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. Publishing in a journal, especially if the pre-print policy of a journal prohibits the manuscript being generally available on the web. (A pre-print is a manuscript that has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.)

What form must be submitted when requesting an embargo?

The Manuscript Access Agreement Form must be submitted through the Manuscript Clearance Portal and "Embargoed Access" must be selected. The Embargo Request section of the form must be completed in its entirety. Once submitted, this form will then be approved or denied by the major professor(s), the Manuscript Clearance Advisor, and the Dean of The Graduate School.


When requesting an embargo, what information must be included in the Embargo Request section of the Manuscript Access Agreement Form?

  • Publishing a book; at minimum please include:
    • Name of publisher(s) to whom the manuscript may be submitted
    • Potential Timeline
  • Patents; at minimum, please include:
    • Short description of what is being patented
    • Potential 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 Manuscript Clearance Advisor and Dean of the Graduate School must approve all embargo requests as well as requests for embargo extensions.

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 the email they provided on the Embargo Renewal Request, that the 24-month embargo period is ending; the email address will be that listed in the Graduate Student Tracking database. 

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 most recent FSU 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; 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?