To prepare for an essay on open access issues and history dissertations, I researched the dissertation embargo policies of Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) libraries. For those who are unfamiliar, the CIC is a consortia group including all Big 10 universities and the University of Chicago. Most CIC institutions have excellent placement rates for their history graduates, many of whom go on find tenure-track positions and publish books. Without getting into other data, here are the institutional policies of the CIC on dissertation access and the rights of graduate students.
University of Chicago: Embargo duration for 6 months, 1 year, or two years. Must have approval from your adviser.
University of Illinois: Embargo duration for 6 months, 1 year, or two years. Detailed access options available for release within IDEALS, and how to manage access in ProQuest. For example, a graduate can set their dissertation to be viewed only by users affiliated with University of Illinois for those two years.
Indiana University: If I am reading this correctly, if you are faculty or staff at Indiana University and deposit research in the repository, you can set the embargo for any period between the date of deposit and 5 years. If you are a graduate student, dissertations have 6 month, 1 year, or two year embargo.
University of Iowa: 1 or 2 year embargo, must have thesis adviser’s permission.
University of Maryland: 1 or 6 year embargo (no in between?) available, with permanent option available. Graduates must petition the Dean of the Graduate School for permanent embargo and graduate can have this lifted at any time.
University of Michigan: 1 year with renewal available for up to three years. Graduates can restrict access to University of Michigan community and policy seems designed to encourage this. Option to embargo entire work–including catalog record–for one year with no extension available.
Michigan State University: Meeting minutes suggest an embargo is available but I was not easily able to find more information. Library has information on data curation and depositing thesis in ProQuest, but not readily on embargo.
University of Minnesota: Embargo duration for 6 months, 1 year, or two years. Must be approved by thesis adviser.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Embargo duration for 6 months, 1 year, or two years. Graduates can have work restricted for up to 5 years through university libraries. This page is probably the most helpful I’ve seen so far, explaining in clear language what each option for access means. University of Nebraska-Lincoln also grants an additional 3 years to ‘creative’ works.
Northwestern University: Defaults to ProQuest’s options for embargo, graduates strongly encouraged to consider implications of restricting access to dissertation. Out of the 9 dissertations submitted to ProQuest in 2013, 6 granted full-text access in database.
The Ohio State University: Embargo up to 5 years, excluding creative works.
Pennsylvania State University: Similar to University of Michigan, graduates have the option of completely excluding a record for 2 years, or making it available to Pennsylvania State University affiliates only for up to 2 years before the embargo lifts.
Purdue University: Embargo from 6 months to two years allowed. I found this on a PowerPoint before locating it on the university website, but the graduate office seems very helpful.
Rutgers University: One year embargo, with possible extensions approved by Dean of Academic Affairs.
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Embargo duration for 6 months, 1 year, or two years. Extensions must be approved by thesis adviser, Associate Dean of Graduate School.