OAH Executive Board Issues Statement on Dissertation Embargoes

At its fall meeting in Atlanta, Georgia November 16-17, 2013, the executive board of the Organization of American Historians discussed the issue of temporary "embargoes" on newly completed PhD dissertations. Subsequent to its meeting, the board issued a statement.

In the academic world, a dissertation embargo usually means withholding public circulation of dissertations in print or digital form for a predetermined period of time, usually no more than five or six years. It provides authors with the prerogative of determining the most advantageous modes of publishing their work without having their dissertations already available, especially in digital form, almost immediately after a PhD is granted. The following statement reflects the board's unanimous view of this important subject.

"In an era when information in digital form can be circulated with unprecedented speed, it is more vital than ever to preserve the prerogative of newly minted PhD's to decide for themselves where and how their work is to be disseminated so that it will most benefit their career trajectories," said OAH President Alan M. Kraut, University Professor of History at American University. "It is well worth the temporary inconvenience of an embargo for a specified period of time to help our newest colleagues to best benefit from the fruits of their first labors."  Read more >

Posted: December 17, 2013
Tagged: News of the Organization