Frequently Asked Questions

All Submissions

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs)

Faculty and Staff Scholarship

What types of materials can be submitted to ThinkIR?

Please see our Collection Policy for information about what content we will accept.

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What sorts of things do authors need to get permission for?

Copyright automatically protects an enormous variety of creative works in nearly all “formats.” This ubiquitous protection requires close analysis of the types of content and materials that authors include in their scholarly work. Diligent scrutiny of copyrighted materials supports lawfully using those copyrighted works, protecting your immediate legal interests. Close and reasonable analysis also satisfies the requirements of the ThinkIR nonexclusive deposit agreement and typically the needs of publishers of your scholarship, protecting your long term interest in effectively managing your scholarship and publication possibilities. The ThinkIR agreement, for instance, requires you to confirm that you have either secured written permission to use embedded copyrighted content in your scholarly work or have made a reasonable and good faith application of fair use as specifically allowed by U.S. copyright law. Publishers typically take similar, albeit exclusive transfer of copyright, approaches to publication agreements with more commonly lesser to no tolerance of fair use opportunities. Securing permission requires contacting the rights holder and retaining the related documentation that grants to you in clear and unambiguous terms the right to include the specific copyrighted work in your work and preferably signed by the rights holder. Fair use requires understanding and reasonably satisfying the fair use conditions as codified in U.S. copyright law at 17 U.S.C. Sec. 107. The U.S. Copyright Office offers various publications on copyright, particularly ownership and related concerns of registration and classification. You can learn more about fair use on the UofL copyright website. Make sure to take a look at the fair-use checklist and use it to not only frame your fair use analysis in the context of the broader fair use description and law but also to record your thinking about fair use regarding specific copyrighted works that you plan to include in your thesis or dissertation. If you need additional support or help in approaching fair use, please feel free to contact Dwayne K. Buttler, Evelyn J. Schneider Endowed Chair for Scholarly Communication in University Libraries.

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Will I be charged to add my work to ThinkIR?

No! UofL does not charge its faculty, staff, or students to have these titles available on the Web. Through ThinkIR, the University provides free worldwide access to these works. You need not pay another organization to duplicate this service.

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How will ThinkIR content be accessible?

ThinkIR provides free, global access to its contents. It is picked up by many web search engines, including Google Scholar.

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When I copy and paste abstracts into the Submit form, some formatted text reverts to plain text. What's going on?

When copying abstracts from a word processing file or a PDF file, and pasting the text into the submission form, you are taking text from an environment that supports fonts and text style changes. Because the abstract is intended to be presented on the web, text styles must be specified using HTML codes.

If submitting an abstract in HTML format, please be sure to select the corresponding option on the submission form.

The following HTML tags are recognized by the system and may be used to format an abstract (use lowercase tags):

How to include HTML tags

HTML tags
<p> - paragraph
<p>This is the first paragraph.</p>
<p>This is the second paragraph.</p>

This is the first paragraph.

This is the second paragraph.

<br /> - line break
<p>This is a line of text with a linebreak here. <br /> This is text after</p>

This is a line of text with a linebreak here.
This is text after

<strong> - strong/bold
<strong>bold text</strong>

bold text

<em> - italics/emphasis
<em>italicized text</em>

italicized text

<sub> - subscript
Text with <sub>subscript</sub>

Text with subscript

<sup> - superscript
Text with <sup>superscript</sup>

Text with superscript

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How do I include accents and special characters in the abstracts and titles?

The repository software supports the worldwide character set (Unicode, utf-8). Accents, symbols, and other special characters may be copied and pasted into the abstract or title field from a word processing file or typed in directly. Windows users may also use the Character Map to insert these characters. Macintosh users may use the Character Palette (available via Edit > Special Characters in the Finder).

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How can I submit a multi-part file, such as multiple chapters for a book?

Combine all the sections together as one Microsoft Word file or PDF file and submit that.

To make one PDF file from multiple files, open the first PDF file, then choose Document>Insert Pages from Acrobat's menus to insert the second file (indicate it should go after the last page of the first file), and repeat for all documents. The result will be one compound PDF file which may then be submitted.

If you feel that the one large PDF file might be too large for some people to download, we suggest that you submit the consolidated file as the full text of the article, and then upload the separate chapters or sections of the document as Associated Files. These files will appear on the web page alongside the complete document. For more information about uploading associated files, see below.

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Can I post related files (sound clips, data sets, etc.) alongside the published article, thesis, or dissertation?

Yes. The software refers to these supplementary items as Associated Files. You will be prompted to submit Associated Files when you upload your submissions. The name of the files you upload will appear on the web site along with your short description of it. Viewers must have the necessary software to open your files; that is not provided by the software.

Please be sure that there are no permissions issues related to use of the associated material. Sometimes, especially with images, you must write a letter seeking permission to use the material before it can be posted.

Also note that where possible, items such as images, charts and tables that are referenced in the document (or otherwise an integral part of the document) should be included directly in the article itself and not posted just as associated files.

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What are the most common errors students make on their electronic thesis and dissertations?
  1. Misspelled words in titles. Please remember that Word's spell check does not work when using all capital letters! Pay special attention to title pages!
  2. Inconsistent titles. Make sure that the title on the title page, approval page, and abstract are all the same.
  3. Page numbers on table of contents pages not matching the actual pages of chapters, figures, and tables. Make sure that the parts of your work that you finish last don't contradict earlier parts.
  4. Incomplete, inaccurate, and improperly formatted bibliographic references.
  5. Wrong size page margins and fonts. The Graduate School and Speed School guidelines carefully spell out these requirements.

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How long will it take for my thesis or dissertation to be accessible via ThinkIR?

After submitting, it can take up to two months to appear on the site, as it must be approved by the Graduate School and catalogued by the Librarians.

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I'm an alumna/us and I would like my UofL thesis or dissertation to be available in the ThinkIR. What steps do I take?

If you are an alumna/us who wrote a dissertation/thesis and would like to see it here, please sign and return a copy of the Nonexclusive License. If you can provide an electronic copy of your thesis or dissertation, we can make it available on the Web. If you can't provide an electronic copy, signing the Nonexclusive License would give the Libraries permission to create a digital copy from the Libraries' paper copy of their work and present it on the Web. If you would like, you can sign and scan the Nonexclusive License and then send it back to, or mail it to:
Sarah Frankel
Ekstrom Library
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292

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What can ThinkIR do for me?

ThinkIR will:

  • Increase access to your scholarship.
  • Connect you to other scholars who share your interests.
  • Provide a worldwide forum to highlight your scholarship, professional achievements and successes.
  • Release your work to a global audience.
  • Support open access.

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How can I get started participating in ThinkIR?

The University Libraries’ ThinkIR coordinator will create a profile for you, help you post your biography, and populate your site with your scholarship, including investigating any related copyright limitations. Please contact to get started!

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I don't have electronic versions of papers that I'd like to include in the repository. Is it okay to scan the printed page to a PDF file?

Yes--scanning printed pages is a great way to create PDF files for inclusion in the repository. There are two ways to scan a page: using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or scanning the page as an image. Making OCR scans requires careful proofreading and loses the original formatting of the documents. Image scans cannot be searched. The best solution takes advantage of both of these methods. Many software applications allow for the OCR capture of image scans. When documents are scanned this way, users see the image scan but search the full-text of the document. This is the preferred method for scanning documents for the repository.

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Can I post a reprint from a journal?

It depends on what the journal allows, which is usually specified in their agreement with the author. If it would not violate copyright to post the reprint on your repository site, you're welcome to do so. Permissions for many publishers can be found at SHERPA RoMEO.

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A working paper in our repository site has been published in a slightly revised form in a journal. What should I do?

Many journals do not have any restrictions on working papers that preceded an article, especially if substantial revisions were made. You should check your author agreement with the journal to confirm that there is no problem with leaving the working paper on the site. The repository would constitute noncommercial use.

Assuming the working paper does remain on posted in the repository, it is a good idea to include the citation to the published article on the cover page of the repository working paper. Please contact the ThinkIR coordinator to request this change.

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How do I revise a submission?

To revise a submission that has been posted to the repository, contact the ThinkIR coordinator with the new version.

If the submission has been submitted, but not yet posted, you may revise it via your My Account page:

  1. Locate the article on your My Account page, and click the title.
  2. Click Revise Submission from the list of options in the left sidebar.
  3. Enter your changes in the Revise Submission form, and click Submit at the bottom of the page to submit your changes. (You only need to modify the portion of the form that corresponds to the changes you wish to make.)

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