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Policies and Procedures for Receipt and Submission
of Digital Dissertations and Theses

All institutions require that doctoral dissertations be published, and University Microfilms, International (UMI) has been the recognized repository for dissertations. Washington State University has long subscribed to UMI to serve as the publisher, cataloger, and marketer of doctoral dissertations which are submitted in paper format. In 1997, UMI began Converting all incoming paper dissertations to Adobe PDF format, and it is currently accepting dissertations in digital format.

Policies and procedures have been established by Washington State University to receive doctoral dissertations and master's theses in digital format via CD-ROM or a networked server. The doctoral dissertations are then submitted to UMI for publication in digital format. Master's theses remain at WSU. Doctoral and master's candidates have the choice of submitting their theses/dissertations in either paper, digital or mixed media format.


  1. The University will accept a fully digital doctoral dissertation or master's thesis as an alternative format to the paper format.
  2. The Graduate School will accept digital dissertations from doctoral candidates or theses from master's candidates in an appropriate electronic format, i.e. floppy disks, CDs, or on a networked server or zip drive.
  3. The doctoral and master's candidates will continue to submit an archival copy (on either 100% rag bond or electronic copy) to the Libraries.
  4. The candidates will continue to submit paper copies of the title page, abstract, and two original signature pages--one on 100% rag bond.
  5. The Graduate School will continue to perform the format check.
  6. The Graduate School will be responsible for providing written guidelines to students.
Procedure for Submitting Digital Dissertations and Master's Theses
  1. Submit to the Graduate School an "Application for Degree" by the deadline established by the Graduate School. Students to receive written guidelines including procedures for submitting in digital format.
  2. Ten working days prior to final examination defense date, submit to the Graduate School a completed, signed "Final Examination Scheduling Form" and a preliminary copy of the dissertation/thesis. Check of dissertation/thesis occurs, submitted on paper.
  3. Five working days following a successful dissertation defense, submit to the Graduate School two copies of the dissertation/thesis (one on 100% rag bond or an electronic version) to the Graduate School.
  4. After final clearance (approximately 30 days following Commencement), Graduate School forwards electronic and/or printed dissertation/thesis to the WSU Libraries. The electronic version is forwarded to Library Systems; printed version remains in Library Technical Services.
  5. Library Systems informs Technical Services Bibliographic Control of receipt of electronic dissertation/thesis so cataloging record can be created.
  6. The electronic version is linked to the catalog record so library users can move directly from the Griffin catalog record to the electronic text of the dissertation/thesis by clicking on a hot link. A copy of the electronic version of the doctoral dissertation is sent to UMI for its electronic archives. Paper versions of dissertations are delivered to Technical Services and prepared for binding (photocopy version) and shipment to UMI for microfilming (bond copy). When UMI and binding, processes are. completed, dissertations are cataloged.
  7. After cataloging, the microform version of the dissertation is housed in Microforms, the photocopy version is shelved in the general stacks, and the bond version is housed in MASC The electronic version is stored on a server in Library Systems.

Approved by Faculty Senate 4/29/99

Comments, questions, or suggestions to  Alan Cornish (335-1895) or Jerry Becker (335-2012)


1999 WSU Libraries