Congratulations! After putting in countless hours of effort into writing your thesis or dissertation, you have successfully demonstrated your expertise in your field through your research and written explanations. While your document holds significant educational value, it is important to consider how you can continue to benefit from your hard work and expertise beyond academia.
Although there's no question that your thesis or dissertation holds educational value, it's important to remember that your research can continue to work for you in expanding your career for years to come or benefit you financially. While many use their dissertations to publish books or articles in their chosen field, many also leverage their expertise and research to turn it into a business.
Whether a published book, articles, or a business, here are beneficial avenues you should consider taking with your dissertation or thesis so that third-party companies like PQDT Global, UNL, EBSCO, and Google Scholar, don’t profit fully from your hard work.
Petition of Restriction
Submitting your work to your academic institution is recognized as the intellectual property of the university. While the information in your research document can be quite beneficial to your industry, it isn't always in your best interest to allow your hard work to be displayed to anyone searching on the Internet, especially if you plan on leveraging your research. Therefore, in short, a petition of restriction is a request you can submit to your university to prevent them from providing your dissertation or thesis to their institutional repository or third-party companies.
While taking this route will prevent it from being released to electronic databases and institutional archives, it may still be released to the Library of Congress in other non-electronic formats. The Library of Congress is the only library that strives to hold copies of all U.S. doctoral dissertations. It will not be released to the library of congress if it is considered an independent study or scholarly project.
Each university has its own protocol for students to follow for independent studies, scholarly projects, and petitioning for a restriction and what it prevents (especially online for-profit universities). It is recommended that you meet with your advisors to speak about the process, your options, or their insights if taking these steps would be necessary or even helpful, based on your goals for your research.
To Embargo or Embargo with Restrictions?
Think of your dissertation or thesis as a valuable commodity that must be protected. This document has great potential beyond helping you achieve a degree. If it goes to a third-party company, there are reasons why you may want to consider putting an embargo or embargo with restrictions on your dissertation or thesis.
As reported by Georgia Southern University, " An embargo with restriction is the restriction placed on a thesis or dissertation that allows only the title, abstract, and citation information to be released to the public, while the full text of the work is kept hidden for a limited period of time." If your school is partnered with PQDT Global (ProQuest Dissertations and Theses), this is a process you would eventually need to take through them or any third-party company that holds your thesis or dissertation.
Individuals may choose to place an embargo on their work if they would like to eventually submit their work for publication. Moreover, if you wish to secure a patent for any part of your intellectual property, it may be a good idea to do an embargo with restrictions. This way, your information remains safe and secure until you can publish or patent your work. Whether you should place an embargo or an embargo with restrictions on your dissertation depends on various factors, including your industry, the nature of your research, and your career or entrepreneur goals.
To Publish or Remain Unpublished?
Like embargoes and restrictions, whether you should publish your dissertation or thesis online or choose to leave it unpublished will depend on your goals for your research. Many recommend that if you wish to use your research for a future book, you should place an embargo with restrictions on your piece to prevent duplication.
However, if your main objective is to grow within your industry and have your research utilized by other sector professionals, having it available to the masses may not be such a bad idea!
In conclusion, there are many ways to leverage your research and expertise beyond academia. By taking the necessary measures to protect your intellectual property and carefully considering your goals, you can ensure that your hard work benefits you in the long run. For more information on how to maximize the value of your dissertation and leverage your research to further your career or entrepreneur goals, there are many resources available to help guide you.