New Open Access Publication Requirement for Penn Dissertations

Open access publication at Penn took another step forward recently. Soon, all Penn PhD scholarship will be available not only to people who have access to the Penn Libraries or to a ProQuest subscription, but also the entire world.

In 2014 the Graduate Council of the Faculties in consultation with the Council of Graduate Deans has made a requirement that all Penn dissertations be deposited in ScholarlyCommons. This new requirement will help graduate students market their work to potential employers, ensure the discoverability of graduate student scholarship at Penn, and help to bring Penn into alignment with the policies of many of its peer universities.

According to the new policy, which takes effect in December of 2015, all Penn dissertations must have a print copy deposited in the library and an electronic copy placed both in ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses database and in ScholarlyCommons’ dissertations series (which has provided students with the opportunity to deposit since 2009). Students also have the option of placing a three year embargo (with possibilities for extension) on releasing their dissertation in ScholarlyCommons.

In order to help students and professors with this new policy the Penn Libraries in collaboration with the Graduate Division of Arts and Sciences has created a new online dissertation manual available at This new site has information about the new policy, guidelines for formatting the dissertation, and copyright concerns.

For more information about or help with the new policy, go to:

Almanac Announcement – Jan. 2015

PennBook Policies

Dissertation Manual Guide

Or e-mail

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