How To Choose An Access Option

How to Choose an Internet Access Option

Union College Policy and Access Plan

Union College has a long-standing policy of providing access to all student honors theses in the library. Additionally, as of 2008, the College provides online access on a site maintained by Union College. Your thesis will be available online, on a site managed by the College, unless you choose to opt out or delay release for publishing, patent or proprietary reasons. The choice will be up to you and your advisor. If the two of you disagree, Union College will adopt whichever of your two choices is the more restrictive for posting online. Note, however, that your thesis will still be available for consultation on site in the library.

Access Options When Submitting Your Thesis or Senior Project

  • Why would I choose “Open Access”?

    Access to your thesis online serves the scholarly convention of sharing one’s research with others and it makes it easy to do so. It also exemplifies the nature of honors work done in your department or program.

  • Why would I choose “Union Only”?

    Choose this option if you would like to provide access to the Union College community but are not comfortable with wider, global access to your thesis.

  • Why would I choose to place an embargo hold?

    This is a good option if you

    (1) are in the process or thinking about submitting material to a journal that restricts online access to material prior to publication;

    (2) if you have patent and/or proprietary reasons for having information in your thesis withheld from public release. This gives you time to get published or secure the proprietary restriction on a patent. Your thesis will be released to the Union College site one year after graduation. This hold may be extended by an additional by notifying the library in writing.

    Many students find that the availability of their work online does not hinder publication, and in several cases has attracted publishers to them. You should consider each publisher’s policy before making this decision.

  • Why would I “Opt Out”?

    You should not choose any of the access options above if any of the following circumstances apply:

    (1) if there are co-authors whose permission to publish the thesis has not yet been secured;

    (2) if the work and/or ideas of Union College Faculty are disclosed in the thesis and written consent to its publication has not yet been secured from the faculty member(s);

    (3) if you have included third party copyrighted matter in the thesis (such as, but not limited to, images not created by you) and written permission for release has not been secured from the owner(s) of the copyright.

    You may change this selection in future, once permissions have been secured, by notifying the library in writing.

  • What if I have more questions about availability options?

    If you still have questions or concerns about access options, please contact the Digital Projects and Systems team at