Research Services at Schaffer Library

Student and Advisor FAQ

DEPARTMENTAL HONORS – Union College
FAQ for Advisors and Students

Thesis Questions

  • How Should a Student Submit Their Thesis?
    • Students should self-submit a copy of the thesis to the College’s Institutional Repository, Union | Digital Works. A thesis should be submitted after completing the permission form. Full submission procedures are explained on the library’s website and on the online repository.
  • When Should a Student Submit Their Thesis?
    • Students should submit the thesis as soon as its final form has been approved. Please check with your department as to the appropriate date.
  • What Formats Are Acceptable for the Library Copy?
    • ​​The format for the library copy of a thesis is an electronic copy in PDF. Full specifications for the electronic copy are explained on the library’s website (under Thesis Information).
  • What if my thesis cannot be saved as a .pdf (such as creative artworks, podcasts, digital projects)?

Permission Form

  • What If a Student Has More Than One Thesis Advisor?
    • Only one advisor needs to approve the permission form. It is up to you and your co-advisor to determine who will review the permission form with your student. This advisor is indicated on the form with the label “Primary Thesis Advisor”.
  • How Does the Student Decide Which Internet Access Option is Best?
  • Which Option is Most Commonly Applicable?
    • For theses without co-authors and/or patentable, imminently publishable, or third party material, “Open Access” is the most common access option.
  • What If the Thesis Has Co-Authors?
    • The student should coordinate submission of the permission form with any co-authors. If the student wishes to release the thesis for access online, permission from the other authors must be obtained. If the student has not obtained this permission, the student should restrict access or “Opt Out”.
  • What is Third Party Copyrighted Material?
    • Third party copyrighted material includes images not created by the student and/or the reproduction of substantial portions of other works that are not in the public domain. Use of such material in a thesis is usually acceptable under federal Fair Use guidelines, but posting of this material on an Internet site normally cannot be allowed unless permission for redistribution of the copyrighted material has been obtained from the owner(s) of the copyright.
  • What If a Student’s Thesis Contains Third Party Copyrighted Material?
    • If your student has obtained written permission for release/republication from the owner(s) of the copyright, copies should be forwarded to digitalservices@union.edu. If written permission for such release has not been obtained, the student “Opt Out” of Internet access.
  • What If the Advisor’s Own Work is Represented in the Thesis?
    • If an advisor’s work is represented in the thesis and they do not want it posted at this time, the student should “Opt Out” of Internet access.
  • What If the Advisor Believes Patentable or Imminently Publishable Material is Included in the Thesis?
    • If the student and advisor believe patentable or imminently publishable material is included in the thesis and that it is not in the student’s best interest to have it posted on the Institutional Repository at this time, the student should select “Embargo Hold.” Note that this option must be selected in addition to Open Access or Union Only.
  • What If a Student and an Advisor Don’t Agree About the Best Internet Access Option?
    • If the student and advisor do not agree on the same level of Internet Access, the advisor should check the “Another option is more appropriate” box in the advisor’s section of the permission form and choose Open Access, Union Only, Embargo or Opt Out. If Opt Out is chosen then the most appropriate of the three reasons should also be selected. Union College will adopt whichever of the two choices is the more restrictive. Please note that advisors may only override the student’s selection for one of the reasons specified on the form.
  • What If a Student Wants to Opt Out of Internet Access of My Thesis?
    • The student should select Internet access Opt Out on the permission form. However, the thesis should still be self-submitted through Digital Works. The Library will maintain an archival copy of the thesis and make it available on site in the library, but will not make it available online.

Departmental Honors

  • How Do I Know if My Thesis is Eligible for Publication in Digital Works?
    • The student’s department and the registrar’s office determine who receives departmental honors. The Library publishes only those theses whose authors appear in that year’s Commencement program as determined by the registrar.
  • I am a department administrative assistant or a department chair. How do I know who has completed the permission form and/or submitted their thesis?
    • Please contact digitalservices@union.edu to request to be added as an administrator to Digital Works for access to submitted theses and the weekly email list for permission form completion information.
  • Whom Do I Contact For Further Information on Honors Eligibility and Designation, or the Nomination Form?

Whom Do I Ask For Help?