Call for IR Data for Embargo Research

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Aug 8, 2022, 12:26:18 PM8/8/22
to ETD

Hello everyone!

I am a Repository Manager conducting research at Washington University in St. Louis on ETD embargo trends. I started this research after realizing that we have a serious embargo issue at our university due to the way our repository was introduced to students and faculty over a decade ago. This issue is that we have a considerable amount of ETDs under heavy embargoes (100 year/indefinite embargo).

I am comparing embargo policies of other institutions, including embargo trends overtime amongst grad and phd students and across a variety of disciplines.

I'm searching for anyone who would be willing to share data from their IR that provides insight into the above information at their institution.  This is the type of data I'm looking for. The fields with a star next to them are marked as the most necessary:

Title (or just a unique identifier)

*Publication Date

The author's school and/or department

*Document type (whether it's a thesis or dissertation)

*Embargo lift date or duration


Degree name

At the moment this research is only being used for internal purposes to help improve our policies and access to WashU research but my hope is to publish a paper with my findings to provide other institutions, that may be in a similar situation, with some insight on embargo trends across multiple institutions today. 

If you are interested in supporting this research or have any questions, please feel free to email me at the email address below.  Any help would be greatly appreciate! 


Thank you!


Laurier Cress (she/her) | Repository Services Manager

Click Here for name pronunciation

Digital Library Program Services | Washington University Libraries  

Washington University in St. Louis

Open Scholarship Institutional Repository


Sherry Lake

Aug 8, 2022, 4:25:16 PM8/8/22
to ETD,
Hi Laurier,

Here's a link to the University of Virginia's current ETD access policy:
This policy went into affect Fall 2019.

We haven't done statistics since this new policy went into effect, but for the previous years we reported on Open vs "embargo" (or limited access, to institution only):

Note: we these reports were on trends on "embargo" vs Immediately Open ("embargo" in these stats mean either dark embargo - no files accessible OR visible to UVa only).

Sherry Lake | she/her/hers | Scholarly Repository Librarian | | @shLakeUVA | University of Virginia Library, 160 N. McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA 22904 | P.O. Box 400152 | 434-924-6730LinkedIn Profile |  | “Keeper of the Dataverse"

Anne Lawrence

Aug 8, 2022, 4:38:09 PM8/8/22
to Sherry Lake, ETD,
Our options are

"Choose from three access options when submitting your ETD:

  1. Immediate public access: All information and files for the ETD are immediately available to the public.

  2. Access restricted to Virginia Tech for one year: Metadata about the ETD (title, author, etc.) is immediately available to the public. However, the files are only available to VT-affiliated IP addresses for one year. Non-VT users may complete the request-a-copy form for the files, which is forwarded to the author to fulfill or deny. This option is intended for students who wish to restrict access prior to publication.

  3. Withhold all access for one year:  Most metadata about the ETD (title, author, etc.) is immediately available to the public, but files are embargoed for one year. Users may complete the request-a-copy form for the files, which is forwarded to the author to fulfill or deny."

Students may request an additional year.

Of the ~1000 ETD submission we receive per year, ~33% of students choose to embargo their ETD. Of those, probably ~5-8% request an additional year. Very few  (<10) choose to restrict it to campus only. The rest choose immediate access.


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Anne Lawrence

Repository Application Administrator

Virginia Tech | University Libraries (0434)

Newman Library, Room 420

560 Drillfield Drive

Blacksburg, VA  24061

(540) 231-9320 |

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