Cataloging: Theses in Digital Commons

Purpose: To provide instructions for entering thesis metadata into the Digital Commons. Before information is entered into the database, the theses should have been scanned and converted into a text-searchable PDF. The theses undergo physical cataloging, subject analysis and entry into the Digital Commons, before being sent to Special Collections.

1. Log In to Digital Commons

Navigate to the Digital Commons home page at Click on the My Account link at the top and log in with your email address and password. Under Electronic Theses and Dissertations, click on Upload.

2. Enter Metadata

Dissertation/Thesis Title: Enter the title of the thesis or dissertation from the title page. Note that the title should not be in all caps. (For ease of previewing the title and checking for typos, etc., you may wish to type out the title in Notepad, first, and then paste it into the Digital Commons title field.)

Author: Enter the first name, middle name or middle initial (if applicable) and last name of the author in the appropriate fields.

Date of Award: Under Month, select May, August, or December. Enter the appropriate year. We do not use the Season or Day fields.

Document Type: If you have a permissions form releasing the thesis or dissertation for immediate worldwide access, select “Open-Access Thesis” or “Open-Access Dissertation,” as appropriate. Otherwise, select “Campus-Only Thesis” or “Campus-Only Dissertation.”

Degree Name: Select the appropriate degree name from the list. The most commonly used degrees are Master of Science (MS), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and Doctor of Education (DEd)

Department: Select the appropriate department name from the list. For interdisciplinary theses, select Interdisciplinary and record the full name of the department in the comments section.

First Advisor, etc.: Enter the names of the first three advisors. Enter the names in direct order and do not enter the titles or institutions associated with the advisors.

Keywords: Enter 1-3 keywords.

Subject Categories: Select one or more subject categories. If you’re having trouble finding a particular subdiscipline, download the BePress Taxonomy (also linked in the paragraph under “Subject Categories”) and do a keyword search on the name of the subdiscipline.

Abstract: Copy and paste the abstract into this field. Note that it is possible to format the text using italics, superscripts, subscripts, etc. For improved readability, add a line space between each paragraph of the abstract.

Comments: If a thesis is written to fulfill more than one degree program (e.g., the joint M.S. in Marine Biology and M.S. in Marine Policy), use this field to record information about the second degree. If a thesis or dissertation is published in an interdisciplinary department, use this field to record the full name of the department. For theses from the Department of Quaternary and Climate Studies, use this field to record the following note: As of 2002, Degree of Master of Science (MS) Quaternary and Climate Studies published under the auspices of the Climate Change Institute. (Ex.

Upload Full Text: Navigate to the location of the OCRed thesis (S) and upload it to Digital Commons.

Click Submit to add the thesis to the publishing queue.

  • Publish Thesis MetadataOn the next screen, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Publish & Update Selected.
  • Archive PDF FileMove the OCRed PDF file into the T subfolder (S) and delete the pre-OCRed PDF file (if you have not already done so).


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