For Students

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) considers graduate theses and dissertations to be important sources of original research and seeks to add them to the national theses collection to preserve them for future generations.

Some universities submit their students' theses and dissertations to Theses Canada as a condition of graduation. You are advised to check with your graduate studies office regarding your graduation requirements.

Once your thesis or dissertation has been approved, your university will forward a copy to Theses Canada. Theses Canada does not accept material directly from students, but only from Canadian universities. Requests to remove or replace information in theses and dissertations must also come from universities.

Submission Process

  • You submit your thesis or dissertation, and any required third-party copyright permissions to your university. As part of this process, the university will ask you to sign a license agreement. For more information, please consult Copyright and Third Party Permissions.
  • Upon approval, the university forwards a copy of the thesis or dissertation and its metadata description to Theses Canada. The university will likely retain it in its local Institutional Repository.
  • Once processing is completed, the thesis or dissertation is added to LAC's collection.
  • If your thesis or dissertation is not available on the LAC website within a few months after submission, please contact your Graduate Studies Office to inquire about the delay.

Important Considerations

  • Personal Identity Information. Please ensure that your thesis or dissertation does not contain personal information such as student numbers, signatures or other personally identifiable information as outlined in the Privacy Act.
  • Patent Pending, Sensitive or Restricted Information. If a patent is pending or if your thesis or dissertation contains sensitive or restricted information, it is possible for your university to place an embargo on the document, delaying its submission to Theses Canada. Embargoes must be arranged in advance with your university. Please note that embargo periods vary between universities.

Future Commercial Publication

The text in this section is an excerpt of a document published by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). We reproduce this text with the NDLDT's permission.

  • Some graduate students in both the humanities and sciences are concerned that making their electronic theses and dissertations widely accessible will limit their ability to commercially publish journal articles or books from the ETD content. Related publications almost always are radically different from the theses and dissertations that include them. There are a number of ways that students can determine the publication policies of various academic journals. An excellent source of information is the SHERPA/RoMEO Database, which includes detailed policies of a vast number of academic publishers.

    Another way to determine the publication policies of various journals is to check the Web site of the respective journal or to contact the editor or publisher or the association for a specific discipline, such as the American Institute of Physics, and ask for its policy on prior publication of electronic theses.

    In certain disciplines in the humanities it is often a requirement for young academics to publish monographs in order to get tenure at their institutions. Often they turn to their dissertations as a means to accomplish this. It is important that they understand that no academic press will publish a dissertation without considerable revision. The reason for this is one of simple economics. As Beth Luey points out in her excellent book, Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors, updated edition (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2008).

    • The purpose of the dissertation is to learn... how to define an original topic, ask interesting questions, apply the relevant research skills and methodologies, tap the relevant resources, draw conclusions, and write about what you have learned. A student's first large independent project has to be fairly narrow... Although writing in a narrow topic makes perfect sense when the goal is to complete a dissertation, publishing such work raises enormous problems... A book that appeals to a thousand readers is a better investment than one that will appeal to a hundred. It is more likely to influence a field of knowledge and advance work in that field.

    A specific way to address concerns about making dissertations widely accessible is to contact academic publishers that would be likely to publish a monograph to determine exactly what the publishers' policies are and what is required to turn a dissertation into a monograph.

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