Submission Overview

Electronic Dissertation/Thesis Submission for Dental Students

This page is a reference tool for Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) students completing their dissertations (DScD/DSc) or theses (MSD). Dissertation and thesis students in other schools or programs (including GSDM PhD candidates) should consult the general BU guidelines and instructions.

All dental student dissertations and theses produced for the DScD/DSc and MSD degrees must be presented to BU for inclusion in OpenBU (Boston University’s online digital repository) and the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database.

In past years, these documents were submitted in print and were available only in the Alumni Medical Library, but in 2016 the school made the transition to electronic submissions and access. This shift makes dissertations and theses more easily accessible to other researchers, and saves students the expense of providing multiple printed copies of their documents to the Alumni Medical Library for circulation and archiving.

As was true with print submissions, students will need to meet with an Alumni Medical Library librarian to review their formatting (see the dental school Thesis/Dissertation Guidelines for details on format requirements) before the final submission.

General Alumni Medical Library timeline for review and submission process:

  • Thesis written, defended, approved by committee (the hard part!)
  • Meeting for formatting review and approval by Alumni Medical Library librarian
  • Submission to the library of the title page and signed signature page(s) as proof of committee approval
    • Due to COVID-19 the library will accept electronically signed approval pages
  • Electronic submission of full text PDF of thesis on ProQuest ETD Administrator site
  • Double-check of final electronic version by librarian to ensure successful upload of submission
  • Confirmation of successful thesis submission sent to dental school administrator by librarian
  • Student cleared for graduation by school administration

Specific notes on submitting using the ETD Administrator site:

Signing up: Electronic submission via the ProQuest ETD Administrator site should be straightforward and user-friendly. Sign up for an account by clicking “log in” and then “create new account.” You may sign up at any time and begin the submission process (adding your contact information, advisor name, etc.). However, please do NOT upload and submit your actual dissertation/thesis document until you have met with a librarian at the Alumni Medical Library to review your formatting. Documents submitted without a review may contain formatting errors that will cause them to be rejected, and it is usually easier to work out these details in advance with a meeting rather than revising and resubmitting the document.

Starting a submission: Begin the submission process by clicking “submit new dissertation/thesis,” or click “continue submission” to add more information to an in-process submission. Nothing will be visible to the site administrators until you actually click to submit your documents on the last page of the submission, so feel free to create practice submissions if you like.

Embargoes: Once you start a submission, the first page you see will provide some basic information on the process, including the option to request an “embargo” of your dissertation/thesis (i.e., to keep it from being accessible online for a period of time). Please note that if you plan to request an embargo of any length, you will need to submit a request signed by you and your advisor explaining why this is needed. This should be submitted in print to the Alumni Medical Library, and in PDF on the ETD Administrator site under “administrative documents”. By default, dissertations/theses will be accessible in the ProQuest database as soon as they are approved and have been processed by the system (which may take several weeks to a few months).

Search engine accessibility: You have the option to choose whether your work can be retrieved by search engines such as Google. If you choose ‘no,’ people interested in your work will need to search within the ProQuest database or OpenBU to find it, rather than seeing it in the results of a general web search. You may choose whichever option you prefer, and no formal approval is required.

Publication agreement: Depositing your work in the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database constitutes publication, and ProQuest, as your publisher, will have the right to distribute your work in a limited way as outlined in the publication agreement on the site. You will retain ownership of the copyright on your work, and may republish it in whole or in part without seeking permission from ProQuest. You must read and accept this agreement in order to continue. If any copies of your work are sold through ProQuest, you will receive royalty payments, as detailed in the agreement.

Creative Commons license: You may choose whether or not to make your work available under a Creative Commons license, which will apply to re-use of your work as accessed via Boston University’s digital repository. This is separate from the publication agreement with ProQuest, described above.

Document format: Dissertations/theses must be submitted as PDF files. Many students prefer to create their own PDF copy and upload this, but you can also upload a Word or RTF document and have the site convert it to PDF for you. This usually works fine, but do double-check the resulting PDF to make sure that nothing has been significantly changed during the conversion.

Copyright options: You may choose to have ProQuest file copyright for you, for a fee of $55. This is completely optional, as filing copyright is not required (your work will still have basic copyright protection even without filing). You also have the option to file copyright on your own ( for $35, so if you do desire copyright, it is up to you to decide whether the convenience of having ProQuest file for you is worth the extra cost.

Print copies: You may choose to order printed, professionally bound copies of your dissertation/thesis from ProQuest. The Alumni Medical Library no longer requires print copies, but if your department, your embassy, or some other agency requires them, or if you would simply like to have a copy for yourself, you may order as many copies as you wish at the time of your submission. Please keep in mind that there are local options for printing and binding that may be more affordable and/or quicker, so you may wish to research this in advance.

How much does it cost?

Simply submitting the dissertation/thesis is free of charge for DScD/DSc/MSD students.

The Alumni Medical Library and the dental school do not charge a fee for reviewing or processing dissertations and theses. Mugar Library, which processes theses for other schools and programs at BU (including dental PhDs), does charge a fee, and you may see the general BU guidelines reference this charge. However, there is NO CHARGE to dental students from the Alumni Medical Library, and GSDM Masters and Doctoral students can disregard the information about this fee.

As noted above, there are OPTIONAL fees within the ProQuest submission system: students may choose to pay ProQuest to file copyright on their behalf, and may order bound, print copies of their dissertations/theses if these are required by their departments, embassies, etc. or are desired for personal use. However, these are not required by the Alumni Medical Library or the ProQuest system in order to submit a dissertation or thesis, and can be done outside of ProQuest if needed, or not done at all.

Librarian Contact Information:

To make an appointment to meet with a librarian and review your thesis, please contact:

Leslie Gascon
Alumni Medical Library, GSDM Theses & Dissertations