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How to Find UCF Theses and Dissertations

this guide should make it easier to locate theses and dissertations

What is the difference between ETDs and RTDs?

An ETD (electronic thesis or dissertation) is an electronic version of a thesis or dissertation. An ETD is formatted just like a traditional thesis or dissertation (with pagination, tables, figures, references, etc.), but it is saved as a PDF file and submitted electronically to the University instead of printed on paper. Once approved, ETDs are made available online and preserved in a digital archive.  This includes all graduate-level theses and dissertations published beginning in Fall 2004.

An RTD (retrospective thesis or dissertation) is an electronic version of a thesis or dissertation previously published only in print.  UCF Libraries' RTD project includes all theses or dissertations published at UCF and FTU since the first thesis was published in 1972 through mid-2004, after which theses and dissertations were automatically digitized.

What are the benefits of electronic theses and dissertations?

ETDs make research immediately accessible to a broad audience, while reducing both printing/binding costs for the student and processing/storage costs for the University. In addition to the electronic format being more readily searchable than a print document, it can incorporate added features such as color, multimedia, and supplemental files and provides opportunities to use new forms of creative scholarship through use of interactive elements, multimedia, hyperlinks, etc.

Retrospectively scanning theses and dissertations makes historical research accessible to a wide audience. By digitizing older research, it becomes more accessible to scholars all over the world, as well as being more readily searchable than a print document.

Where can researchers find UCF's ETDs and RTDs?

Information about all theses and dissertations can still be found in the library's online catalog. In addition, all ETDs (2004-present) will be discoverable through WorldCat, NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations), Worldwide ETD search, and search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, etc. 

After the ETD has been approved, the student may opt to contribute their thesis or dissertation to additional repositories including fee based (ProQuest/UMI) or free (Open Thesis, Internet Archive’s Text Archive, subject specific repositories) alternatives.

How are UCF's ETDs and RTDs preserved?

Upon digitization and inclusion in UCF Libraries Digital Collections, all electronic copies are ingested into the Florida Digital Archive for long-term storage, digital preservation, and migration. The Florida Digital Archive provides “a cost-effective, long-term preservation repository for digital materials in support of teaching and learning, scholarship, and research in the state of Florida.  In support of this mission, the Florida Digital Archive guarantees that all files deposited by agreement with its affiliates remain available, unaltered, and readable from media.”

My thesis is only in print. How can I get it online?

It's easy!  If you are the author, just sign the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement, either either fax it or scan and email it to us.  That's all you have to do--we take care of the rest.  If you provide contact information, we will let you know when your work is available online to view.

If you are not the author, feel free to contact Kerri Bottorff, RTD Project Coordinator, and she will try to help you.


Is there one database where I can find all theses and dissertations?

While many institutions have historically submitted to ProQuest, the digital environment is causing institutions to rethink their dissemination options.  Already Harvard, MIT, Virginia Tech, Louisiana State University, University of Tennessee, and California Institute of Technology have elected to make submission to ProQuest optional and Stanford is in the process of moving from ProQuest to Google.  California Polytechnic State University and the University of West Florida have never submitted to ProQuest.  The University of Florida is now requiring only the submission of abstracts to ProQuest.

A listing of ETD sites to use for completing a comprehensive search is available below. Please visit Searching for Theses and Dissertations for more information.

Does UCF Submit to ProQuest?

Not currently.  Previously, students were required to submit their works to ProQuest, but the University has dropped the mandatory requirement.

Are UCF students still allowed to submit to ProQuest?

Definitely. The University is simply dropping the mandatory requirement but in no way is hindering or prohibiting the students’ rights to have their works available in UMI/ProQuest or any other fee based or free service. The student holds the copyright to their work and can choose additional methods for publishing and archiving their thesis or dissertation at their own discretion and expense.

For more information about how and why to submit to UMI/ProQuest or to request a publishing packet, use the links below.

What if I want to have my ETD bound?

UCF no longer requires a printed copy of your ETD. Any provision of bound copies to committee members or departments is a courtesy and not a part of graduation requirements.  The Pegasus logo is no longer used on any unofficial printed copy--the presence of the Pegasus seal could imply that a bound version is an official copy, but the official copy of record is the ETD.

You are free to make your own bindery contacts and negotiate your own agreements, shipping arrangements, and methods of payment.  A list of binding vendors is available to students upon request, but they can get a copy bound wherever and however they would like. Any paper copies produced by the student would be for personal use and not considered "official."