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Thesis release options and patent FAQs

What happens to my thesis after the deposit has been completed?

Shortly after each graduation period, the Graduate College transfers the theses of those graduates to IDEALS, the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship. Doctoral students may also choose to have the Graduate College transfer their dissertation to ProQuest Dissertation Publishers. For more information, please carefully review the Release Options page.

Important note for those considering patenting their research:  The best way to protect the patentability of the research disclosed in your thesis is to temporarily withhold publication of the thesis, including the title, abstract, and the body of the work.  This can only be done through a formal thesis withholding process, administered through the Office of Technology Management (OTM).  Neither the IDEALS U of I Access or Closed Access release options nor the ProQuest embargo options are substitutes for contacting OTM and making a formal request that your thesis be withheld from publication to prevent premature disclosure of potentially patentable subject matter:

  • Limiting publication to the University community in IDEALS via the U of I Access option is still considered a public disclosure for patenting purposes, which could limit your ability to obtain a patent or greatly narrow the scope of possible patent protection.
  • Under both the IDEALS Closed Access option and all ProQuest embargo options, the title and abstract of your thesis will still be publically available.  The information contained in these parts of your thesis is considered a public disclosure for patenting purposes, which could limit your ability to obtain a patent or greatly narrow the scope of possible patent protection.

when will my thesis appear in ideals and proquest?

Your thesis will appear in IDEALS two to four months after degree conferral. If you chose to transfer your thesis to ProQuest, your dissertation will appear in ProQuest four to six months after degree conferral.

When/how do I request that my thesis or dissertation be withheld for patent review?

A student may request to have a thesis or dissertation withheld from public release while patentability is assessed by completing a Thesis Withholding Request Form (PDF) and submitting it to the Office of Technology Management (OTM). The withholding request should be submitted to OTM before the thesis is submitted to the Graduate College. For complete information on the process for submitting a request to withhold a thesis from publication, refer to the Policy for Withholding Graduate Theses from Publication.

OTM will review the student’s request and notify the Graduate College Thesis Office that a thesis is to be withheld. Withholding a thesis for a patent review does not affect graduation or thesis deposit; all students are required to complete their thesis deposit by the deposit deadline.

How does a request for a patent review affect my options for the release of my ETD?

After submitting the Thesis Withholding Request Form (PDF) to OTM, you may create your thesis submission profile and select from one of the three release options offered. Your thesis will be withheld from release into the IDEALS repository until the release is approved by OTM. After the thesis is released into IDEALS, it will become available according to the release option you chose during the thesis submission process.

Can I extend the period of time during which access to my electronic thesis is restricted?

The three IDEALS release options described on the Release Options page will accommodate the needs of most Illinois graduate students. For changes or extensions to your release option, review the request choices on the Release Options page.

Why am I asked to agree to the IDEALS deposit agreement during the thesis submission process?

All students depositing an thesis at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are asked to read and agree to the IDEALS deposit agreement. Basically, your agreement to this non-exclusive license allows IDEALS to make your thesis available according to the release option you choose during thesis submission and to make backup copies of your thesis or to migrate it to future file formats as necessary for preservation purposes. Students retain the copyright to their own work.

Release Option and Patent Resources

The Thesis Office                                                  (217) 333-6278

Release Options

Office of Technology Management