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Thesis and Dissertation Policies

The University of Houston requires the completion of an electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) submission in partial fulfillments of the requirements for awarding the degree.  ETD's are filed and maintained by the University Libraries; however, the Graduate School is responsible for creation, maintenance, and administration ETD policy.  Any questions regarding these policies can be directed to the Graduate School at gradschool@uh.edu. Please check with your specific department or college for details regarding any specialized steps for submitting a thesis or dissertation in your college.

From the Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog:

Students and faculty will use the Vireo system for submission/processing/approval of thesis or dissertation material.  Thesis or dissertation will be submitted as a Portable Document Format (PDF) per the guidelines on the Vireo web site, and all program/department/college specific requirements must be followed by the student. Students are allowed to have bound copies of their thesis or dissertation made for personal use, and should check whether their specific program/department/college/library require a bound copy as well. Students who have previously published portions of their electronic thesis or dissertation - in professional journals or in books must demonstrate who ultimately retains the copyright to the published works before material can be made publicly available in UH Libraries’ Vireo repository.  It is the student’s responsibility to determine copyright ownership; he/she should consult the contracts signed between the corresponding author and the publisher to determine the copyright holder.

Academic Honesty
Please review the university's policy on Academic Honesty.  Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with college and university policies on academic honesty and plagiarism.  The Graduate Catalog currently defines plagiarism as: “representing as one’s own work the work of another without appropriately acknowledging the source.” The university does not institutionalize plagiarism by acknowledging, excusing or condoning ignorance under the rubric of “unintentional plagiarism.”  Students should contact their college or department coordinator for more information on academic honesty policies within the college.

Intellectual Property
Definitions, processes, and protections regarding ownership of intellectual property conceived of or developed at the University of Houston is subject to the UHS Board of Regents policy 21.08 on Intellectual Property.  Read the full policy here.

Copyright
With rare exceptions, students retain the copyright of their ETD.  When submitted their ETD to the Vireo system, students sign a licensing agreement that covers future access and third-party copyrighted materials.  The agreement gives the Texas Digital Library (TDL) and UH, through Vireo, the "...non-exclusive rights to copy, display, perform, distribute and publish the content..."  The student maintains copyright of the document.  This agreement simply makes it possible for TDL and UH to make a copy of your ETD available at some point in the future.

Publication Embargo
In some instances, it is in the best interest of the student to request that their thesis or dissertation be embargoed (delayed from publication) for the purposes of attempting to have their research output published in academic journals, or to pursue a patent based on their work.  Check with your faculty advisor and college ETD coordinator to know if requesting an embargo is right for your document.  If embargoed, the ETD will not be published until two years after the work is submitted.  

Use of Previously Published Materials
Students who have previously published portions of their thesis or dissertation in professional journals or in books must demonstrate who ultimately retains the copyright to the published works before material can be made publicly available in UH Libraries’ Vireo repository. It is the student’s responsibility to determine copyright ownership; he/she should consult the contracts signed between the student and the publisher to determine the copyright holder.

Proquest
All ETDs are also registered with ProQuest to be made available in the various professional databases available in the academic field.


Electronic Thesis and Dissertation FAQ

What is an ETD?
Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETDs) are digital versions of your thesis or dissertation.  ETDs are created to make your work accessible via the internet.  Through a partnership between each college at UH, the UH Graduate School, UH Libraries, and the Texas Digital Library, ETDs are made freely available online for future access.

Where can I find my ETD once it is available to the public?
ETDs are stored in the University of Houston Libraries’ Institutional Repository: https://repositories.tdl.org/uh-ir/ 

Do I have to follow any particular style guide for my ETD?
Formatting rules for your ETD are established by the college that is granting the degree you are pursuing.  Documentation for some colleges can be found at the following links:
●    Bauer College of Business: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/doctoral/policies/dissertation.php 
●    College of Education: http://www.coe.uh.edu/student-services/graduate-office/grad-student-resources
●    Cullen College of Engineering: http://egr.uh.edu/academics/graduate-programs-policies/guide-preparation-thesesdissertations 
●    College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences: http://www.uh.edu/class/students/graduate/thesis-dissertation-info/index.php 
●    College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics: http://nsm.uh.edu/academics/graduate/thesis-guidelines/thesis-instructions/index.php 
●    College of Technology: http://www.uh.edu/technology/students/prospective-students/graduate-applicants/thesis/format/ 

Who is my college’s ETD Coordinator?

●    McGovern College of the Arts: Carrie Young
●    Bauer College of Business: Mary Gould
●    College of Education: Bernice Roberts
●    Cullen College of Engineering: Miranda Vernon-Harrison
●    Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management: Alisha Harrison
●    College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences: Anna Marchese
●    College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics: Sharonda Glass
●    College of Optometry: Renee Armacost
●    College of Pharmacy: Melissa Nieto
●    Graduate College of Social Work: Elizabeth De Los Rios
●    College of Technology: Dawn Wolf-Taylor
 
What will the ETD coordinator look for when reviewing my submission?
ETD Coordinators may review the following aspects of your document before you complete the ETD process:
●    Signature page is blank
●    Name, date, and degree are correct
●    Reference pages conform to the correct style sheet
●    Title is exactly the same in all places, online and in the document
●    Abstract content in ETD matches abstract content in Vireo
●    All formatting and style sheet guidelines have been met
●    Committee chair has approved your document in Vireo

Where can I go to get help with language and grammar?
Students seeking assistance with language and grammar should consult UH’s Writing Center (http://www.uh.edu/writecen/), located in room 234, Classroom and Business Building.  

Do I have to be enrolled in classes the semester I complete my ETD?
Yes.

How do I gain access to Vireo and submit my document?
Students will be required to have a valid CougerNet ID and password to submit their ETD to Vireo. CougarNet ID and passwords expire anytime from the day of graduation up to 30 days after graduation. 

What is the last day that I can submit my ETD to Vireo?
Each college sets an internal due dates by which time the final draft must be submitted into Vireo for college review.  The university requires that all phases of the submission and approval process be complete by the faculty grading deadline at the end of the term, typically 1-3 days after the last day of final exams.   Students can refer to the Academic Calendar to determine the specific deadline for an academic term.

How do I know if I should request an embargo?
Students shoudl consult with the faculty thesis/dissertation advisor about whether they should request an embargo (delay from publication) for their research docucment.  If applicable to their situation, student may request an embargo during the submission of the document into the Vireo system.
  
Who will hold the copyright for my ETD?
Under most circumstances, the student retains copyright over his/her ETD.  The student may transfer copyright to all or portions of the ETD when publishing content from the ETD into books or academic journals.  The contract between the student and the publisher would stipulate who retained copyright for the published material.   Students should also be familiar with University of Houston System policy on intellectual property.
  
Who do I contact for technical help while submitting my ETD to Vireo?
Students should contact Taylor Davis-Van Atta (tgdavisv@central.uh.edu) at UH Libraries for assistance with Vireo.
 
Who do I contact if I have questions about dissertation formatting or binding?
The student should contact their college’s ETD Coordinator for information on formatting or binding.  
 
I have a question that wasn't answered here.  What do I do?
Students should first contact their college’s ETD Coordinator for information not addressed in the FAQ section.  The coordinator will direct the student to other contacts.

Steps in the submission of Electronic Thesis/Dissertation

Prepare to Submit:

Note: Be sure all corrections are made to the document and that the signature page in the electronic version is NOT signed.

Submit:

Step 1: Convert your document to a PDF

Step 2: Upload your PDF to the Vireo system:  https://uh-etd.tdl.org/

Step 3: Wait for confirmation from your faculty chair and college coordinator that your document has been accepted

Step 4:  Complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED)

  • You may complete the hard-copy form given to you by the dissertation/thesis coordinator in your college, or
  • Complete the electronic form by visiting the SED website at: https://sed.norc.org/survey

Optional: Request a bound copy of your document

  • Your college coordinator can help you with this step

To view your published electronic thesis or dissertation, please visit the University of Houston Institutional Repository (UHIR), hosted by UH Libraries.  From the UHIR home page, select "Elecronic Theses and Dissertations" under "Communities in Repository."  Please note that your thesis or dissertation will only be published after any embargo has expired.