frequently asked questions
How can I format characters in my abstract (bold, italic, underline, etc.)?The abstract will need to be entered as a block of text. Any text that needs special formatting will need to surrounded by HTML tags. Here are some examples:
Bold: <bold> text </bold>
Italic: <italic> text </italic>
Subscript: <subscript> text </subscript>
Underline: <underline> text </underline>
During the online submission process, ProQuest provides "formatting hints", including the creation of special characters:
For σ: σ
For ©: ©
How can I ensure that all of my fonts are preserved when I convert to PDF?
See our help document [pdf] for embedding fonts in your PDF. Also, under ProQuest’s "Resources & Guidelines" tab, you will find a document called "UMI_PreparingYourManuscriptGuide.pdf" that explains step-by-step how to embed fonts before saving a Word document. ProQuest requires that you do so.
Where can I get help with questions about copyright?
The Libraries have created a Copyright and Scholarship guide to answer basic copyright questions. If you need more help, please contact your subject librarian or the Scholarly Communication Librarian.
Discovery and Access
How will researchers or potential employers find and access my dissertation?
Choosing your key words and phrases carefully will facilitate discovery (see below). You will find a link to some guidelines on the eTD@BC webpage. Several possibilities exist for both discovery and access:
1) If you choose to publish Open Access on BC's repository, your dissertation will show up when anyone searches with Google or in the new version of eScholarship@BC. And, access will be free.
2) If you choose Traditional Publishing with ProQuest, your dissertation will be found by anyone who searches ProQuest’s database. ProQuest charges a fee for access. Members of the BC community (faculty, staff, and students) have access without paying a fee since BC already subscribes to the ProQuest database.
What is a good strategy for choosing key words and phrases?
Please provide at least one and up to six keywords or phrases that describe the topic and content of your thesis. Separate keyword and keyword phrases with semicolons.
A recommended strategy for choosing keywords/phrases is to answer the questions: who; what; where; when? For example, if your dissertation/thesis is about the role of Cotton Mather in the Salem witch trials, you might choose as follows:
Cotton Mather; witch; trials; witchcraft; Salem; 17th century
NOTE: The goal is to choose words/phrases that would allow someone to find your work easily. Your thesis advisor can help you to verify that your choices are "on-topic."
Converting to PDF from applications other than Microsoft Word
How can I convert from LaTeX to PDF without altering the layout of equations?
Windows: The applicaton MikTeX can be used to convert to PDF
Mac: The application TeXShop can be used to convert to PDF
Concerns about Open Access
Will Publishers Consider my Open Access Dissertation a Prior Publication?
Students who wish to publish their dissertation in book or article format sometimes ask whether publishers will consider dissertations that are available open access and full-text online to be prior publications. Though this is an important question, it's impossible to provide a single definitive answer with which all publishers would agree. Publication policies are quite diverse and it is probable that most publishers have no ETD policy at all.
Most dissertations that are later turned into books or journal articles are heavily revised in the process; the subsequent book or article is really quite different from the original dissertation. In such cases most publishers would not be worried that an open access ETD was a prior publication. Still, it may be wise to be cautious. If students plan to publish a dissertation they should consult potential publishers beforehand if they are concerned that making their dissertation open access will be considered a prior publication. Students may also request an embargo period during which the full text of their dissertation will not be openly accessible.