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Freedom to Publish Thesis and Dissertation Research

Freedom to publish and share results are major criteria for assessing the appropriateness of any research project, particularly those involving graduate students. Consistent with the mission of the University of Missouri, the integrity of a student’s academic/research experience shall be preserved, including the ability to complete and publish a thesis or dissertation in a reasonable timeframe and to freely publish, present, or otherwise disclose the results of research both within the academic community and to the public at large. The University precludes assigning to extramural sources the right to keep or make final decisions about what may or may not be published with respect to a student’s dissertation or thesis project.

Within this general understanding, the University also realizes that circumstances may arise when certain restrictions or limitations may be appropriate. These potential delays should be discussed with the student as early in the research process as possible.

In addition, certain government agencies that sponsor research may require that theses or dissertations undergo a security review before they can be placed in the MU library or published. The review must be completed prior to submitting the document to the Office of Graduate Studies. Once submitted, the thesis or dissertation is linked to the degree and withdrawal of the thesis or dissertation could require rescinding the associated degree.

In the event that the agency does not permit immediate public disclosure of a thesis or dissertation, this does not prevent its acceptance; the student must complete the appropriate paperwork to embargo the dissertation or thesis for one year. However, a student should not embark on such a thesis or dissertation without prior approval from the funding agency that, ultimately, the work can be published upon its completion.