Embargo


Embargo is the term used to describe a delayed release or delayed availability of scholarly work. Under certain circumstances, scholars may need to embargo their work. The Embargo Policy allows for embargoes of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years, with the approval of a faculty member in the student's department. These embargoes are renewable, when necessary, in increments of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. However, please note that embargo renewals must be submitted at least one month before an existing embargo expires. Embargoed materials are automatically released for discovery by search engines upon expiration of an embargo, after which time the research will remain permanently accessible online.

Considerations that may warrant an embargo include:

  • Patentable rights in the work or other issues in which disclosure may be detrimental to the rights or interests of the author
  • The need to prevent disclosure of government information about persons, institutions, technologies, etc.
  • The interest of an academic or commercial press in acquiring the rights to publish your dissertation or thesis as a book
  • Content that is likely to be or has already been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal
  • Approval for delay granted by Restricted Research Committee (see Restricted Research for more information)

Steps for Acquiring Approval to Embargo a Thesis or Dissertation:

  1. Discuss the need for an embargo with your advisor or dissertation committee chair
  2. Complete the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Release Form -- sign it and select the length of the embargo
  3. Get an approval signature from the Director of Graduate Studies in your department on the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Release Form
  4. Submit the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Release Form to the graduate support staff in your school or College

Embargoing at KU requires 2 steps:

Once your embargo has been approved, you must take both of the following steps to ensure effective implementation of your embargo. You must ensure that you select the same embargo duration in each step (i.e., for each repository). If either of these steps is not taken or if your embargo durations do not match, your scholarly work will be made publicly available and may be searchable though internet sites such as Google.

  • KU ScholarWorks (a public KU database)
    • Sign the paper Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Release Form and select the length of your embargo (if applicable).
    • Get the Director of Graduate Studies for your department to approve the embargo and sign the form.
  • ProQuest (a national database)
    • During the electronic submission process you will complete a section concerning Publishing Restrictions. Select "delayed release" and the appropriate length of time for your embargo.

Renewing your Embargo

Thesis and dissertation embargoes are renewable. To renew the embargo on your work, you must take two steps, like you did to establish the initial embargo. If you neglect one of these steps, your work will be made publicly available and may be searchable through internet sites such as Google.

  • KU ScholarWorks (a public KU database)
    • Complete the Embargo Renewal form on the KU Graduate Studies website.
    • Ensure that you select the time frame for which you want to extend your embargo (6 months, 1 year, or 2 years) and that you provide the title of your thesis or dissertation so we may find it in the system.
  • ProQuest (a national database)
    • Contact ProQuest directly to complete their embargo renewal process. An agent can extend your embargo if you contact them using the Live Chat function in the support center. Select the "Dissertations" team when prompted.
    • Alternatively, you can email disspub@proquest.com or call 1-800-521-3042.