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Caltech Theses: Thesis Dissemination Policy and Forms

Ph.D. theses must be submitted in electronic form as part of the graduation requirements for Caltech. This guide serves as a stepping-off point for this process.

Doctoral Thesis Dissemination Policy (effective March 1, 2017)

When filling out the chosen form please be sure to include the names of the publishers or the title of the journal to whom you are submitting your manuscripts.  Note that only the AAAS and ACS currently require submitted manuscript embargoes.  Check the Publishers Thesis Policies Libguide page, or contact us if you're not sure about your publisher's requirements.

  • 6-Month Thesis Embargo to Campus Form.  Should be used if you need to restrict thesis files to campus for 6 months.  Please provide the reason for the embargo on the form.
  • Thesis Embargo Exception Form. Should be used if you need to fully embargo the thesis files even from campus, or if you need to extend the initial 6-month restriction to or from campus for another 6 months.  You will be required to receive approval from the Vice-Provost, Division Chair, Dean of Graduate Studies and University Librarian, and provide supporting documentation.  Please read the Policy carefully to find out what kinds of requests are more likely to be approved.  The supporting documentation should be sent directly to  It will then be forwarded on, along with your Exception request, to the 4 persons who will be making the decision.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Access and Restriction Options

You should consider these options carefully. Feel free to ask Caltech Intellectual Property Office or legal counsel for advice, and to discuss this with your advisor.

  • Please read the Thesis Dissemination Policy thoroughly to understand your options and limitations.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
  • If you have any patent information included in your thesis, you may want to consider embargoing at least portions of your thesis.  You should consider discussing this with someone in the Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partners as your patent application may be far enough along in the process to obviate the need for any access restrictions for your thesis.
  • If you intend to work with a publisher regarding journal or book publications, be sure you understand their policies and any agreements you would sign.  We do know of 4 publishers who require rights to first publication, and who will likely require you to embargo the chapter that you have submitted for publication as an article.
  • If you decide to restrict all or portions of your thesis, please make a note of it in the Internal Notes field in the Description tab of your CaltechTHESIS record. 
  • You will need to also fill out one of the two forms above, identifying the portion of the thesis t be restricted as well as the reason why.
  • You and your advisor(s) will receive an email notification approximately one month before your thesis' access is scheduled to become unrestricted.