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Estelle and Melvin Gelman LibraryEckles Library at the Mount Vernon CampusVirginia Science and Technology Campus Library
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FAQs

1. Why should I do an ETD?

2. Why PDF files?

3. What other electronic formats are allowed?

4. Will I need to purchase software?

5. Can I publish my thesis/dissertation in PDF if I have already started writing my work in another word-processing program?

6. Will there be any size limits imposed on ETDs?

7. Are there any Style or Format requirements (specifications) for my ETD?

8. Who is responsible for processing the electronic submission after dissertation/thesis committee approval?


1. Why should I do an ETD?


  • You can have your thesis/dissertation published on the Internet, making it quickly and inexpensively available to employers, faculty, students and other interested readers around the world. Statistics from other universities reveal that theses/dissertations published online are accessed many times more than paper ones.
     
  • You can express yourself in a more technologically advanced way. You can include photos, graphs, and drawings in your work without having to worry about print quality, expensive printing costs, or durability.
     
  • You can advance your skills in electronic publishing, the medium of the future.
     
  • You can finish your thesis or dissertation more efficiently by interacting with your professors electronically and saving on copying costs.

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​2. Why PDF files?

Converting theses/dissertations to PDF files and distributing them in that form has many advantages:

The leading web browsers support PDF, and the format and paging stays consistent whether someone views the ETD from Windows, Macintosh, or Unix platforms.Since Acrobat Reader can be downloaded at no cost, publishing your work in PDF will make it possible for people anywhere to read your work for free.

PDF files can also be created easily from most leading word processing software packages such as Word and Word Perfect.The converted PDF work will retain your text, pictures, photographs, and so on.

And finally, PDF files are accepted by ProQuest that publishes dissertations, including all GW dissertations.

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3. What other electronic formats are allowed?

The text portion of your thesis or dissertation (and that may be all some theses and dissertations have) should be a PDF document.

You can also use any of the document formats below if you have more than text. These formats are already approved by UMI.

Images:

* GIF (.gif)
* JPEG (.jpeg)
* PDF (.pdf) use Type 1 PostScript fonts
* TIFF (.tif)

Video:

* Apple Quick Time (.mov)
* Microsoft Audio Video Interleaved (.avi)
* MPEG (.mpg)

Audio:

* AIF(.aif)
* CD-DA
* CD-ROM/XA
* MIDI (.midi)
* MPEG-2
* SND (.snd)
* WAV (.wav)

We do not wish to limit you to any particular formats and encourage you to work with software programs you are comfortable with. If you wish to use a format other than the ones above, please email the Gelman ETD Administrator to discuss the issue: etds@gwu.edu

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4. Will I need to purchase software?

No, you do not need to purchase additional software. You may choose to buy Adobe Acrobat if you plan to do other web-based publishing in the future, but that would be your choice. The Adobe web site is http://www.adobe.com.

Adobe Acrobat DC Professional edition is available in the computer labs on both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses for student use to convert their manuscripts to Adobe PDF format. Please go to the Academic Support Services page for information on these facilities. This software can also be found on the public computers in the Gelman Library. In addition, there is a PDF conversion tool available as part of the ETD Submission website.

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5. Can I publish my thesis/dissertation in PDF if I have already started writing my work in another word-processing program?

Absolutely. That is the normal way to do it because it is easy to convert most word processing documents into PDF files and that will typically be the last step in publishing your ETD. You are best off writing your dissertation in whatever word processing program you are most used to using.

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6. Will there be any size limits imposed on ETDs?

The ProQuest/UMI server to which you will be loading the PDF of your thesis or dissertation does not have any specific size limitations. However, if you have an unusually large file and find you are unable to upload your document, please contact the Library ETD Administrator to make arrangements to use an alternative submission method.

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7. Are there any Style or Format requirements (specifications) for my ETD?

Yes, certain basic style and format requirements that apply to students in all GW schools have been established. Information on the University Formatting Guidlelines are available on this web site. There is some variation in the basic formatting style, so you must also consult your own school's style and format specifications in case your school requires something additional or special. Schools have written guidelines on the preparation of theses and dissertations that cover style, format, and other topics as well. Be sure you follow them.

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8. Who is responsible for processing the electronic submission after dissertation/thesis committee approval?

After your committee signs off on the thesis or dissertation, it is sent to a contact person in your school’s graduate office for processing. The school must approve the work before it is officially approved.

You will then submit your ETD at the ProQuest ETD web site, and the ETD Access/Approval form to the ETD School Administrator in your school. Among other things, this form will indicate that the paper copy which you presented to your thesis advisor and the final electronic copy have been checked against each other by you and your advisor and that they match exactly.

Once your ETD is submitted to the ETD web site, the Gelman Library ETD Specialist will check its format (not its content) and contact you immediately if there are any problems that require resubmission. Once the formatting requirements have been met, the Library ETD Specialist will assign your submission to the ETD School Administrator in your graduate school office. When your School Administrator has determined that all the appropriate paperwork has been approved, your submission will be accepted and you will receive an email notification from ProQuest that your submission has been accepted. After your submission has been delivered to and processed by ProQuest (normally 6-8 weeks), your fully approved ETD will be released for the level of access you chose on the approval form (open access or traditional publishing/immediate or delayed release). If, like most ETD authors, you choose to make your ETD accessible worldwide, the ETD will be accessible through the Washingtion Research Library Consoritum and ProQuest's dissertation and theses collection. It will also be made available free of charge through the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).

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Electronic Theses and Dissertations Administrator: Gelman Library.2130.H.Street.NW.Washington.DC.20052.etds@gwu.edu