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 Openness requires that, as a general policy, thesis research should not be undertaken on campus when the results may not be published.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.