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Submitting Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD)

For UNLV graduate students submitting an ETD or doctoral project as part of their program requirements.

Purpose of Guide

This guide will answer:

  • What role do the University Libraries play in ETDs?
  • What is Digital Scholarship@UNLV and what is ProQuest?
  • How do I upload my ETD to these platforms?
  • What's an embargo and do I need one?

Who's Involved in ETDs?

There are several folks involved in the ETD submission process!

  • You and your committee work on the research and writing side of the ETD
  • The Graduate College manages your program requirements, degree progress, final approval of your ETD, approval of embargoes, and conferring your degree after you graduate
  • The University Libraries shares your work by making it publicly available in ProQuest and Digital Scholarship. We also help answer questions about publishing, open access, measuring the impact of your work, and data visualization and GIS tools to visualize your work.

diagram of who's involved in the ETD process

Submission Process Overview

Everyone plays an important role in the ETD submission process

  1. Committee and You: student writes ETD
  2. You: student submits ETD to Grad College for final approval
  3. Graduate College: Grad College approves ETD, notified student and University Libraries
    • Sometimes the Grad College will send it back to the student for revisions prior to approval
  4. You: student submits ETD to ProQuest
  5. University Libraries: University Libraries approves ETD in ProQuest
  6. You: student graduates!
  7. Graduate College: Grad College sends final Conferral List to the University Libraries
  8. University Libraries: University Libraries published ETD in ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV

diagram of the ETD process



  • Global database with materials from over 3,100 institutions worldwide
  • Often requires a paid subscription to access materials
  • Well-known among academic researchers, providing a wide-reaching audience

Digital Scholarship@UNLV

  • UNLV's institutional repository specific to UNLV research
  • Open Access - anyone with Internet can access, no paywall
  • Searchable by academic unit, event, title, keyword, and author type (grad student, faculty, etc.)
  • Managed by the University Libraries (local customer service)
  • Authors receive monthly download reports via email to track the impact of their work

table comparing ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV

home page screenshots of ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV

Submission Process Deep-Dive

Important things to know about the ETD submission process

  • Grad College approves ETD, notifies student and University Libraries
    • Once the Grad College approves your ETD, you'll receive an email notification. This is called the Approval Email. This email will include 2 attachments:
      • Your final, approved PDF
      • Instructions for how to submit your PDF to ProQuest
  • Student submits ETD to ProQuest
    • Once you complete your submission, ProQuest will automatically send a notification email to the University Libraries. We'll begin reviewing the metadata (title, author, abstract, embargo selection, etc.) and ensure everything is correct and complete. Always monitor your student email because we often reach out to students to fix or clarify something in their submission.
    • Please note that you must submit the Grad College-approved PDF to ProQuest. If you submit your own PDF, the University Libraries will contact you.
    • The University Libraries will take the information you entered into ProQuest and import it into Digital Scholarship@UNLV ourselves, so you do not need to submit to both ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV. You only need to submit it to ProQuest and the University Libraries will do the rest! 
  • Student graduates; Grad College sends final Conferral List to University Libraries
    • This process can take a long time! A student can submit their ETD in March, graduate in May, and the Grad College can send the Conferral List to the University Libraries in August, and it takes the University Libraries approximately 6-8 weeks* to make them publicly available in ProQuest and Digital Scholarship@UNLV.
    • *This timeframe may vary depending on staffing.


For more information, see the Embargoes page!

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