Research, Thesis, Capstone and Dissertation Information
Boston University Libraries are pleased to announce that processing fees for submitting theses and dissertations to Mugar Memorial Library may now be paid online using a variety of credit card options. The payment link is available on the Research Guide for Writers of Theses & Dissertations. The submission process is now completely online. When graduate students submit a thesis or dissertation to the Library via the online ETD Administrator, they are now able to complete the process with an online payment. If you have any questions about this service you can contact Brendan McDermott, Thesis/Dissertation Coordinator at email@example.com or (617) 353-9387.
May 27 Update: Thesis & Dissertation Electronic Signatures
We recognize the current academic and social environment imposes additional difficulties with thesis/dissertation completion and deadlines. Please note the following changes:
Signatures: Electronic signatures or signature images are currently being accepted for theses and dissertations for the Septemeber graduation deadline. We will not require ink signatures. There are several options for signature, such as electronic via Adobe Acrobat or inserting a signature image. The students should work with their first and second readers to find the best solution and follow guidelines sent by the Registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Deadline: The deadline to submit a thesis/dissertation remains August 5th but we continue to allow electronic signatures.
General Research, Thesis & Dissertation Information
Masters Thesis & Capstone Information
- GMS_Masters Thesis Template (updated Jan/2014) PLEASE NOTE: The Research Guide For Writers Of Theses (#1 above) indicates that a Master’s thesis abstract should be no more than 250 words. GMS Abstracts can be up to 750 words (approximately 2 pages).
- MS in Medical Sciences General Thesis Information
- Oral Health Sciences Capstone Information
BU Open Access Information and ProQuest
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
- Theses and Dissertations electronically submitted in 2014 or later are now searchable via Proquest
Required Plagiarism Tool - Directions & Policy Using Turnitin
The following policy is effective September 1, 2020 for all Master’s students. and March 1, 2021 for all PhD students.
All capstone, thesis and dissertation documents must be scanned using Turnitin plagiarism detection software. A final Turnitin report must be approved by your mentor, advisor, first reader (BU faculty) or external committee member(s) depending on the GMS program. A final Similarity Report must be submitted to your program director. This is the student’s responsibility.
Recommended to remove before scanning:
- Images and Figures. These cannot be scanned easily by Turnitin. Simply put them back in the document after the Turnitin review is final.
- Published manuscripts, assuming they have already been scanned by Turnitin or similar. If not previously scanned, include for this scan.
Checklist: You must:
- Manually check images and figures for plagiarism and potential copyright violations. You can use up to three images, illustrations, tables, figures, pictures, etc from any one source without permission as long as they are cited properly.
- Include a disclaimer at the beginning of the chapter if you choose to include your published manuscript (or soon to be submitted for publication) as a chapter.
- Example: “Disclaimer: Figures 3-5 and portions of the text in this chapter were originally published as: Costanza, G. and Benes, E. Uromycitisis, a follow up report. Urinary Maladies, Issue 5: Vol 2; pages, 2018.”
- Include unpublished manuscript(s) for the Turnitin scan if they are part of your document
- Reference laboratory methods or protocols if previously published. This can be done immediately before the method, then summarize the methodology as appropriate.
- Example: Circulating antigens in plasma were purified by antibody columns as previously described . Briefly, blood was centrifuged……..
- Re-submit the document after editing for a final check
- Submit the final Turnitin report to your mentor/advisor/first reader as appropriate for approval
- Submit the Turnitin final Similarity Report to your program director (screen shot or print it)
How to interpret a “Turnitin Originality Report”
Turnitin returns: Similarity index, Similarity by Source, Internet Sources, Publications, & Student Papers.
A maximum similarity index of 20% is required; lower is recommended. Note: a low similarity index does not necessarily mean the document is OK! There may be passages that need to be corrected. It is important to look at each identified similarity and determine why it has been flagged.
- A common definition may be acceptable.
- Did it identify matches to publications or text from the internet? These sentences, paragraphs, sections will need to be rewritten.
Once you have made edits it is important to resubmit the document for a final check. Your mentor/advisor or first reader ( BU faculty) will approve the final report. Give only the final Similarity Report to your program director who signs off on your capstone/thesis/graduation checklist.
Questions? If you have any questions interpreting the Turnitin report please reach out to your faculty mentors.