No. Under U.S. Copyright Law, your original work is copyrighted the moment you create it and save it in a fixed and tangible medium. You may register your work for a fee. For more information, see the U.S. Copyright Office Fees page.
ProQuest, formerly University Microfilms (UMI) and now part of Clarivate, is a business headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that has created the Dissertations and Theses Global database. Most dissertations written in the US, including those from Kent State, are submitted to ProQuest for archiving and can be purchased in print, microfilm, or digital format.
What is the relationship between ProQuest and the ETD initiative?
ProQuest has a commercial interest in continuing to build its database and archive of digital dissertations and is also supportive of the ETD initiative as exemplified by the NDLTD and the OhioLINK ETD Center. It has a representative on the Steering Committee and on the Technical Advisory Committee of the NDLTD.
The NDLTD project focuses on graduate education and raising the level of knowledge transfer through the free availability of theses and dissertations with special regard to theses, which are frequently not submitted by universities to ProQuest. At the same time, those involved in the ETD initiative acknowledge the value of the ProQuest database and the services offered by ProQuest and other commercial vendors.
The OhioLINK ETD Center will preserve your dissertation or thesis in perpetuity and transfer copies of dissertations to ProQuest.
Why should my dissertation be submitted to ProQuest?
The UMI product continues to be the most important single resource for disseminating the research of doctoral candidates and Kent State requires that you submit your dissertation to ProQuest. You may receive royalties from copies of your dissertation sold by ProQuest. Master's theses are not submitted by Kent State to ProQuest.
What is a Creative Commons License and why would I select one?
Creative Commons licenses are open licenses for authors interested in sharing their work more easily. Creative Commons licenses work with copyright law to give others specified rights to the use of a work without having to contact authors for permission. For more information see the Creative Commons web site.
Generally no restrictions are placed on access to theses and dissertations, whether print or electronic. Anyone may purchase copies in a variety of formats from UMI or borrow them from the KSU Library (through interlibrary loan if not associated with the University).
With an ETD you have an option to impose an embargo or delay on its publication for 6 months, 1 year or 2 years. This addresses situations such as a patent application, book contract negotiation, or other proprietary interests that are at stake. You must arrange a publication delay through your college or school (download this form, print it, and take it to your advisor) and indicate the delay in the online form when you submit your ETD to OhioLINK. You may not request a delay after your online submission has been approved.
Can I earn royalties from the sale of copies of my dissertation?
ProQuest will pay royalties on any copies it sells above a minimum amount in a given year. Copies distributed through OhioLINK are freely available and do not earn you royalties. You are also free to seek commercial publication options for your thesis or dissertation, developing it into a book.