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How do I make my published dissertation more discoverable?

Dissemination of your dissertation via a combination both of ProQuest and open-access sites provides maximum exposure for authors and institutions. For details on each method, please see the following explanation. We also suggest viewing the GSSC Webinar Publishing and Presenting Your Dissertation Research: How to “De-Dissertationize”.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses:

As a student, your dissertation will be published in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses allowing for significant discoverability, as detailed below.

  • ProQuest assists researchers and institutions in the discoverability and dissemination of their dissertations and theses; the database is accessed by researchers at more than 3,100 institutions worldwide.
  • Metadata is made available to key subject indexes and database services including PsycINFO (psychology), ERIC (education), MLA (modern languages, literature, folklore, and linguistics), MathSciNet (mathematics), Compendex (engineering), etc. This enhances discovery within the author’s discipline and enables the authors’ works to be showcased for use in other academic journals, working papers, reports and studies.
  • Inclusion in PQDT enables discovery alongside the work of established leaders in their fields. ProQuest aggregates content from thousands of publishers that are used every day in every major research library in the world. ProQuest’s acclaimed research platform cross-searches journal databases with dissertations content, enabling your dissertation to be viewed along with other major works on the topic.

ProQuest’s author agreement for dissertations and theses is non-exclusive. Authors have the full right to make their works available to other commercial services or for open access outside of the ProQuest service. Further dissemination options, such as distribution via an Institutional Repository or website, can occur in parallel with availability through ProQuest.

For more information on your rights as an author, please see the following:

ProQuest - Author Dissertations FAQs

ProQuest - For Student Authors

Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities

Search Engines:

When you submit your dissertation through ProQuest, one of the options is "I want major search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo) to discover my work through ProQuest." An answer of "Yes" or "Include" means that the full text of your thesis or dissertation (after any selected embargo period expires) would be searchable and discoverable through search engines, such as Google, so that researchers may discover your work beyond ProQuest. 

Google Scholar:

Authors submitting their dissertation to ProQuest also have the option to allow discovery of their work via ProQuest’s partnership with Google Scholar. However, note that it is also possible for search engines and other vendors to harvest your work if it is posted in a university institutional repository. Authors always have the option to opt-out of this offering.

ProQuest Open Access Publishing PLUS:

ProQuest also offers an fee-based option to publish your dissertation or thesis open access in their database. At participating institutions, authors who wish to extend discovery of their works via open access, can pay a publication fee ($95) to have their full-text work made discoverable and accessible through several additional channels:

  • Search Engine Optimization – ProQuest allows Google, Bing, etc. to index PQDT to retrieve bibliographic information. Additionally, discoverability for Open Access titles is enhanced through ProQuest’s metadata editorial process and a ProQuest partnership with Google Scholar.

Please contact ProQuest at or call 1-800-521-0600 x77020 with additional questions.

Social Networking Sites:

Additionally, researchers use social networking sites such as ResearchGate and Academia to share their work and discover other researchers' work. Uploading to ResearchGate or other sites will often populate on Google Scholar.

Institutional Repository:

An institutional repository is an archive for collecting, preserving, and disseminating digital copies of the intellectual output of an institution. The Library is currently working to launch an institutional repository, which would allow you to share your dissertation via open access and would also add the results to Google Scholar.

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