Skip to Main Content

JSU Digital Commons | Guide for Graduate Students: Step 2: Submit Your Thesis/Dissertation/Project

JSU Digital Commons

After you read the instructions, visit the JSU Digital Commons website to get started...

Digital Commons Link  |

If at any time you require assistance, please Contact Us.

Instructions for Submission

Getting Started

Before you can submit, you'll need to make sure you have an account with JSU Digital Commons. See "Step 1" tab above if you need help with account creation. 

Before You Begin

You'll want to have a few things handy before you start the submission process:

  • The title of your thesis/dissertation/project
  • The degree name and corresponding department (eg, MA in English, English Department)
  • The name of your committee chair or main advisor, if applicable
  • The abstract (250 words or less is recommended, but longer abstracts are acceptable)
  • A list of keywords to aid in searching (10 keywords maximum)
  • The final, approved digital version (with all appropriate forms, signatures, etc.) of your thesis/dissertation/project, in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format

Submit Research Link 

From the JSU Digital Commons ( home page, under the Author Corner box at left, use the "Submit Research" link. This will take you to the Submit Your Research page. You'll see a few options under Student Works. Select the appropriate link for your content (eg, "theses" or "DNP Projects")

Submission Agreement

Before you can upload your content, you will see a screen with the JSU Digital Commons Submission Agreement. You are required to tick a box acknowledging this agreement. We recommend that you print the agreement for your records, but the short version: you agree to allow the Library the non-exclusive right to preserve and make your thesis/dissertation/project publicly accessible via the Internet. You keep all copyright and other intellectual property rights to your work. 

Uploading Files

You're almost done! Now you're ready to upload your content. You have 2 options:

  • Upload the file from your computer (RECOMMENDED)
    • Click the "Choose File" button, navigate to the file on your computer, select it, and you're ready to go.
  • Import the file from a remote site
    • If you have your file up on a server somewhere, you may enter the link and JSU Digital Commons will import it. The server must offer unrestricted access (ie, not behind firewalls, paywalls, etc). It is recommended that, if you have trouble uploading with this method, you transfer the file to your computer first and use the "upload the file from your computer" option.

Additional Files & Approval Forms:

You have the option to upload additional files along with your primary file. This can be used to include supplementary information (eg, data in an Excel spreadsheet, images, etc.). Each additional file should be clearly labeled. Unlike your primary file (your thesis/dissertation/project paper file) which must be in Word or PDF format, additional files can be uploaded in almost any format. 

IF YOU HAVE YOUR APPROVAL FORM AS A SEPARATE FILE from your thesis/dissertation/project file, you can upload it as an additional file. To do this, once you have used the “Upload Full Text” option and attached your primary file (your thesis/dissertation/project paper), tick the box under “Additional Files” and click submit. The next screen will allow you to upload your form or any other additional files.

More Information on Form Fields

Submission Form Fields

Required fields will be noted in JSU Digital Commons with a red arrow. All other information is optional. The information you'll need to enter:

  • Title
  • Author
    • The author will default to your name as you entered it when you created your account. If you want to change how your name appears, you can edit using the silhouette with a pencil above the "institution" box.
  • Date of Award
    • This is your graduation semester and year; you may leave the month field blank (eg, "Fall 2021")
  • Document Type
    • Choose the appropriate document type (eg, thesis, dissertation, DNP project)
  • Degree Name
  • Department
  • Committee Chair
    • Different programs may define this differently; your program may have a primary advisor rather than a committee chair, or give you optional fields for preceptors or mentors
  • Keywords
    • Keywords are not required, but they can help users locate your content, especially if they use terms not found in the abstract. You may enter up to 10 keywords, separated by commas
  • Subjects
    • It's not required, but entering a subject discipline gives your work greater discoverability through browsing. This field is used to aggregate your work into a global database with researchers from hundreds of other universities. If you're curious, see this example for the Communication discipline.
    • You may enter multiple disciplines
    • Disciplines are nested. For example, if your discipline is Graphic Design, the nesting is Arts & Humanities -> Art & Design -> Graphic Design. If you're having a hard time finding your discipline, click the "complete list" button for a PDF that shows all disciplines. You can browse it, or use Ctrl+F (Find) to quickly search the document.
  • Abstract
    • Every submission requires an abstract. 250 words or less is recommended, but longer abstracts are acceptable.
  • Embargo
    • You may use the drop-down to embargo your work for six months or one year. The default is set to no embargo, and no embargo is recommended. See the box below for more information on embargoes.

More About Embargoes

JSU Digital Commons is openly accessible and the items housed in it can be found via any internet search engine and downloaded in fulltext. Once your submission has been approved by the System Administrator, it is immediately available to the public. An “embargo” is a restriction placed by the system on your dissertation/thesis/project so that users have access only to the basic information on the landing page: title, abstract, and citation information. Users will be unable to view or download the fulltext of the document until the embargo period has expired. You may choose to embargo your thesis/dissertation/project for six months or one year. The fulltext document will become available to users on the date the embargo expires (six months or one year in the future). The default setting is no embargo.

Why Embargo?

It is not recommended to embargo your submission unless there is a very compelling reason to restrict access for a limited period of time. Reasons why students sometimes choose to embargo include:

  • The student intends to immediately pursue a patent based on the research
  • The student wishes to publish (in whole or in part) the research in the future, and fears public availability may hinder this. Eg., You wish to use your research to publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal and are concerned that, if others access your research beforehand, they may use it to compete for publication. Some book and other publishers require that a work not be previously published, so students who intend to, for instance, publish their dissertation in slightly modified form as a book, may wish to delay publication of their work in Digital Commons so as to meet clauses in a publishing contract.

As it states in the submission agreement, you retain copyright and all other rights to your work, even after it is published in Digital Commons; you are simply giving the University the right to make it publicly available. If you embargo your work, it will still become available after the embargo expires; access is restricted only for a limited period of time (six months or one year). You will also not be able to collect valuable metrics (eg, number of times downloaded) until your work becomes publicly available.