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Electronic Master's Theses and Projects

Before you submit your thesis or culminating project to SOAR, please read through your options on this page. On the submission form (linked below), you will be asked to make several choices about how your documents are described, shared, and used by others. If you have questions about these choices, please talk to your graduate program advisor or the Scholarly Communications Librarian.

When you are ready to submit, use this link:


[Notice: Students should only submit final documents
that have been accepted and approved by their graduate programs.]

Your choices in SOAR

Students retain copyright as the thesis or project author. This means you have the right to decide how to distribute, build upon, or otherwise use the work. Each option described below is a choice in the Electronic Master's Project Submission Form linked above. 


Choice 1: What to upload

Main document

Most student authors will have the choice whether to upload the full text or only a description of your thesis/project. Students who accepted grant funding from donors that require open access publishing of the final work MUST upload the full text. (Ask your advisor if you are not sure of your funding requirements.) 

  • Full text: Graduate student authors are encouraged to upload the full text of your thesis/project. When you upload the full text to SOAR, you agree to allow SUNY a non-exclusive right to distribute your work to visitors to the repository. Items in open repositories are allowed to be copied, retained, and distributed by others. See the SOAR Content Guidelines for details. Any use of your full-text items requires attribution back to you (that means you can be cited in others' scholarly work!). 
  • Record only: If you choose not to upload the full text, you still must fill out the SOAR Submission Form above. A SOAR record will be created that describes your project without linking to a downloadable full text paper. The SOAR description will show the author(s) name(s), project title, departmental affiliations, and an abstract or project description. 


(Optional) Data sets or supplementary materials

You may upload data sets or other supporting materials of up to 20 MB size as supplementary documents with your thesis/project. If your data set or other supplementary materials are larger than 20 MB each and you want them to be openly available and linked with your project, we recommend that you create a free personal account on Figshare and submit the DOI link and a description in the "Other notes/information" section of the SOAR submission form. Contact with questions. 

You will be asked to make your document upload choices on the Master's Project Submission Form.


Choice 2: Embargo period option

Graduate student authors who upload the full text may choose to delay distribution of their thesis/project in SOAR for a period up to two years from the date of acceptance of the thesis/project. Most students will release their project immediately, but students expecting to expand upon the work or to publish the work in a scholarly journal may decide to enact an embargo period. If you have questions, discuss placing an embargo on your project with your supervisor. 

You will be asked to make your embargo choice on the Master's Project Submission Form.


Choice 3: Creative Commons license recommendation

SOAR offers authors the option of including a Creative Commons (CC) license on your work. CC licenses allow authors/creators to specify exactly how a others may use their work without asking permission for each use. All CC licenses still require attribution, meaning the author of the original work must be cited/attributed in the reuse. 

  • Recommended: Milne Library recommends students apply a CC-BY-NC-ND license. The CC-BY-NC-ND license requires others to attribute (cite) you as the author of the work and restricts others' use of your work to non-commercial uses that do not create derivatives (build upon/make new things from) your work without permission from you. 
  • Other options: Authors are welcome to choose less restrictive licenses. Do you want users to have permission to use your work for commercial purposes? Do you want users to be allowed to modify your work? You may prefer a CC-BY (attribution only) license. Want to explore your options? The Creative Commons website has a CC License Chooser tool here. Once applied, a CC license is irrevocable. 

You will be asked to make your CC license choice on the Master's Project Submission Form.