Electronic Thesis & Dissertation Workshop Video Transcript

Speaker: Megan Dishman

Welcome to the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) preparation workshop. My name is Megan Dishman—I’m an advisor in the Graduate School. Here are the topics we will discuss:

  • How to properly format your document for submission.
  • How to use the new ETD template.
  • Tips for creating an accessible document in Microsoft word.
  • The ETD review and approval process.
  • Copyrighting your work.
  • Embargoes.

A little background before I begin: An ETD is a means for graduate students to convey electronically the product of their research and scholarly activity. Previously, dissertations were required to be submitted in bound form, causing the UB libraries to be filled to the gills with books that are rarely accessed. In 2005, the submission process changed to only requiring electronic copies of theses and dissertations. You can find out more about the ETD guidelines by going to our website: grad.buffalo.edu/succeed/graduate/electronic-submission.html.

In order to get started, you will need to choose a style manual. Select one that is appropriate to your specific discipline. If you are unsure, check with your department on which style to use. For the font size, use 10 to 12 point font, anything smaller or larger may be difficult to read. The spacing of your document may be set by your style guide and can be either single or double spaced. The margins of your pages must be one inch from both the left, right, top and bottom—this applies to all materials except for page numbers—including figures, headers and footers, footnotes, endnotes and full-page images. Page numbers must be at least three quarters of an inch from the edge of the page. When it comes to numbering your pages, your preliminary pages must have Roman numeral page numbers.

The title page, abstract, table of contents, dedication, acknowledgements, and any lists of tables of figures are considered preliminary pages. Please note that the title page counts as page “i” (Roman numeral page one) but must remain unnumbered. The main body of your document, which usually begins with the introduction or chapter one, must be in Arabic numerals starting with page one, and continuing through the end of your document. When setting up the orientation of your pages, please use portrait mode instead of landscape whenever possible. Pages with a landscape orientation do not always get turned sideways when being published or printed and may be shrunk down to fit on a portrait sized page. Use only eight and one-half inch by 11-inch pages. Larger pages will also be shrunk down to this size making them difficult to read. Your document must not contain any blank pages. Pages you intend to be blank must be labeled “this page intentionally left blank” otherwise, the page will be seen as a mistake during publication and you will be asked to remove it.

The title page is required and must be the first page of your document. The information on this page must be centered and include the title, your full legal name, your defense date, final approval date or degree conferral date, qualifying statement, degree and your department or program’s official title. The title, defense or approval date must match the information provided on the M-form, and your legal name must match UB records. The M-form is a multi-section form signed by your department’s chair or director of graduate studies, your committee and yourself indicating you have successfully completed all program requirements, successfully defended your thesis or dissertation, that you attest to the originality and integrity of the work, acceptance of your final work including all revisions and the title of your thesis or dissertation.

Here is a sample of the title page. Remember, this page does not contain a page number but should be counted as page “i”. The copyright page should be next page of your document—Roman numeral ii. This is also a required page, even if you aren’t filing for a copyright. I will discuss copyright options toward the end of the presentation. The copyright information is to be centered on the lower third of the page, just above the margins, and must contain the words “copyright by”, your full legal name and the current year—as shown in this slide. Your document must include a table of contents. It may follow any format acceptable by your advisor and committee as long as it include all main divisions within your text, the format is consistent and these required sections are included: the abstract, main divisions or main chapters, and bibliography, references or works cited. You may also list acknowledgements, dedication, sub-division or sub-chapters and appendices, but they are not required to be included.

Here are some common formatting mistakes that are seen when reviewing the ETDs. The title of the ETD does not match the title listed on the M-form. If your title has changed since the M-form was signed, please have your advisor send an email with the correct title. The format of the title page does not match the title page shown in the template or there is a page number on the title page. The date used on the title page is not the defense date, final approval date or conferral date. The university’s name is written incorrectly. The page numbering format does not match the format I previously talked about. Blank pages in the document are unlabeled. Page numbers in the table of contents do not match the page numbering format, or do not align with the document’s page numbers. The listing for abstract and references, works cited, bibliography are missing from the table of contents. The ETD template is meant to be a guide to help organize your document when you start writing and show some of the graduate school’s formatting requirements. You are not required to use it, but we recommend that you review the information to aid in properly formatting your document.

Now, I’m going to discuss how to use the ETD template. As mentioned previously, be sure to have your style guide selected. This will guide you in how to adjust the headings in your document. When using the template keep in mind that the page numbers are already set—with preliminary page numbers being Roman numerals and the main body of the document being Arabic numerals. If you are adding or deleting a page, the page numbers should automatically adjust. The template includes pagination instructions if needed. On the title page you will need to type over the title, name, and date with your own information. The title must be heading one. This should be the only heading one in your document. Select thesis (for Master’s students) or dissertation (for PhD students) from the drop down. In the next drop down, choose your degree. Type over the department or program name with your own department or program information. And finally, right click on the comments located on the right side of the page to remove them. On the copyright page you will need to enter your legal name, and use the drop down to select the correct year. Remove the statement “this page is required”, and again right click on the comments on the right side to remove them. The dedication and acknowledgements pages are optional. If you choose to have one of both of these pages, enter the information on the appropriate page or pages. Use heading two for the title of each of these sections. If you do not want to include one or both of these sections, feel free to delete them.

The abstract section is required in your document. This should be a succinct and concise narrative description of your work. The public abstract is not required but encouraged. Heading two should be used for the abstract(s). When using styles in your document it is easy to set up the table of contents. Go to the references tab, table of contents and select automatic table two from the drop down. The difference between automatic table one and automatic table two is the title. Table one uses the word “contents” while table two uses “table of contents”. You will need to adjust the TOC levels to remove the title (heading one). Go to the references tab and use the table of contents drop down. Select “custom table of Contents” and click the “options” button. Under TOC level scroll down to remove the number from heading one—change heading one to TOC level one and heading three to TOC level two. Once you set this your TOC should automatically adjust. If you make any changes to your headings or page numbering you will want to “update table” in the TOC. When using tables in your document you should add captions. This allows you to automatically create a list of tables in your document. After creating the tables in your document, to add a caption either select insert caption in the references ribbon or right click and select insert caption. Make sure the label section is correctly indicating “table”. Each table in your document should also include alternative text. To add alternative text to your table, right click on each table and select “table properties” and go to the alt text tab. Both a title and description should be included. For figures and images you should also add captions. Like the tables, adding the captions will allow you to automatically create a list of figures in your document. After adding the figures or images in your document, to add a caption either select insert caption in the references ribbon or right click and select insert caption. Make sure the label section is correctly indicating “figure”. Each figure or image should include alternative text. To enter the alternative text right click on the figure or image and select format picture. Choose the third icon which will be layout and properties. Both a title and description should be included. To add the list of tables and or list of figures go to the page of your document that you want to contain the list. Under the references tab click on “insert table of figures”. Select the appropriate caption “table” or “figure” and click ok. If you have both tables and figures in your document, you will need to do this twice—once for each type of list. Your lists should then appear on the selected page. Be sure to update each of the lists if you make any changes to your document to ensure the page numbers listed are correct. The template shows all of the tables and figures in a single area. You do not need to do this in your document as it is only an example.

Here are some helpful tips for using the template. Use the pilcrow symbol to show the formatting on each page. This can be found in the paragraph section of the home ribbon. When going into a new chapter, use a page break to end the previous chapter. Be sure to update all of the tables when you make changes to your document. And again, you do not need to have all of your tables, figures or images in a single section of your document. We have only put them together in a template to more easily show examples.

The University at Buffalo is committed to ensuring equal access to information that is presented online as per UB's Web Accessibility Policy. As part of this commitment, university web content must be accessible to everybody, including individuals with physical, sensory or cognitive impairments, with or without the use of assistive technology. Here are some tips for creating an accessible document in Microsoft word. First, have a logical semantic or heading structure. This means using word’s built-in heading styles to numerically move between the different heading levels. Second, use alternative text for all visuals including pictures, graphics and charts. A helpful website for alternative text is WebAim. Alternative text should be accurate and equivalent in presenting same content and function of the image, be succinct, not be redundant, not use phrases, such as “image of” or “table of". Third, have meaningful hyperlinked text. This means instead of inserting the web address hyperlink text that describes where the link will take the reader. For the purposes of this presentation we have listed out the web addresses since they are not clickable in the video. Fourth, review Microsoft’s accessibility guide. This is a helpful tool in making your document accessible. Finally, have a logical table structure with proper table headings.

Here are some reminders for the ETD review and approval process. Use an email that you will be actively monitoring; check your spam or junk folder, watch for any emails from etdadministrator@proquest.com, use your full legal name when creating the submission profile, and be sure to request the same publishing options from ProQuest and UB’s institutional repository.

After you’ve submitted through the ETD Administrator website, we will review your ETD. First, we will check that the dissertation or thesis details match the information provided on the m-form. We also ensure that the publishing options chosen for ProQuest and the institutional repository match. The document’s formatting is checked against the guidelines I previously discussed. We will either register a decision of “accepted” or “minor revisions required” with details of the requested revisions. If revisions are requested, please upload the revised document through the account you already created. Please do not create a new account.

ETD approvals: Once your document is approved you will be unable to submit any further revisions. Submissions are delivered to ProQuest and the UBIR shortly after degree conferral (usually in about two weeks). Documents with approved embargoes will also be delivered but held from release for the duration of the embargo period. Publishing by ProQuest typically occurs eight to twelve weeks after the submission is delivered by our office. If you have purchased a bound copy from ProQuest it may take an additional four week beyond the publishing date.

Now I will discuss copyright. A student’s copyright is established as soon as the thesis or dissertation is fixed in a tangible medium such as saved on a computer hard drive. It is the student’s choice whether or not to register for copyright, and registration with the US copyright office is not required to establish copyright. Registering for copyright is the next step in protecting an author’s intellectual property, by establishing a public record of their work. If you wish to copyright your work, there are some options. Works with a single author can request that ProQuest file for copyright on their behalf for a $75 fee, or the author can register the copyright on their own with the US Copyright Office directly. Works with multiple authors must request copyright directly from the US copyright office. I’ve included a website provided by ProQuest that shows examples deemed not by a sole author. This website can be found at www.proquest.com/go/loc-copyright. A delayed release or embargo postpones the distribution of the thesis or dissertation that has been approved and filed with the university.

There are several reasons one may request an embargo, such as a patent being filed, to satisfy requirements for the review of grant sponsored research, to allow time for the submission of content to a peer reviewed journal, or to allow for potential consideration of content by an academic or commercial press. Students may request an embargo for up to one or two years, with longer time periods considered by exception.

When submitting your document through the ETD administrator site, the author must indicate the delayed release in both the PQ and IR publishing options. A completed and signed request for embargo form must be submitted to the graduate school. An approved delayed release will postpone public distribution of, and access to a thesis or dissertation via both ProQuest and the University at Buffalo’s institutional repository, or UBIR. Here are some resources that are helpful when developing your ETD. The electronic thesis and dissertation guidelines and the ETD template. If you have any questions or concerns, I can be reached at mdishman@buffalo.edu or grad@buffalo.edu.