index.html with complete copyright information including application forms. To speak with an information specialist, call (202) 707-3000. Lastly, students or faculty requiring additional information about copyrights may contact the SDSU Foundation Technology Transfer Office at 594-0516.
Theses in Foreign Languages
As presentations of original research to the academic community, theses are ordinarily prepared for the university in the English language. In certain cases, however, for a foreign language degree, a student's thesis in the history and literary analysis of non-English languages and literatures may be presented in the subject language. When the departmental graduate adviser and the prospective thesis committee deem this academically appropriate for the specific research topic, the appointment
of the student's thesis committee and authorization of the thesis research by the graduate dean shall be based on the provisions that:
- An abstract of the thesis shall be presented in English,
- All members of the thesis committee shall be fluent in the subject language, and
- Student competency in standard written English shall be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a departmental procedure that has been approved by the graduate dean.
To obtain approval by the Graduate Dean:
- the "thesis in a foreign language" box must be checked on the appointment of thesis committee form, and
- written verification by the departmental graduate adviser that provisions 2 and 3 above have been met must be attached to the appointment of thesis committee form when it is submitted to the Division of Graduate Affairs.
(This is the policy as reflected in the SDSU 2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin.)
Rejection of Theses/Dissertations
Dissertations and theses should be formatted in compliance with the SDSU formatting guidelines prior to their submittal for format review. Manuscripts with gross deficiencies of format will be rejected and returned to the student.
As stated in the Bulletin of the Graduate Division under "Thesis Submission," manuscripts deemed unready for submission (those with "gross deficiencies of format or presentation") will be rejected and returned to the student. The Rejection Form lists the criteria for rejection. When a thesis is rejected, the names of the thesis chair and graduate adviser will be listed at the bottom of the form and both will receive copies; a copy will also be placed in the student's file.
If, because of rejection, students cannot meet the original semester's deadline for the last day to submit dissertations or theses for format review, those students will be required to re-enroll in Dissertation/Thesis as well as to reapply for graduation.
Restricted Use of Thesis Request
On rare occasions, and to protect potential copyrights or patents, thesis accessibility can be restricted on a short-term basis.
Library & Information Access will restrict the use of a thesis or project if the author and the chair of the thesis committee request such action and the Graduate Dean approves. The purpose of the restriction is to protect the author's right to publish or otherwise exploit the new knowledge before making it available to others.
The display of a thesis, dissertation, or project may be embargoed for a period of up to two years upon written request of the student and consent of the Dean of the Graduate Division. In the case of Joint Doctoral degrees, students must notify both schools and comply with each school's policies.
To designate restricted use of a thesis, the author and the thesis committee chair should send a memorandum requesting restricted use to the Dean of the Graduate Division. If the dean approves, a signed copy of the request with approval is provided to Montezuma Publishing at the time of thesis submission. The embargo must be supplied to Montezuma Publishing before the thesis formatting is approved and publication fees are paid. The request is then sent to the Monograph Cataloging Unit, who in turn will withhold from use all copies of the restricted thesis when they are received in the Library & Information Access.
The author's memorandum to the Dean of the Graduate Division requesting restricted use of a thesis should state the following:
- The reason for the request
- The period of restriction (up to two years)
- The author's address and telephone number. These will be used by the university's archival librarian in requesting permission for a reader to consult, borrow, or copy the thesis during the period of restriction. Authors may request a renewal of the restriction period for a second year by sending a memorandum to the Associate Dean of the Graduate Division specifying the reason for the renewal.
Authors may request a renewal of the restriction period for a second year by sending a memorandum to the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate Division specifying the reason for the renewal.
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