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Prepare Your ETD


Formatting Your ETD

In order to graduate, your thesis or dissertation must conform to the formatting standards set out by the university before we accept it in the WVU Research Repository. Except for the following specifications, any discipline-specific style manual may be used at the Committee Chair’s discretion.

   1. Title Page

  • The first page of your thesis or dissertation must be a title page. Your title page must include all of the information and formatting structure contained within the title page template
    • Suppress the page number on the title page. This is considered page i, but it will not appear on the page.

   2. Abstract Page 

  • The second page of your thesis or dissertation must contain your abstract. Your abstract page must contain all of the information within the abstract page template.
    • Abstract page must have a heading with the word “Abstract”, the document title, and the author’s name. 
    • Suppress the page number on the abstract page. This is considered page ii, but it will not appear on the page.
    • Single space the abstract.

   3. Front Matter 

  • Front matter (preliminary pages like Table of Contents and Acknowledgments) must be numbered in lower case Roman numerals (iii, iv, v...). 
    • Page numbers on the Title Page and Abstract are suppressed, so while they still count as pages i and ii of the preliminary pages, their page numbers will not be displayed. For example, if your first 3 pages are Title, Abstract, and a Dedication, the Dedication will be the first page to have a page number and it will be iii.
    • Page numbers i and ii should not appear anywhere on your ETD. 
    • For help with formatting, we have instructions for formatting your page numbers with Microsoft Word, and Google Docs.

   4. Table of Contents

  • Your document must include a Table of Contents. It should be included with any other front matter and will have a lower case Roman numeral as its page number.

   5. Body 

  • The body of your document (Chapter 1 or Introduction, for example, through end of document) must restart the page numbering at "1" and be numbered as Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4...). 

ETD Forms

ETD submission must include completed and signed copies of the following:

  1.    Committee Signature Form - Required for All Submissions

    • All ETD submissions must include a WVU Libraries committee signature form. The student and all members of the committee who attend the defense in person should sign the Signature Form.  This form is specific to the libraries and is not the same as the oral defense form or shuttle sheet. Electronic signatures are accepted.

      If the student or any members attend the defense remotely, they may either email to the student or committee chair a scanned copy of the Signature Form containing only their own signature (physical or electronic) or email to the chair of the committee an email message expressing their approval. If possible, the forms and messages should be combined into one PDF file.

  2.    Survey of Earned Doctorates - Required for PhD, EdD, and DMA Graduates Only

    • All doctoral students completing a PhD, EdD, or DMA, must take the Survey of Earned Doctorates and upload the Certificate of Completion with your other ETD materials to the Research Repository. During the survey, you are free to skip any questions by simply moving to the next question.

  3.    Embargo Form - Only Required if You are Requesting an Embargo 

    • When a student submits an embargo request form, the embargo restricts the full-text copy of your thesis or dissertation from public view.

      There are two types of embargoes: one year embargoes and permanent embargoes. One year embargoes start at the date of submission, and may be renewed annually by contacting the WVU Libraries. They are typically granted to authors who have a pending publication or patent based on their work.

      Permanent embargoes may only be selected for individuals completing an MFA-Creative Writing program or for projects that contain sensitive Export Controlled information. The full text of the ETD will not be available for download or access without permission from the original author, and the WVU Export Control Office when applicable.


You are the owner of the copyright for your ETD, except for work that you have re-used, within the bounds of the WVU Copyright Policy.  What does this mean? As Kenneth Crews writes in his informative handbook on copyright and dissertations:

"Your dissertation is protectable. Copyright law protects “original” works that are “fixed” in some medium—for example, written on paper, stored on a computer drive, sculpted in clay, or recorded on tape or other media. You wrote your dissertation, using your original words or other expression. You probably have “fixed” it in various ways. \

Your dissertation in fact is protected. 
It would be a rare and unusual dissertation that is not protected. A work that is “original” and “fixed” is protected automatically under copyright law. You do not need to register it with the U.S. Copyright Office or even put a copyright notice on the dissertation. It is copyrighted upon creation. Those procedures and formalities may be a good idea, but they are not required for copyright protection.

You can decide how to publish your work.
 Students should consult with their advisors and other officials about local university policies related to depositing dissertations with university repositories and possible “embargoes” or postponements on public release of your dissertation. To be clear, when you deposit your work with ProQuest, the company does not ask for a transfer of the copyright. Your rights in your work do not change. As long as you hold the copyright, you are in general able to decide how your dissertation may be made available, reworked into a book, or divided into a few journal articles. As the copyright owner, you get to make those decisions. But if you give away your copyright—as some publication agreements require—you can lose all of those opportunities and privileges. 

You can decide to enforce your rights or share them. 
As the copyright owner, you have the legal right to enforce claims against infringers. At the same time, you also have the privilege of allowing uses. You can grant permission on request, or you can attach a Creative Commons license to your work that permits broad public use."

Read more discussion of these ideas in Kenneth Crews's "Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities".

Copyright Permissions

You generally need to gain permission for wholesale re-use of any material that is copyrighted by someone else. This includes maps, drawings, tables, figures, photographs, sound files, and video clips, among others.

You do not have to have permission to quote from another published work, as long as you attribute your source properly.

For scholarly works such as articles or books that are not published Open Access. You will have to ask the publisher for permission to re-use materials. We advise that you ask for permission as soon as you put it into your ETD. Obtaining copyright permission can take weeks (sometimes months) so start early.

For items that are in the public domain or licensed for re-use (Open Access) you do not have to obtain permission.