ProQuest Guide

Prior Learning Assessment

All dissertations and theses must be submitted to ProQuest. The following guide will walk you through the submission process. If you have questions, please email the Registrar's OfficeIn addition to the ProQuest database, all dissertations and theses will be deposited in the university's institutional repository, ODU Digital Commons (see below). Print copies are no longer retained in the libraries.

Before You Begin

Please be sure you have the following:

  1. The final, approved dissertation/thesis in PDF format. This must be one file. Do not upload preliminary drafts - only the final, approved work. Note: The title page within the pdf should list committee members, but no signatures.

  2. Optional supplemental files: images, sound, etc. that are an integral part of the dissertation/thesis, but not part of the full text.

  3. Subject category list. Choose one main category and two optional supplementary subject areas. Note: If you need assistance selecting appropriate subjects, contact the libraries' Lead Cataloger, Cathy Jones via email.

  4. Keywords. Optional (but useful), up to six. Can include phrases.

  1. Click here and click the "Sign up and get started today!" button. If you already have an account, use the Login option below that.
  2. On the "Create account page," fill out the required fields and click "Create."
  3. An email will be sent to you asking you to confirm and activate your account.
  4. After activating your account, you are ready to begin the submission process - a seven-step process that should take less than an hour to complete. You can exit & return anytime to complete the process.

Submission Process

The navigation tabs on the left allow you to save your submission as you work. Remember to hit the "Save & Continue" button before leaving each section. You may leave the ETD Administrator at any time and then return to your submission later.

submission steps

Step 1: Select Publishing Options and Accept the Publishing Agreements

ProQuest provides the option to have major search engines discover your work.

Select "Yes" for the greatest possible access to your work.

NOTE: If you select "No," the ProQuest link will not be available via Google, but the ODU Digital Commons link will still be available in Google and Google Scholar. If you

select publishing options

absolutely do not want it available via search engines, consider an embargo.


Access options:

Unless you have publishing or patent restrictions, it is best to make it available as soon as it is published.

Access Options


Embargo: You have the option to delay the release of your work. If you want your work embargoed longer than 2 years, select "Other," add a note to the administrator, and select a reason. Your request will be sent to the Graduate School for approval.

Click Save & Continue

You will then be prompted to accept the ProQuest Publishing Agreement to continue. You must accept the agreement to continue.

IR Publishing Options & Agreement (ODU Digital Commons) All theses and dissertations at ODU must be deposited in the university's institutional repository, ODU Digital Commons, administered by the University Libraries. This submission is made simultaneous with publication through ProQuest. You do not have to handle this yourself, but you do have to agree to the deposit of your work. 

IR publishing

Items in ODU Digital Commons are open-access and available through search engines. Like the ProQuest/UMI agreement, review the agreement carefully and know what you are agreeing to. If you have questions or concerns, contact the Graduate School.

Step 2: Contact Information 


The next screen prompts you to enter current contact information, including email and mailing addresses, and a future address if you will be moving soon. This information will be stored in ProQuest's internal database.

  • Type your name exactly as it appears in your student record. Include UIN.

Enter all the necessary metadata about your graduate work - the title, advisor(s), committee members

(required), abstract, etc. Be sure to complete ALL required fields, and proofread for typos.

graduate work

Note: If you need assistance with selecting subject categories and keywords, please contact libraries' Lead Cataloger, Cathy Jones

The information included here should match what is included in the graduate work itself - that is, the title should be exactly the same as it is on the title page of the submitted manuscript.

You may copy and paste your abstract, but be sure to double check that it pasted correctly. This information is used to create the bibliographic record in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database.

Step 4: Upload the PDF -- One file only. 

step four screenshot

Do not upload your work until it is the final, approved copy.

Please Note: If you're submitting a pdf, you must ensure that 1) all fonts are embedded in the PDF; and 2) the PDF security settings allow printing and modification of the document. Both are critical to the publishing process. PDF Help is on the page.

Step 5: Uploading Supplemental Files (Optional)

supplemental files

Step 5 provides you with the opportunity to upload supplemental files that support your graduate work. Examples might be sound clips or spreadsheets of research data. You can upload as many supplemental files as you need.

If the files are very large and/or you have a slow connection, you may provide a zipped file or a cd, dvd, or usb jump drive. Contact the Graduate School for more information.

submission and payment

Step 6: Filing for Copyright Registration (Optional)

This step is strictly optional. Your work is automatically copyrighted once it is written.

If you want an additional layer of protection, ProQuest will register your claim to copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office for a fee. For more information regarding copyright, click here.

submission and payment

Step 7: Ordering Bound Copies of Your Work (Optional) 

ProQuest has a variety of binding options and costs. Note: If you chose to embargo your work, you will not receive your bound copies until up to 8 months after the embargo has been lifted.

Please review all information that you submit. After completing the submission process, you will receive an email confirming that your submission has been received.

What to Expect After You Submit Your Thesis/Dissertation

The ODU ProQuest Manager in the Registrar's office will review the thesis/dissertation for the following and will let you know if changes are needed

Items need to be in this order:

  • Cover Page with the Correct Month and Year of Your Official Graduation
  • Degree Title
  • Abstract
  • Copyright Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Vita (at the very end)
Personal Development- Continuing Education

Once the submitted pdf file is reviewed and accepted, and all paperwork has been received, your work will be locked, and no other updates can be made. If changes need to be made, contact your graduate program director or committee chair who will email the Registrar's Office to unlock the item within 24 to 48 hours.

Your work will be submitted to ProQuest for publishing 30 days after the official graduation date. ProQuest will not begin processing bound copies until they have published the work. You will receive an email from ProQuest letting you know your work has been published.


Making Changes After Your Work Is Published By ProQuest

  • After your work is published by ProQuest, you must email ProQuest for changes. There will be a fee.

  • If you need to make substantive changes, you will need approval from the Graduate School.

  • Email Karen Vaughan to submit the revision to ODU Digital Commons.