What is an Embargo?
In academia, an "embargo" is a restriction placed on a thesis or dissertation that allows only the title, abstract and citation information to be released to the public, while the full text of the work is kept hidden for a limited period of time. Embargoes typically last from one to five years following the publication of a thesis or dissertation via a university's Institutional Repository or some other publishing service (e.g. ProQuest).
Some colleges and universities encourage all authors to embargo their work, while others (such as Florida Tech) discourage embargoes except when they are absolutely needed.
Reasons not to Embargo
Why Embargo a Thesis or Dissertation?
Most theses and dissertations are not embargoed but are made publicly available following their formal defense as part of completing a master's or doctoral degree. Some reason to embargo a thesis or dissertation include:
What are Florida Tech's Embargo Guidelines?
The standard embargo options for theses and dissertations at Florida tech include: Six months, One year, and Two years. If needed, you can also specifiy a different desired embargo timeframe. All requested embargos require a justification. The standard options for embargo justification are publishing process and patent filing process, However, if needed, you can specify a different justification.
Image of Embargo Options section of Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD) Access Form
Select access Option 1 or Option 2
Option 1: Immediate worldwide access - The thesis will be freely available on the Internet to all users. (Recommended)
Option 2: Embargoed access – Graduate students and their faculty advisor may request to embargo the release of their thesis or dissertation for up to 2 years (or longer by special request). The Embargoed Access Option is recommended if, for example, you plan to submit patent application or publication (although most publishers will not automatically dismiss papers derived from online theses). The thesis will not be available to anyone outside Florida Tech for (choose only one time period and indicate your justification):
Should I Embargo My Thesis or Dissertation?
Always discuss the pros and cons of embargoing your thesis or dissertation with your advisor prior to submitting your work. Below are links to recent articles that address this question:
How Do I Get Access to an Embargoed Thesis or Dissertation?
If you learn about a thesis or dissertation that you want to read but it currently is embargoed, your best bet is to contact the author. Additionally, if you try to access a document that is embargoed, you will be directed to a form where you can request access.
If you are having difficulty finding contact information for the author, try contacting your library or the university library at which the author earned his or her degree.
Many thanks to Kay Coates, Zach Henderson Library at Georgia Southern University and Shayna Pekala, Scholarly Communications Office at Indiana University, for permission to reuse content.