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Dissertations & Theses: Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Information on finding dissertations and theses at UToledo, in OhioLINK, and Elsewhere. Also, how to submit your thesis or dissertation electronically.

Introduction to Submitting an Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

All University of Toledo graduate students who complete a thesis or dissertation are required to submit their document to the OhioLINK Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD) Center and Proquest/UMI.  The information on this page will help you with that process.  To make it as stress-free as possible we recommend the following steps, explained in more detail on this page:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the College of Graduate Studies information about Theses & Dissertations, including reading the format guidelines for the document, which includes information about margins, pagination, headings, figures, etc.  Microsoft Word templates are available to help with this process.
  2. Once the document is in its final format as a single word-processing document, convert it to a PDF document.
  3. Go to the OhioLINK ETD Center to submit your thesis or dissertation. 
  4. Pay special attention to formatting of any special characters.
  5. When you are creating the submission at the OhioLINK ETD Center, you will select the option to send your dissertation or thesis to ProQuest/UMI for traditional publishing.

If you have any questions about forms, graduation requirements, or the thesis & dissertation process as a whole, please contact the College of Graduate Studies staff.  For more information about converting your document to PDF, embedding fonts, or uploading your document to the OhioLINK ETD Center, contact Wade Lee-Smith in the University Libraries.

1. UToledo Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines

Information about the University of Toledo Graduate School's guidelines for the preparation of theses and dissertations is found in the Manual for the Formatting of Graduate Dissertations and Theses and addenda found on the Graduate Studies website.  This includes information about the format and style* of your document, including examples of title/signature pages for specific colleges.  The Manual also discusses UMI/Proquest submission requirements, copyright, and other information about submitting an electronic thesis or dissertation.

*Style guides for specific disciplines may be consulted as to the format for references or citations.

These templates for use in Microsoft Word may help you follow the formatting guidelines of the Manual:

2. Converting your document to PDF

Electronic Theses and Dissertations must be submitted as a single PDF file of the entire document.  While some computers have the ability to save a word processing document in Adobe PDF format, not all do.  There are online utilities that can convert a word processing document into the PDF format, however.  If none of these services work for you, please contact Wade Lee-Smith (information at right) for assistance in converting your file.

3. Submitting to the OhioLINK ETD Center

The OhioLINK ETD Center is a repository of theses and dissertations submitted by students graduating from colleges and universities across Ohio.  The University of Toledo participates in the OhioLINK ETD Center, and you can upload your thesis or dissertation (including Honors theses) and make it publicly available on this site.  More information about the OhioLINK ETD Center can be found in their FAQ.

To submit your thesis or dissertation, you need to have your document available as a single PDF file.  (See the PDF Conversion box on this page for information on how to convert your document.)

Submitting your document is a multi-step process.  Go to the ETD Submission page to begin.

  1. First, you must create a user account.  Click on "New User? Register Here!" to create your account.  A temporary password will be e-mailed to you.  Use that password to login, then change your password.
  2. Then, click on Create new ETD to begin the upload process.
  3. You will select your school.  Note that there are different selections for University of Toledo Main Campus programs (listed as University of Toledo), University of Toledo Health Science Campus, and University of Toledo Honors Theses.  Then, you must accept the publication agreement.
  4. In the Information about Your Paper section, you will enter your paper's title, abstract, year, pages, and related keywords.  Keywords should be separated by a semicolon (;) not a comma.  You will also chose one or more relevant subject headings from a pre-defined list.  Note:  you cannot paste your abstract or other information directly from Microsoft Word if it includes special characters such as 'curly quotes', ellipses (...), accented characters or greek symbols, etc.  See the Special Characters box on this page for instructions on including them.
  5. In the Information about Your Degree section, you will choose the name of your degree (Master of Arts, Doctor of Education, Master of Science in Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy, etc.) and program, and then enter the advisor and committee information from your title page.  Use the examples provided on the page to properly format names.
  6. One of the last steps is the Permissions Page.  You will need to decide
    • What type of copyright status you would like to assign.  This can include
      • a standard copyright agreement where you reserve all rights and may be required if you will be publishing your dissertation commercially through an outside publisher.
      • Creative Commons licenses, allow others certain rights to reproduce your work.  These licenses are non-revocable; please understand their terms carefully before selecting a Creative Commons option.  If you are in doubt, discuss with your advisor.
    • Whether you require a publication delay (such as may be required for patentability reasons).  Only your abstract will be available until the delay period ends.  Check with your advisor to see if this is necessary.  The delay requested must match the information you filled out on your College of Graduate Studies' Intellectual Protection and Patent Form.
    • UMI Publication.You will select the publishing option to send your document to ProQuest UMI for traditional publishing
  7. Finally, you can upload your PDF file from your computer.  Check the file after upload to ensure that it adheres to the UToledo Thesis & Dissertation Guidelines (see box).  If there is any problem with the file, the College of Graduate Studies will reject the submission and you will have to return to the ETD Upload site to make corrections and resubmit your document.

4. Special Characters in ETD Submission

The OhioLINK ETD Submission form cannot accept special characters such as accented letters, greek letters, mathematical symbols, and some common punctuation added by word processing programs such as Microsoft Word.  To avoid having your entire submission rejected, make sure that these are not entered at any point in your ETD submission process.  Note: this refers only to the summary information you enter on the OhioLINK ETD Submission Form, not any special characters that may be used in the PDF copy of your actual thesis or dissertation document.

Tips for avoiding or replacing special characters:

  • Copy and paste your abstract or title into a plain text editor (such as Notepad) before copying it into the form.  This should eliminate special characters such as 'curly quotes' (“”), em dashes (—), and ellipses (…) inserted by Microsoft Word.
  • Look for any accented, greek, or mathetmatical symbols.  These must be replaced by HTML Character entites; a list of these codes can be found here or here.  So, for example, the accented character ñ would be written as ñ , the greek letter Ψ would be written as Ψ , and the mathematical symbol ∫ would be written as ∫.  (The replacement always begins with an ampersand (&) and ends with a semicolon (;)).
  • If you have paragraphs in your abstract, include a blank line between them.

Finding Electronic Theses & Dissertations

In recent years, more and more students are publishing their work as Electronic Theses or Dissertations and making the publication available for free on the web.  Often these are made available through institutional repositories associated with their college or university, or a network of institutions.  Not every dissertation or thesis is available this way, and the less recent the publication date, the less likely it was made available as an ETD.  Here are some places to search across a large number of dissertation repositories.  You should also check the website of the college or university the student graduated from to see if there is any mention of ETDs.

Bound Copies of your Thesis or Dissertation

Students wishing to retain extra paper copies of their dissertation/thesis should retain these copies and submit only the additional title pages [with original signature(s)] to the College of Graduate Studies for signature by its Dean. A maximum of five title pages will be signed."

Copies of dissertations can be ordered through the online sites below.

Alternative outlets such as Kinko's may also be of use.