Open Access to UCSF Theses & Dissertations

By Liz Silva, Graduate Division, and Anneliese Taylor, Library
Photo by
Will van Wingerden on Unsplash

For years, UCSF has been at the forefront of the open science and open data movement, but access to graduate student theses and dissertations has remained behind a paywall – until now. Effective immediately, all UCSF graduate student theses and dissertations, including all those going back to 2007, are publicly available in eScholarship, the University of California’s open access publishing platform.

Previously, the full text of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) was freely accessible only to researchers from UC campuses through ProQuest’s Dissertations & Theses database, unless the student paid an additional fee to make their ETD open access in the database. Users not affiliated with UC could purchase a copy through ProQuest. Through a partnership between the UCSF Graduate Division, the Library, and the California Digital Library, over 1,900 ETDs were transferred to eScholarship, aligning UCSF with the practice of several other UC campuses and with institutions around the world.

A UC-wide policy to standardize public access to all UC graduate student ETDs is currently under review. This policy does not change the copyright status of ETDs: UC students will retain the copyright for their thesis or dissertation as they always have. Going forward, UCSF Graduate Division students will continue to submit their ETDs to ProQuest for inclusion in the Dissertations & Theses database, and all documents will automatically be transferred to eScholarship for no additional charge. Further guidelines for students are available from the Graduate Division.

Theses and dissertations published between 1997-2006 are also freely accessible to UC users in the D&T database, which is a subscription resource purchased by academic libraries around the world. Looking for an older thesis or dissertation, or looking to make your report open access? Contact the Library for more information. 

Find open theses and dissertations on eScholarship from UCSF and from all UC campuses.

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