Preparing your Thesis or Dissertation
*This template is still being beta tested. Please only use this template if you are well-versed in LaTeX.
Thesis and Dissertation Formatting Checklist: To avoid delays in the final stage of submitting your manuscript, please carefully check it against this Formatting Checklist to ensure that it conforms to all format requirements.
Submitting your Thesis or Dissertation
Thesis and Dissertation Workshop Presentation (October 2022)
Article Style Dissertations
Excerpt from the Graduate Catalog Section on Dissertations
A dissertation showing the ability to conduct independent research and skill in organization, writing, and presentation must be prepared on a topic in the major field. It must constitute an original contribution to knowledge. The dissertation must be based upon research completed while the student is enrolled at The University of Alabama.
The subject of the dissertation must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee and by the dean of the Graduate School. The final dissertation may take the form of a traditional, chapter-based document or a series of full-length publication-ready manuscripts which are part of a larger, cohesive body of work. The format (traditional vs. article-style) must be approved by the committee in accordance with the standards for the program and the discipline.
For article-style dissertations, the document must contain a minimum of three articles, in addition to introductory and concluding materials. A single abstract must accompany the document. In addition to an introduction presenting the unifying framework that supports the research, the document must include a concluding section that summarizes the importance of the work, integrates the major findings, and discusses the implications for the overall body of work.
Individual departments may have policies or guidelines related to whether sections of the dissertation may be included if they have been previously published elsewhere. Copyright issues also may arise if sections of the dissertation have been previously published. Therefore, students who are considering the submission of dissertation chapters/articles for publication prior to their dissertation defense should consult with their advisor, and also with potential publication outlets, before submitting any dissertation-related manuscript for publication.
All parts of the dissertation must conform to the provisions set forth on the Graduate School page, except when the circumstances of a specific project or discipline’s style manual require deviation. Students should email the graduate school before beginning their work if they have questions concerning specific problems or deviations from traditional procedure.
Thesis and Dissertation Embargo Information
The University of Alabama maintains an Institutional Repository (IR) and collaborates with ProQuest/UMI to promote open access and expose UA scholarship to a worldwide audience. While open access to academic scholarship is beneficial to the research community, there are a few specific reasons that an embargo of a thesis or dissertation may be prudent. These decisions include but are not limited to, concerns about prior publication, funding agency requirements, pending patents, and the privacy of data or subjects.
A thesis or dissertation may be embargoed with the IR, ProQuest/UMI, or both. An embargo may last for a period of up to two years. It is the responsibility of the committee chair/co-chairs to inform and advise the student during their decision-making process. The topic of embargo should be introduced early in the graduate student’s tenure and then discussed formally with the student at the time of committee formation. This formal conversation should be documented by the committee chair/co-chairs on the student’s Appointment/Change of Committee form. The committee chair/co-chairs should have a more in-depth discussion about an embargo once the student’s topic has been finalized and approved by their committee. Any reasons for embargo which are associated with a committee member’s activity (e.g. restrictions of an agency through which the student is funded) should be addressed at this time.
A preliminary decision about an embargo, including levels, entities, duration, and potential future renewal, should also be made at this point. The ultimate decision about an embargo should be made by the student in consultation with their committee chair/co-chairs following the oral defense of their final thesis or dissertation. Confirmation of this discussion should be indicated by the committee chair/co-chairs on the Committee Acceptance Form. The student may request renewal of an IR embargo, which must be approved by the Graduate School. In general, no more than one renewal of up to two years will be allowed. The student must contact ProQuest/UMI to request the renewal of an embargo in ProQuest/UMI.