Deadlines and Resources

What’s a thesis or dissertation embargo, and when to use it?

Posted on August 27, 2018

As part of the degree requirements for theses and dissertations, students hold a public defense and will have their document published electronically in the ASU Digital Repository and with ProQuest. Publication in the ASU Digital Repository is required; however, students may elect to delay (known as “embargo”) publication of their thesis/dissertation for a period of two years with support from their committee.

Why embargo a thesis/dissertation?

Delayed publication can protect:

  • information of commercial value
  • patentable rights
  • sensitive or classified information
  • academic or commercial press from acquiring publishing rights
  • other relevant scholarly issues related to the release of your work

How can a student establish an embargo?

  1. Consult with committee at the time of the defense (or earlier) to decide whether an embargo is necessary
  2. Complete the Delaying Publication of Thesis/Dissertation form and include the chair’s (or a co-chair’s) signature.
  3. Include the embargo form with the completed Pass/Fail form that will be submitted to the Graduate College.

With submission of the embargo form, the student’s document will be embargoed for two years in both the ASU Digital Repository and ProQuest.

Other considerations

Students may place an indefinite embargo on their thesis or dissertation document with ProQuest after successful completion of their program. Students should submit their request directly to ProQuest, either by email ( or by telephone (800-521-0600, ext. 77020).

These embargo guidelines apply to other culminating experience documents (such as bound documents and DMA research papers) that are required to go through format review and submission to ProQuest. Please check with your academic unit if unsure if this applies to your culminating experience.

Embargo questions can be directed to