Where Will My Dissertation, or Doctoral Project, or Thesis Go?

University policy is that all dissertations, doctoral projects, and theses will be available to the public, so absent an embargo, your work will be discoverable in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, other subject-specific subscription databases, and DigitalGeorgetown, shortly after acceptance by the Graduate School. 

ProQuest Databases

The first place your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis will be made available is through the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database. Libraries around the world, including the Georgetown University Library, subscribe to this database to make dissertations and theses available to their patrons. Depending on the level of access you granted during the submission process, a person affiliated with an institution that subscribes to this database may be able to view your work. If a person not affiliated with a subscribing institution wishes to view your work, they are required to pay a fee to ProQuest. A small portion of that fee may come to you in the form of a royalty after the total amount due in royalties reaches $25.


In addition to subscription databases, your work will be made freely available in DigitalGeorgetown, the University’s open access institutional repository managed by the Georgetown University Library. At the end of each semester, Library staff members receive the approved dissertations, doctoral projects, and theses from ProQuest and process them so they can be added to the repository. The Library uses the final PDF and any other supplementary documents you uploaded to ProQuest, as well as the information, or metadata, you entered about your work, to create a unique item record for your work in DigitalGeorgetown. As part of this process, your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis will be assigned a permanent URL so that it can be always referenced at the same link.

Dissertations, doctoral projects, and theses are arranged in DigitalGeorgetown by school, program, and department. You can browse and read other dissertations, doctoral projects, and theses that have been published from past semesters by visiting our Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Department page.

There are three ways in which works are displayed in DigitalGeorgetown, depending on whether there is an embargo in effect for the work:

No Embargo

If you did not place an embargo on your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis, it will be openly available to all visitors to the DigitalGeorgetown repository.

Common Embargo

With a common embargo, your work will be openly available to the Georgetown University community (current faculty, staff, and students) though the DigitalGeorgetown repository. Community members who wish to read your work must sign in with their NetID and password before they can read the full text.

Restrictive Embargo

With a restrictive embargo, the text of your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis will not be accessible to anyone until the embargo period has expired.

HoyaSearch and WorldCat

Library staff catalog each dissertation, doctoral project, and thesis to ensure that they show up in relevant searches within HoyaSearch, the Library’s tool that searches across all databases and holdings, and WorldCat, a tool that searches the collections of thousands of libraries around the world.

Search Engines

After your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis has been uploaded to DigitalGeorgetown and is discoverable in HoyaSearch, over time it will be indexed by Google and other search engines. After a few weeks or months, your dissertation, doctoral project, or thesis will most likely appear in searches within Google Scholar and other aggregator sites that relate to your title, name, or subject.