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ETD Guide

Detailed Guide through the ETD process


ETD stands for Electronic Theses and Dissertations 

  • allows color images to be submitted within document.
  • is cheaper.
  • provides access to a larger audience.
  • cuts down on paper dependence.  
  • more findable and accessible than hardcopies.

All dissertations and theses will be submitted to our Digital Commons Repository as a PDF document.  Students will still submit hardcopy drafts with the M3/D5, but the final completed version will be an electronic copy.

ETD Benefits

  1. Non-Rivalrous: A fully open access ETD, unlike a physical manuscript, can be infinitely copied and distributed (Suber, 2009). 
  2. Open Access: With a wide audience, an ETD is more likely to be viewed and cited.  Banach says at UMass Amherst physical copies of dissertations receive an average of seven views compared to an average of 284 downloads for ETDs (2011).  Meanwhile, Harnad and Brody exhibit how open access articles get higher citation rates than non-open access articles (2004).


Banach, M. (2011, March).  Managing ETDs with Digital Commons: A case study at UMass Amherst. Berkeley Electronic Press. Retrieved from 

Harnad, S. & Brody, T. (2004).  Comparing the impact of open access (OA) vs. non-OA articles in the same journals.  D-Lib Magazine, 10(6).  Retrieved from    

Suber, P.  (2009).  Knowledge as a public good. SPARC Open Access Newsletter, 139.  Retrieved from 


Forms: Starting Summer 2012, the M4, M5, D6, and D7 will be eliminated.  The ETD Approval form will be expanded into the Final ETD Approval Form.  Submission of signature pages will no longer be mandatory; however, students may submit signature pages for personal use.   

Mandatory ETD: Starting Spring 2012, all dissertations and theses will be submitted to our DigitalCommons Repository as a Microsoft Word Document (or PDF/A for LaTex users).  Students will still submit hardcopy drafts with the M3/D5, but the final completed version will be an electronic copy.

ProQuest: UGS no longer mandates that theses and dissertations be microfilmed/sent to ProQuest; however, on the ETD Approval form, Doctoral students have the option of giving us permission to send their ETD to ProQuest.  For more info contact the ETD Coordinator.