Sonoma State University ScholarWorks

Sonoma State University ScholarWorks

FAQ for Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD) Submissions

1. What is SSU ScholarWorks?

SSU ScholarWorks is a digital archive designed to capture, preserve and make available research, creative works and the administrative output of Sonoma State University. It provides permanent centralized storage and access to the depth and breadth of the University’s intellectual assets.

2. What are the benefits of placing an electronic version of my thesis or dissertation in SSU ScholarWorks?

3. What file formats are acceptable?

The text portion must be submitted as a single PDF file. If your thesis or dissertation is in MS Word, it can easily be converted to a PDF document. Supplemental components can be in many different file formats, including but not limited to:

4. How do I submit my electronic thesis or dissertation for uploading to SSU ScholarWorks?

Simply deliver your digital thesis or dissertation file(s) via email or portable media to the SSU ScholarWorks team at the address given below. You may suggest specific subject terms for the online record.

5. How do I submit my signed agreement form?

By submitting your ETD to SSU ScholarWorks for uploading, you are allowing open access to your research. A signed agreement form (PDF) and all 3rd party permissions, if applicable, should be hand delivered or mailed by postal mail. Note: ETDs are uploaded after all necessary forms are received.

6. What is 3rd party permission?

Any content within your thesis written by another author requires documented permission from that author. Go to Sample Letter for Requesting Use of Copyrighted Material from a 3rd party (Word) on the SSU ScholarWorks web site to view a sample letter.


7. How are EDTs accessed online?

8. What software is needed to view SSU ScholarWorks ETDs?

To view ETDs you will need a web browser and a plug-in, such as Adobe Reader, which is freely available at Other programs may be needed to read other formats, such as digital audio or video files.

9. Can I still publish my thesis in other thesis and dissertation services?

Yes, depending on the licensing and rights agreements of those services. For example, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database does not prohibit students from depositing their ETDs in SSU ScholarWorks.

10. Does inclusion in the SSU ScholarWorks prohibit publication elsewhere?

ScholarWorks submissions fall under a non-exclusive agreement( Most journal publishers do not consider the online publication of theses and dissertations in ETD collections to be any different than making the bound paper copies available to the general public on library shelves. However, if you work with a particular publisher, it is important to understand that publisher’s policies and agreements in advance of your decisions. SHERPA RoMEO ( is an organization dedicated to helping authors understand copyright and maintains an extensive listing of individual publishers’ policies.

11. How do copyright laws and other policies relate to ETDs?

Generally, you retain ownership of the copyright to your print and electronic thesis or dissertation, as well as the right to use it in future work, such as articles or books. In some cases, your rights are restricted because you share them with a co-author or sponsor. Also, if your work was grant funded, you have ownership rights to your words, but the content of the research, findings and data may belong to the Principle Investigator and, when specified, the funder or institution. If you are uncertain about the rights of others, check with your advisor.

SSU ScholarWorks requires that you and your advisor co-sign an agreement form that makes open access official and affords non-exclusive rights to the University Library. This process is entirely independent of agreements you may make with publishers.

12. Do other campuses have ETD collections?

Yes, other CSU campuses are initiating ETD collections.

Visit Humboldt Digital Scholar at, Digital Commons@CalPoly at Chico Digital Repository at a few examples.

ETD collections are growing internationally. You will find a partial list at Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.

13. Additional Resources


Staff Account