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Graduate Student Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) & Research Project Guide

Requesting an Embargo (Delaying Publication)

What is an embargo?

An embargo withholds the content of your work from being available to anyone for a specified amount of time (one or two years). This means that the citation and abstract for your work will be discoverable in Sophia but the work itself is not available for viewing or download. There are no permanent embargoes for work submitted to Sophia.

How do I request an embargo?

If your department or program allows an embargo, there is an Access Conditions section in the Sophia Submission Agreement where you will check either the box for a one-year or two-year embargo. 

When will my project be made available for viewing and download?

The work in its entirety will be made available for worldwide access after the end of the embargo period. Anniversary dates are January 1 and June 1.




To Embargo or Not to Embargo...

The decision to delay publication is a personal one, depending on your plans for publication and/or employment.

However, in most situations, publishing in a journal does not prevent you from making your thesis, dissertation or action research project available in an institutional repository like Sophia.

Considerations for choosing not to embargo:

  • Greater visibility through fast worldwide dissemination of your work
  • Open access for communities of practice who may not have access to journal subscriptions
  • Permanent archiving of your work
  • Access to statistics on how many times your work has been downloaded.

Considerations for choosing an embargo:

  • Submitting a work to a publisher that prohibits content that has been deposited in an institutional repository or considers work published in an institutional repository as "prior publication"
  • The need to protect sensitive information or participants
  • Authors who are seeking patents for their work.

What you need to do:

  • Discuss with your advisor and library staff if an embargo is appropriate for your work. Don't assume that if you're publishing, you have to embargo your work!
  • Investigate publishers' policies by reviewing their submission guidelines and/or author rights on their websites. Also check the SHERPA./RoMEO website (in the box below) for publisher policies.
  • We also strongly encourage you to contact your publisher, or potential publishers, to inquire about their policies regarding institutional repositories. Some publishers allow authors to self-archive pre-print (original version of a manuscript before it has gone through the peer review process) in institutional repositories, or they may make an exception if you request it.

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