Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What do you mean, electronic format?
  2. Are students being required to stop producing dissertations, theses, or reports in paper?
  3. Can an individual faculty member refuse to review an electronic Dissertation?
  4. Does this mean that my committee has to read my dissertation on their computers?
  5. Where can I get my files converted to .pdf?
  6. Do I still need to worry about margins in my electronic dissertation, thesis, or report?
  7. Can I use .html files in my electronic dissertation, thesis, or report?
  8. Can I use audio or movie files in my dissertation, thesis, or report?
  9. How should I handle graphics?
  10. Can I put links inside my dissertation, thesis, or report?
  11. How do I submit my electronic files to the Graduate School?
  12. Is there anything I still need to submit on paper?
  13. What are my options for publication of a dissertation?
  14. My dissertation is in LaTeX. Where do I get help?
  15. So, how do I get started?
  16. Where do I go for more information?
  17. What else do I need to know?

1. What do you mean, electronic format?

This simply means that the dissertation, thesis, or report is submitted as an electronic file (or group of files) instead of hardcopy. If you write your dissertation, thesis, or report on a computer using a word processing application, you are producing a digital (electronic) document. Students have been doing this for quite some time. For a more detailed answer, see http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/etd/etd.html

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2. Are students being required to stop producing dissertations, theses or reports in paper?

Effective fall 2010 all dissertations, theses, and reports produced at The University of Texas must be uploaded in pdf format to the Texas Digital Library. Submission of the approved pdf file to the Texas Digital Library is a graduation requirement for master's and doctoral degree candidates in all graduate programs. Students are not required to submit a hard copy to the Graduate School.

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3. Can an individual faculty member refuse to review an electronic dissertation?

An individual faculty member can refuse to serve on a committee for whatever reason s/he believes is an adequate one. It is the student's responsibility to communicate to his or her committee the structure of the dissertation. If an individual faculty member does not wish to review an electronic dissertation and cannot reasonably judge the dissertation in printed form, that faculty member probably should not be on the committee.

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4. Does this mean that my committee members have to read my dissertation on their computers?

No; it is acceptable for students to provide committee members with printouts of parts of the dissertation (and even the final version) and still publish an electronic version to meet graduation requirements of the Graduate School. It is the student's responsibility to see that all copies (electronic or printed) are equivalent.

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5. Where can I get my files converted to PDF?

Go to http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/etd/pdf/ for additional information.

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6. Do I still need to worry about margins in my electronic dissertation?

Margin requirements remain for PDF text files. Margins are useful in case someone wants to download your dissertation, print it out, and bind it. Refer to the dissertation format guidelines (.pdf) or master's thesis/report format guidelines (.pdf) for information on margins.

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7. Can I use .html files in my electronic dissertation, thesis or report?

Yes. You could, in essence, create your dissertation as a "web site," with links to audio, video, or text (PDF or other .html) pages; however, your final submission to the Graduate School via the Texas Digital Library must be in pdf format.

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8. Can I use audio or movie files in my electronic dissertation, thesis or report?

Yes.

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9. How should I handle graphics?

You can import graphics files into your word processing application prior to creating the final PDF version. Generally, we have found that .gif files translate to PDF better than do .jpg (JPEG) files.

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10. Can I put links inside my dissertation, thesis or report?

Yes; however, links should be to other parts of the dissertation. That is, they should not link to objects in the "outside world" that might change between your submitting the dissertation and someone's viewing it. We want to make sure that someone viewing your dissertation a year or more from now can still access all of it. If you wish an exception to this, or need further clarification, please contact Graduate Studies prior to publishing. 

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11. How do I submit my electronic files to the Graduate School?

Effective fall 2010 all dissertations, theses, and reports produced at The University of Texas must be uploaded in pdf format to the Texas Digital Library at http://etd.lib.utexas.edu/etd_lib_utexas_edu.html.

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12. Is there anything I still need to submit on paper?

There are some supporting documents that will need to be submitted on paper. See the Graduate School's Deadlines and Forms page for graduation submission instructions.

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13. What are my options for publication of a dissertation?

Go to http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/etd/submit.html.

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14. My dissertation is in LaTeX. Where do I get help?

UT graduates and graduate students developed some pages containing LaTeX resources. Go to http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/etd/LaTeX/.

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15. So, how do I get started?

Check with your dissertation adviser and decide how you want to organize your dissertation. You will need to decide to what extent you want to take advantage of digital capabilities in your dissertation. Then go to http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/etd/.

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16. Where do I go for more information?

Browse the ETD web site at http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/etd/.

Questions about electronic dissertations, theses, or reports can be directed to the degree evaluators in the Graduate School. If you need assistance with formatting your electronic document, contact Bob Penman in the Graduate School, bpenman@austin.utexas.edu, or 512-475-9365.

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17. What else do I need to know?

Start early in deciding how you want to format your dissertation, thesis, or report. If you want to write a text-based document, you are required to produce a copy in PDF format and publish it. If you want to incorporate .html pages and/or audio/video files, you need to have a plan at the outset for doing so. If you are using unusual fonts, make sure they are in the public domain or you will have to purchase a license to use them in your digital files. Work closely with your adviser and committee. The burden of gathering, formatting, and producing multi-media files for your electronic document (and securing permission for any copyrighted software used) lies completely with you.

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