Answered By: Carin Yavorcik
Last Updated: Mar 05, 2020     Views: 161

Special Note: Due to the impending closure of Concordia University, CU Commons will not remain online past summer 2020. We are currently working out the details of transferring the contents of CU Commons, including dissertations and theses, to another institution which will host them online. However, we will only be able to transfer documents that are marked open access. If your work is currently marked for campus access and you would still like it to be transferred, please contact

When you publish your work in CU Commons, you have the option available to make it open access (available to anyone on the Internet), or campus access (only accessible to CU students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors). Note that all Ed.D. dissertations approved for publication in CU Commons will be published in ProQuest, regardless of which access type you choose for CU Commons. ProQuest is a subscription database, where dissertations can only be read by institutions that pay for access.

If you're not sure what to do, here is some more information on both options.

The majority of Concordia students do publish their work as open access. Publishing open access generally makes your work more findable, so it can increase your citations and makes it easier to share with colleagues and potential employers.

The main reason that you might want to restrict access to your work is if you are considering publishing it later, either as a journal article or a book. Some publishers can be quite strict about not having the information be published anywhere beforehand. However, a 2011 study found that openly accessible electronic theses and dissertations “are always welcome for submission or considered on a case-by-case basis by 82.8 percent of journal editors and 53.7 percent of university press directors polled” (Ramirez, Dalton, McMillan, Read, & Seamans, 2013). If you're thinking about publishing, it's a good idea to review the submission guidelines for some possible publications to see what their policies are.

The University of Cambridge also has a good explanation of publishing and open access here:

If you have more questions about access in CU Commons, please contact the CU Commons librarian at


Ramirez, M.L., Dalton, J.T., McMillan, G., Read, M., & Seamans, N.H. (2013). Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities? Findings from a 2011 Survey of Academic Publishers. College & Research Libraries, 74(4), 368-380. doi:10.5860/crl-356

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