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University of Louisville University Libraries


Digital Collections : University of Louisville Electronic Theses and Dissertations

University of Louisville Electronic Theses and Dissertations

About the Collection

Since 2002 the University Libraries have been building a collection of digital copies of theses and dissertations authored here at the University of Louisville. This effort is in keeping with an international trend of institutions migrating to electronic theses and dissertations (known as ETDs) in order to provide free worldwide access to these titles and to enable graduate students to include digital media in their works. In July 2006 the Speed School's guidelines were amended so that only an electronic copy will be submitted to the Ekstrom Library. In 2009 the Libraries migrated the ETD collection to be part of the Libraries Digital Collections. This migration has allowed for full text searching and simultaneous searching of other electronic collections.

While taking advantage of new digital technologies, the Libraries have continued to house and preserve its extensive collection of paper theses. These works can be identified through the Libraries' online catalog and used in the Libraries' reading rooms. They are not available for use outside the University Libraries. Additionally, ProQuest's Digital Dissertations provides indexing to all of the University's theses and dissertations since 1968 and black and white full-text for those works completed since 1997.

Conditions of Use

Unlike the items that appear in some of the University of Louisville's other digital collections, the University does not own exclusive rights to the works appearing in its collection of electronic theses and dissertations. These titles appear here courtesy of their authors who have retained their copyrights.

For UofL Students


In order for a student to have his/her thesis or dissertation included in the University's ETD collection, the student has to fill out and sign the Nonexclusive License (PDF). While the Libraries can scan the paper copy of a student's thesis or dissertation following receipt of the Nonexclusive License, it is preferable for a student to also forward a PDF or Word file of their work to the Libraries for immediate processing with the license. This results in more efficiency and a better end product. The Nonexclusive License (see "Author Forms") and the PDF or Word file should be forwarded to Tyler Goldberg either as paper documents or scanned and attached to an email message. Comments and questions should also be forwarded to Professor Goldberg.

Tyler Goldberg
Ekstrom Library
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

Graduate School Students

Graduate School Students should consult the Graduate School's Preparation of Theses and Dissertations. A student submits his/her thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School. The Graduate School then forwards the Library's copy to the Ekstrom Library. Due to processing times needed by both Proquest and the Libraries' commercial bindery, it can take 1 year for a paper thesis or dissertation to be added to the Library's collection. Those theses and dissertations submitted as electronic documents (Word or PDF) can be made available much faster.

Speed School Students

Speed School students should consult Master of Engineering Thesis Guidelines (PDF). The Speed School forwards all digital M.Engs to the Library and are usually available in the Libraries' ETD collection within one month.

Author Forms

All authors must submit a signed copy of the Nonexclusive License (PDF) in order for his/her dissertation/thesis to be included in the University of Louisville's collection. This signed document can be delivered through the mail or scanned and then sent to Prof. Tyler Goldberg at

Related Links

Nonexclusive License (PDF) for authors

Graduate School's Preparation of Theses and Dissertations

Speed School's Master of Engineering Thesis Guidelines (PDF)

Proquest's Digital Database (UofL gateway) - A handout for using this database is available at (PDF). Assistance is also available through the Libraries' reference departments.

Attention Alumni! Want to add your Thesis/Dissertation to this Collection?

In addition to the University of Louisville Libraries' current initiative to acquire electronic copies of graduate students' works as they complete their degrees, the Libraries would like to digitize its older theses and dissertations. To do this we invite any graduate of the University of Louisville who wrote either a thesis or dissertation to sign and return a copy of the Nonexclusive License (PDF). If you can provide an electronic copy of your thesis or dissertation, we can make it available on the Web. If you can't provide an electronic copy, signing the Nonexclusive License would give the Libraries permission to create a digital copy from the Libraries' paper copy of their work and present it on the Web. If you would like, you can sign and scan the Nonexclusive License and then send it back to Prof. Tyler Goldberg at will provide us with an important opportunity to take advantage of the exciting changes that are taking place in the creation, storage, and retrieval of documents, as well as expand our level of service to the University community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common errors students make?
  1. Misspelled words in titles. Please remember that Word's spell check does not work when using all capital letters! Pay special attention to title pages!
  2. Inconsistent titles. Make sure that the title on the title page, approval page, and abstract are all the same.
  3. Page numbers on table of contents pages not matching the actual pages of chapters, figures, and tables. Make sure that the parts of your work that you finish last don't contradict earlier parts.
  4. Incomplete, inaccurate, and improperly formatted bibliographic references.
  5. Wrong size page margins and fonts. The Graduate School and Speed School guidelines carefully spell out these requirements.
What sort of things do students need to get permission for?

The University of Pittsburgh has provided a great answer to this question: "If the material you are quoting or reproducing does not fall under the general guidelines of 'fair use' then you will need to get written permission from the copyright owner. Items that you would want to pay special attention to would be materials such as graphs, charts, data, pictures, maps, illustrations, long quotations, questionnaires, journal articles, music, archival material, unpublished works, computer software, and creative works such as poetry, novels, and plays."

What is the fastest way to get a dissertation added to UofL's collection?

When a student submits a paper copy to the University at least two outside organizations become involved in the process required for the thesis/dissertation to be added to the Ekstrom Library's collection. This process can take up to a year to complete. Alternately, those theses and dissertations that are submitted to the University as electronic documents (Word or PDF) can be made available within just a few weeks or even days!

Are UofL graduate students charged to add their work to the UofL's digital collection?

No! Unlike some private entities, UofL does not charge its students to have their titles available on the Web. Through its resource at the University provides free worldwide access to its graduates' works. Students need not pay another organization to duplicate this service.

What is the minimum fee that graduates must pay ProQuest?

In order for ProQuest to distribute citations and abstracts through ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT), graduate students must pay ProQuest's Traditional publishing fee as explained at the ProQuest site. The University does not require graduates to pay for any additional ProQuest services.

How will making an ETD impact professors' roles in asserting the quality of graduate students' work?

Faculty committees will continue to be responsible for upholding the quality of the thesis or dissertation, whether that thesis or dissertation is submitted using electronic formats or through paper.

How will producing an ETD affect my ability to later publish an article or book based on or related to my thesis or dissertation?

A survey of university presses (publishers of both books and journals) showed little concern about online availability of theses and dissertations in terms of later decisions to publish. However, if you plan to submit a revised version of your thesis/dissertation (or a part of the thesis/dissertation) for publication, you should consult with likely publishers in advance about the availability of your work online.

How will UofL students' electronic theses and dissertations be accessible?

Researchers are able to locate UofL ETDs from several venues. The collection's website is the most direct way of locating these materials, but cataloging records (with links) are also included in the University's online catalog (Miverva) and global catalogs such as Additionally, the University continues to arrange for titles to be indexed in ProQuest's Digital Dissertations (formerly Dissertations Abstract International) and many web search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) include the University's digital collections.

Where can I learn more about ETDs?

For more information about ETDs, see the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations website. While many colleges and universities have electronic theses and dissertations collections, we have borrowed heavily from the useful information found at the University of Pittsburgh's site. We appreciate their work!

Your question not here?

If you have any questions about this ETDs at the University of Louisville please contact:
Prof. Tyler Goldberg
Ekstrom Library
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292


Sarah Frankel and Tami Sexton scan paper copies of theses and dissertations, create metadata, and upload works to CONTENTdm. Linda Clark and Sarah Frankel create MARC records for OCLC and the University's online catalog. Allen Ashman proofreads metadata and MARC records and adds Library of Congress Subject Headings. He also assists with supporting documentation and project planning. Tyler Goldberg coordinates the project with various units on campus.

In the summer of 2009 Rachel I. Howard migrated the collection from an in-house system to CONTENTdm. Terri Holtze designed the HTML pages and Dwayne K. Buttler, J.D., provided copyright advice.

All of the authors of these theses and dissertations are warmly thanked for their cooperation!

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