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Embargo Periods and External Publication for History Dissertations


Coates, Midge
Coates, Mildred


A policy statement issued by the American Historical Association (AHA) in July 2013 recommended that institutions with mandatory deposit allow creators to embargo their ETDs for a period of up to six years. The reason given for the policy was that open access might endanger publication of ETDs as monographs and that lengthy embargos could protect graduates’ ability to publish their work. Implementation of embargo in the U.S. has been far from uniform; every institution has its own policies and procedures. Nonetheless, since 2013, any institution which makes its ETDs openly available has had to deal with the expectations raised by the AHA policy statement. This presentation will examine the influence of the AHA policy by comparing history PhD candidates’ embargo decisions before and after 2013. It will also examine the publication of monographs based on history dissertations. Numbers of published monographs derived from electronic dissertations will be compared for unrestricted and restricted titles to evaluate whether access restriction confers a publication advantage. The time elapsed between dissertation date and monograph publication will also be compared for both groups. This presentation will expand on my earlier research which was limited to dissertations at Auburn University and will look at history dissertations from other research universities around the U.S. to see if the AU results were a local phenomenon only or part of a wider trend.