Embargo Information

As a condition of undertaking a thesis/dissertation/treatise program, the student agrees that the completed manuscript will be archived in the University Libraries system. The student will make the electronic dissertation available for review by other scholars and the general public by selecting an access condition provided by The Graduate School.


What is an embargo?

An embargo is a method of restricting access to a manuscript for a limited amount of time in order for a student to pursue a patent, commercial interests, or other publication. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure restricted access on the ProQuest web site.

***Please be aware that embargoing a manuscript does not constitute a guarantee that information in the sequestered thesis, dissertation, or treatise will not be disseminated by means other than the written thesis, dissertation, or treatise.

What are the most common reasons that embargo requests are granted?

  1. Publishing a book
  2. Patents
  3. The preprint policy of a journal prohibits the manuscript from being generally available on the web.

What forms must be submitted when requesting an embargo?

One form must be submitted, in addition to the Manuscript Access Agreement Form, which must have the signatures of the student and major professor (or both co-major professors).

  1. Embargo Request Form (justification required for ALL requests)

When requesting an embargo, what information must be included in the justification section of the FSU Digital Repository Embargo Request Form?

Publishing a book; at minimum please include:

  • Name of publisher(s) to whom the manuscript will be submitted
  • Timeline

Patents; at minimum, please include:

  • Short description of what is being patented
  • Timeline

The preprint policy of a journal prohibits the manuscript from being generally available on the web.

When requesting an embargo based on the preprint policy of one or more journal(s), the justification must include:

  • Name of journal(s)
  • The exact wording of the preprint policy of the journal(s), which is usually included in the Instructions for Authors
  • Timeline

Is additional justification required for any other options on the Embargo Request Form?

Yes. Justification is required for selecting the Campus Community-Only Access after the embargo has expired. This option is typically reserved for students intending to publish a book from their manuscript.

Campus Community-Only Access – The manuscript is available only to those that are part of the FSU computer network after the full embargo expires.

To whom are embargo requests submitted?

Embargo request forms are submitted to the Manuscript Clearance Advisor. The Advisor checks  forms to make sure that they have been filled out correctly, including signatures. If filled out correctly, the Embargo Request Form is submitted for approval (see below).

Who approves embargo requests?

The Dean of the Graduate School must approve all embargo requests as well as requests for embargo extensions.

How long does it take for approval?

Depending on the Dean’s schedule and availability, the embargo request is typically reviewed with a few days of submission; however, if the Dean is out of town, it could be longer. Given the potential uncertainty about the Dean’s schedule and that students must meet manuscript clearance deadlines, it is strongly recommended that students planning to request an embargo do so early in the semester of graduation. To stay on track for the planned semester of graduation requires that all forms are received and approved by the clearance deadline that applies to that student (see Manuscript Clearance Deadlines in GradSpace).

What if the request is denied?

In some cases, the original request, or a request for an extension, is denied because the justification is insufficient. In those cases, the Manuscript Clearance Advisor will notify the student by email and request that the student provide additional justification via email. The student’s email response will be attached to the embargo request form, and the form will be re-submitted to the Dean for approval.

How long does an embargo last?

The initial embargo is for 24 months on the ProQuest web site and in the FSU Digital Repository. However, if the student was approved for Campus Community-Only Access (see top of page), then the embargo on the ProQuest web site will be changed to permanent. The most restrictive option offered for the FSU Digital Repository is Campus Community-Only after the embargo expires.

How is a permanent embargo enabled on ProQuest since that option is not available to students?

For permanent ProQuest embargo requests approved by the Dean, the Manuscript Clearance Advisor will access the student’s ETD account and revise the publishing options to enable a permanent embargo. That process will generate an email notifying the student that their publishing options have been revised.

What happens at the end of an embargo period?

Under special circumstances, the Dean of The Graduate School may grant up to two additional 24-month embargoes. However, each additional embargo is applied for separately, and only approved if the case is made that an additional 24-month embargo is in the best interest of all parties, or if publication or commercial interest in the document is still ongoing. Each request must be submitted at least 1 month prior to the expiring embargo. Students are responsible for initiating this process.

As a courtesy, the Manuscript Clearance Advisor will attempt to inform the student, via email, that the 24-month embargo period is ending; the email address will be that listed in the Graduate Student Tracking database. (NOTE: Students retain their my.fsu.edu email account after graduation.)

Failure to submit an Embargo Request Form for renewal will result in the embargo of the manuscript being lifted in the FSU Digital Repository. Manuscript access will either be World Wide Access or Campus Community-Only Access, depending upon the option approved on the original FSU Digital Repository Embargo Request Form.

To extend an embargo on the ProQuest web site, it is the student’s responsibility to contact ProQuest to request an embargo extension (800-521-0600 ext. 77020; disspub@proquest.com).

What information is posted on the ProQuest web site and the FSU Digital Repository for embargoed manuscripts?

Student's name, manuscript title, and abstract as well as indexing information about the thesis, dissertation, or treatise.

May an embargo be requested after the manuscript has been cleared by Manuscript Clearance?

No