University of Waterloo
Electronic Thesis Project
Frequently Asked Questions
IST regularly offers the course "Submitting Your Thesis Online". Descriptions and the registration form appear on the IST course Web site in the month the course is being offered.
Note: As of October 31, 2006, electronic submission has become the default submission format. University of Waterloo thesis regulations requires PDF as the submission format. supplementary files, including multimedia files, can be included as appendices.
- Who can I contact with questions about the submission process?
Contact the UW E-Thesis Project Team.
- What is the format required for electronic submission?
Theses must be submitted in PDF.
Theses are prepared in a wide variety of applications, e.g. Word, WordPerfect, LaTeX, etc. For electronic submission, they must first be printed to a single PDF file.
Instructions for printing to a PDF file and tips on electronic submission generally can be found in the IST Ethesis Submission Course Notes.
- What are the electronic submission procedures?
When your department has approved your thesis and you are ready to submit it to the Graduate Studies Office, the next step is to upload your thesis to UWSpace. Here are detailed instructions.
Upon completion of the abstract form, you will be presented with a page that links to the thesis upload form. Select your thesis from your hard drive to have it uploaded to the E-thesis server.
The Graduate Studies Office will contact you and let you know if any changes to your formatting are required. To submit the corrected thesis, log into UWSpace again and select the option to resubmit.
- Is submission of a paper version still required?
Many academic departments still require a bound copy; discuss this requirement with your supervisor and department chair.
The Graduate Studies Office, the UW Library and Library Archives Canada no longer require a paper copy.
See section 3.3 of the graduate thesis regulations for a list of faculty/department requirements.
- How will electronically submitted theses be accessible?
Theses submitted electronically are accessible in the UWSpace Electronic Theses and Dissertations collection where they are publicly accessible. The abstracts submitted by authors are encoded in XML and constitute the searchable metadata portion of the database. Each abstract record includes a link to the full text thesis, displayed in PDF. A link to an electronic thesis in PDF is also included in the TRELLIS record for the thesis.
Doctoral and Masters theses in electronic format are forwarded to ProQuest. This means that a search of ProQuest Dissertations and Theses will retrieve the full text of the dissertation.
- How will electronically submitted theses be preserved?
Electronic theses are filmed and archived with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for long-term preservation. LAC has contracted with ProQuest to film our theses and dissertations. ProQuest has developed procedures for filming PDF files.
However, nontraditional components that cannot be filmed cannot be assured long-term preservation. The candidate and supervisor should keep in mind that nothing compares with a fiche archive for long-term preservation. The advantages of access to multimedia must be weighed against the value of long-term preservation of textual content. The candidate and supervisor may wish to consider limiting multimedia to appendices that enhance but are not required for comprehension of the thesis.
The UW IST Department has local backup procedures for all UW theses and dissertations submitted electronically.
A mirror copy is also backed up by Theses Canada.
- Can links and multimedia be included in electronically submitted theses?
Internal and external hyperlinks are permitted. Movies and sound files can be attached as additional supporting material.
Send additional questions to