E-thesis, Project, and Dissertation Submission Guide

Welcome

ETD Submission Welcome

Electronic theses, projects, and dissertations are also known as ETDs. This guide contains all of the information that you will need to submit your thesis, project, or dissertation. Please be aware that this process may take several days. DO NOT wait until the last minute! 

Deadlines

The ETD submission deadlines are always at noon on the last Thursday that classes are scheduled: 

  • The Spring 2016 deadline is May 12th at noon.
  • The Summer 2016 deadline is August 11th at noon.
  • The Fall 2016 deadline is December 8th at noon.

The library does not have the ability to grant extensions for ETD submission. Please contact your faculty advisor as early as possible if you know that you will not be able to meet the deadline. They will need to request an extension from the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Workshops

ETD Submission Overview Online Workshops This virtual introduction will walk you through the submission guide and explain the necessary steps for submitting your electronic thesis, project, or dissertation to the library. This is a virtual meeting and requires access to a computer AND a reliable internet connection. You will be emailed a link to the meeting 24 hours before the meeting. Please RSVP at least a day before your desired workshop.

  • February 24th 6 PM (Wednesday)
  • March 10th 6 PM (Thursday)
  • April 5th at 6 PM (Tuesday)
  • April 16th at 9 AM (Saturday)
  • April 24th at 10 AM (Sunday)
  • May 2nd at 6 PM (Monday)

 

Online ADA Workshops  These workshops take place online, and you must read all the information regarding ADA formatting BEFORE attending one of the ADA Workshops. There aren't any workshops currently available. Pelase email ada@csusm.edu for more information.

 

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Required Forms

ETD Forms

At CSUSM, every Master's degree program is required to include a culminating experience. The form of this experience differs according to degree programs, but all Master's students must satisfactorily complete either a thesis, a project or a comprehensive examination. A finished Master's thesis is a scholarly work that is the product of extensive research and related preparation. On this page are some of the forms you will need to complete in order to submit your thesis or project to the library. 

Download the E-thesis checklist PDF iconetd_submission_checklist.pdf to make sure you don't miss a step in the ETD submission process.

Download the Certification Form and obtain signatures from your Thesis/Project Committee Chair and your Department Graduate Program Coordinator. Filee-thesis_certification_formjan2015.docx

Departmental Signature Pages for a Thesis:

If you have three faculty members on your thesis committee: Filethesis_signature_page_3_lines.docx

If you have four faculty members on your thesis committee: Filethesis_signature_page_4_lines.docx

Departmental Signature Pages for a Project:

If you have three faculty members on your project committee: Fileproject_signature_page_3_lines.docx

If you have four faculty members on your project committee:  Fileproject_signature_page_4_lines.docx

MBA Project Signature Page:

The MBA Program has their own signature page: Filemba_signature_page.docx

The Submission Process

ETD Submission Guidelines

You've done the hard work, and are ready to submit your master's thesis or project to the library. This process has several steps, so please use the checklist PDF iconetd_submission_checklist.pdf to make sure that you have followed them all.

Step 1: Prepare your thesis or project.

  • You must have your completed thesis or project saved as an accessible PDF, and should follow the style guidelines set forth by your academic program. If you are not sure of what the style guidelines are, please consult with your faculty advisor. Please keep at least one back-up copy of this file in another location that is NOT on your computer.
  • When you are preparing for your defense, you should download the Departmental Signature page from the Forms section. You will need to obtain all of the signatures of your committee members. This is often done at the defense or soon after defense is completed. 
  • Download the Certification Form and obtain signatures from your Committee Chair and your Department Graduate Program Coordinator. If you have a compelling reason to restrict or embargo your thesis or project, your Committee Chair will need to approve the embargo. 
  • When your defense has been completed, and the Departmental Signature Page signed, you need to merge the Signature Page as the first page of your thesis or project. For information on merging Adobe Acrobat files, go to the FAQ section.
  • Save the merged document in PDF format and verify it for ADA compliance. When you save the file, the name of the saved document name must use the following format:     

Last nameFirst name_TermYear For example: DoeJohn_Fall2015.pdf

Step 2: Pay the Fee. 

There are two options available to you for paying the $25 fee. If paying by check, you must pay by November 25th, if paying with a credit card, payment is due by December 3rd. Cash payment may be made at any time. 

  1. Paying online:  To pay online, you may use an electronic check. This method is free. Or you may pay using a credit card. If you use a credit card, a convenience fee will apply. MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Visa are all accepted. 
  2. Go to the Cashier's Office and pay the $25 thesis/project fee.  The CSUSM Cashier's Office is located in Craven Hall, 3800. The office hours are Monday - Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Friday from 8:30 AM to 12 PM. At the Cashier's Office, you will receive two receipts for your payment: one for your records, and one for the library. If you are paying by check, your payment must be received by the Cashier's Office by November 25th for the Fall term. 

Step 3: Gather the Documents, Submit your File.

In order to submit your file online, you need to register at the ScholarWorks website. To register, go to ScholarWorks, click on "Login", and login with your CSUSM user name and password. When you have successfully logged in, please email the following information to Carmen Mitchell at cmitchell@csusm.edu:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your CSUSM email address
  3. Your graduate program

Carmen Mitchell will email you a confirmation when your registration is complete. This may take a couple of days, so plan accordingly! After you have received confirmation of your registration, follow the PDF iconscholarworks_submission_instructions.pdf to submit your thesis or project to ScholarWorks. After submitting your PDF to ScholarWorks, staple the library copy of the receipt to your E-Thesis Certification Form and the ETD Submission Checklist and bring them to the 3rd floor of the library. Place them in the Electronic Thesis and Project Certification Form drop box located at the Research Help Desk.

Publication and Availability

After your uploaded document is verified, it is made public through CSUSM ScholarWorks approximately two weeks after the end of the semester. Your document will be publicly accessible to anyone on the web. A link to the document will be available through the library’s online card catalog (see the FAQ for information on redactions or embargos).  CSUSM adopted an Intellectual Property Policy in 2012. This policy states "copyrightable works prepared by students as part of the requirements for a University degree program are deemed to be the property of the student. Unless otherwise agreed upon, research records for a graduate theses or dissertation are the property of the University, but the student-creator may retain a copy of the work." You should talk with your faculty advisor if you have questions about the material contained in your thesis or project. The library has guidelines that can help assist you when dealing with proprietary information in your thesis or project. PDF iconcsusm_proprietary_etd_procedures.pdf

The CSUSM Library will not retain paper copies of your thesis/project/dissertation.

Questions?

For more information about the CSUSM ETD submission procedures, please contact:

Carmen Mitchell

Email: cmitchell@csusm.edu

Making your File Accessible

ADA Formatting Information

ADA compliance: What is it and why is it important?

When working on your thesis, project, or dissertation, PLEASE NOTE that it must be made accessible. What does "accessible" mean? It means that the file will be accessible to screen readers and other assistive computer technologies. This means MORE people can possibly access and reference your paper online. If you still have any questions PLEASE watch this short  video on ADA issues

Accessibility Help Main Page

4 Steps to Make Your Paper ADA Compliant 

  1. Adding “Heading Styles”

 

  1. Creating “Alt Text” for ALL Images, Figures, and Graphs, etc.

 

  1. Adding “Table Headers”

 

  1. How to check your paper for accessibility:
    • Accessibility Links : Microsoft Word (Word) or Adobe Acrobat Pro (PDF) or Adobe Acrobat Pro (website).

*For assistance, email ada@csusm.edu to setup an appointment to meet with an ADA consultant.  Let them know the date/time that you would like assistance, and what errors you need help correcting.*

If you are using LaTeX for writing your thesis or project, please use the tutorial that Jacek Polewczak from CSU Northridge created. 

Frequently Asked Questions

ETD FAQ

An "ETD" is the electronic version of a thesis, project, or dissertation. Instead of being printed and bound, the file is converted to a Portable Document File (PDF) and submitted to the library. The library preserves and archives the PDF, and makes it available online through ScholarWorks at CSUSM, our Institutional Repository. The student's original research is produced, submitted, and accessed in electronic format. The components and structure of the document are basically the same as a paper thesis or dissertation. For example, it has figures, tables, footnotes, and references. 

Why ETDs? What is the benefit to CSUSM, and to me as a student?

ETDs provide increased visibility of research produced at the University. The immediate and widespread availability of ETD documents provides worldwide access to scholarship. The increased visibility and accessibility often results in increased readership and more citations. Electronic submission introduces students to electronic publishing and trains them in the technical skills needed for digital publishing. Publication of theses and dissertations in electronic format is faster, cheaper, and require less storage space.

How do I submit my thesis, project, or dissertation?

After a successful defense and committee approval, and the $25 fee has been paid at the cashier's office, you are ready to submit your ETD. Please follow the instructions on this guide under the submission guidelines. For students completing the CSUSM/UCSD Joint Ed.D. Program, please click on the CSUSM/UCSD Joint Ed.D Requirements tab. 

I have a project that I want to submit. Is that handled differently?

Starting with the Fall 2012 semester, the library will no longer accept paper projects. All projects must be submitted electronically. 

My project is a group project. Do we have a different process?

Group projects should only be submitted once. It may be easiest to designate someone to submit the project on behalf of the entire group. Each student is still responsible for completing the ETD certification form, and for paying the fee! Each student MUST drop off their form and receipt to the library by the deadline in order for the project to be submitted. Group projects will not be reviewed until ALL members of the group have completed their paperwork.

Do I have to make an appointment to submit my ETD?

No, you do not need an appointment to submit your thesis or project. You DO need an appointment to submit a dissertation. If you have questions that are not answered in this guide, please email the Scholarly Communication Librarian. 

How should I format my thesis/project/dissertation?

Students should consult with their committee chair and members of their advisory committee to determine the textual arrangement and reference format of the dissertation or thesis. Each discipline is different, and has different expectations for style. If you need assistance with citation styles, please contact the Research Help Desk or a librarian.

Do I need to obtain signatures?

YES! Both the Departmental Signature Page and E-Thesis Certification Form must contain original signatures in dark blue or black ink. 

When should I submit my thesis/project/dissertation?

ETDs may be submitted any time AFTER a successful defense AND the ETD fee has been paid to the cashier's office. ETD submission MUST be completed before the last day of classes. The deadline for Summer 2015 is August 6th at noon and for Fall 2015, it is December 10th at noon. If you require an extension, your committee chair will need to request the extension from Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

What if I don't have Adobe Acrobat Pro at home or work?

You will need Adobe Acrobat Pro in order to merge your signature page into your file, as well as check your file for ADA Compliance.  Adobe Acrobat Pro is available on all the computers on campus. If you are not on campus, you may acces it through CougarApps, or download a 30 day trial version of Adobe Acrobat Pro. 

What if I have confidential or proprietary information in my thesis or my project? What are Redactions and Embargo Periods?

If you and your committee agree to place a restriction on your thesis, project, or dissertation for patent or security reasons, you must indicate on the Certification Form false. An embargo means that your work will not be viewable by anyone without a CSUSM user name and password for the given period. After the restriction expires, the Library will make your work publicly available for anyone to see. An embargo must be authorized by your faculty advisor, and indicated on your certification form. Your advisor may ask you to submit a modified version of your abstract to ScholarWorks for embargoed items. Please let Carmen Mitchell know if you have any questions. 

CSUSM adopted an Intellectual Property Policy in 2012. This policy states "copyrightable works prepared by students as part of the requirements for a University degree program are deemed to be the property of the student. Unless otherwise agreed upon, research records for a graduate theses or dissertation are the property of the University, but the student-creator may retain a copy of the work." You should talk with your faculty advisor if you have questions about the material contained in your thesis or project. The library has created guidelines that can help assist you when dealing with proprietary information in your thesis or project

Redacting (masking) sensitive content requires the student to use a redaction tool to guarantee confidentiality. Adobe Acrobat Professional versions 9 and X offer built-in redaction tools.  Please see links below.

http://helpx.adobe.com/en/acrobat.html

http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2010/12/ricks-acrobat-x-redaction-guide//

How do I Merge two PDFs using Adobe Acrobat Pro

 To merge two PDFs into one document, use Adobe Acrobat Pro, which is available on all computers on campus. I have put together a short video that demonstrates this, and walks you through the process. 

  1. When you open Acrobat pro, there are two menus on the screen: Open a Recent File and Getting Started.
  2. Under the Getting Started Menu (the 3rd option down) is “Combine files into PDF.
  3. Clicking on “Combine Files into PDF” opens another window. Now drag and drop the files that you want to combine into this window.  You can then move the files around and re-order them, if necessary.
  4. When the items are in the order that you want, click on the “Combine Files” button that at the bottom, right side of the window.
  5. Once the files have been combined, a window with this new PDF will open.
  6. Now you can save the file, following the naming conventions: <Last nameFirst name_TermYear> ex. <DoeJohn_Fall2011.pdf>

What about my rights as an author? 

Students retain all rights to their work. CSUSM adopted an Intellectual Property Policy in 2012. This policy states "copyrightable works prepared by students as part of the requirements for a University degree program are deemed to be the property of the student. Unless otherwise agreed upon, research records for a graduate theses or dissertation are the property of the University, but the student-creator may retain a copy of the work." You should talk with your faculty advisor if you have questions about the material contained in your thesis or project. However, students must also grant a non-exclusive license to the university at the time of submission when completing the E-Thesis Certification Form as well as on ScholarWorks during the submission process. The license confirms that the student is the creator and contributor of the work and grants the university permission to share the work for educational purposes.

Students submitting materials for which they do not own copyrights, (including research data sets) must certify that they have obtained permission from the copyright owner before making materials available online. If you are unclear about the material contained in your thesis or project, please talk with your faculty advisor. 

Students also give the university permission to make their work available to all users and to adapt it to accessible formats per American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements. Requests for use of the work for purposes other than education will be referred back to the copyright holder.

Binding Options

Students who wish to purchase a paper copy of their thesis for personal use can contact binding vendors directly. Some students use www.GoldenRuleBindery.com. The Library does not require bound copies.

 

CSUSM/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program

UCSD/CSUSM JDP

The Joint Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is offered through a partnership of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and University of California, San Diego (UCSD).You have successfully defended your dissertation, and are ready to submit the PDF to the library. To submit an electronic dissertation, follow the steps listed here. If you have questions regarding the process, or you do not understand the steps, please contact the Scholarly Communication Librarian.

After your final meeting with Sara Hogue, make an appointment with Carmen Mitchell.

When writing your dissertation, PLEASE NOTE that the version you deposit with CSUSM must be made accessible. What does "accessible" mean? This means MORE people can possibly access and reference your paper online. If you still have any questions PLEASE watch this short  video on ADA issues. 

Information about making your file ADA compliant, including how to get assistance, is available on the ADA Info tab. 

Put your dissertation on a thumb drive. When you save the file, the name of the saved document name must use the following format:     Last nameFirst name_TermYear  For example: DoeJohn_Fall2011. You will need to bring the drive with you to your meeting with Dasha Pavel. If you have supplementary files that you would like to submit along with your dissertation, you may do so. For textual files, they must be submitted as accessible PDFs. For other types of files, please contact the Scholarly Communication Librarian. 

Pay the fee.

There are two options available to you for paying the $25 fee: 

  1. Paying online:  To pay online, you may use an electronic check. This method is free. Or you may pay using a credit card. If you use a credit card, a convenience fee of 2.75 % will apply if you use a credit card. MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Visa are all accepted. 
  2. Go to the Cashier's Office and pay the $25 thesis/project fee.  The CSUSM Cashier's Office is located in Craven Hall, 3800. The office hours are Monday - Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Friday from 8:30 AM to 12 PM. At the Cashier's Office, you will receive two receipts for your payment: one for your records, and one for the library. 

Gather your file, your receipt, and meet with Carmen Mitchell.

At your in-person meeting with Carmen, she will take your dissertation files, a copy of the receipt from the Cashier's Office, and will sign your "Report of the Completion of the Doctoral Project and Recommendation for the Degree of Doctor of Education" form. You will need to sign a Student Agreement form that gives CSUSM the permission to place your dissertation into the Institutional Repository

If you have further questions, please contact Carmen Mitchell.
Email:cmitchell@csusm.edu

Important Information

Dissertation Restrictions: Redactions and Embargo Periods

If you and your committee agree to place a restriction on your dissertation for patent or security reasons, you must indicate so.Your work will not be viewable or accessible by anyone who does not have a CSUSM network ID and password for the given period. After the restriction expires, the Library will make your work publicly available.

Redacting (masking) sensitive content requires the student to use a redaction tool to guarantee confidentiality. Adobe Acrobat Professional versions 9 and X offer built-in redaction tools.  Please see links below.

http://helpx.adobe.com/en/acrobat.html

http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2010/12/ricks-acrobat-x-redaction-guide//

Publication and Availability

After your uploaded document is verified, it is made public through CSUSM ScholarWorks approximately two weeks after the end of the semester. Your document will be publicly accessible to anyone on the web. A link to the document will be available through the library’s online card catalog (see section below for redactions or restrictions).  The CSUSM Library will not retain paper copies of your dissertation.

Author Rights

Students retain all rights to their work.  However, students must also grant a non-exclusive license to the university at the time of submission. The license confirms that the student is the creator and contributor of the work and grants the university permission to share the work in an open-access digital environment for educational purposes.

Students and any co-authors retain all intellectual property rights for the dissertation. Students submitting materials for which they do not own copyrights, must certify that they have obtained permission from the copyright owner before making materials available online.

Students also give the university permission to make their work available to all users and to adapt it to accessible formats per American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements. Requests for use of the work for purposes other than education will be referred back to the copyright holder.

Binding Options

Students who wish to purchase a paper copy of their dissertation for personal use can contact binding vendors directly. Some students use www.GoldenRuleBindery.com. The Library does not require bound copies.

Need Help?

Carmen Mitchell

Scholarly Communication Librarian
cmitchell@csusm.edu
760-750-8358
Office Location: 
KEL 3307
Office Hours: 
By appointment

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