Graduate Policies & Procedures

Restrictions on thesis publication

Thesis research should be undertaken in light of MIT’s policy of open research and the free interchange of information. Openness requires that, as a general policy, thesis research should not be undertaken on campus when the results may not be published. From time to time, there may be good reason for delaying the distribution of a thesis to obtain patent protection, or for reasons of privacy or security. To assure that only those theses that meet certain criteria are withheld from distribution, and that they are withheld for the minimum period, the Dean for Graduate Education has established specific review procedures (see Thesis hold below).

Written notification of patent holds and other restrictions must reach the Institute Archives before the thesis in question; as under normal circumstances, all theses are open and available for public inspection once they have been received by the Institute Archives.

Any MIT doctoral degree recipient who is attempting to publish a book based wholly or in part on his/her dissertation may request a temporary removal of the thesis from public access on D-Space for a period of no longer than two years (24 months).

Such a request must be accompanied by documentation which demonstrates that the author’s manuscript cannot be published due to the availability of the related thesis online. The request will be reviewed by the Dean for Graduate Education. If approved, online access to view and download the thesis will be limited to those with MIT certificate permission. During the restricted online access period, the hard copy of the thesis will remain available in the MIT Libraries Archives reading room to any member of the public.

The restricted access policy pertains only to book publication and does not include academic journals or any other type of publication.