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Frequently Asked Questions (continued)

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Here you will find answers to the common questions that prospective students ask.
If you don’t find an answer to your question, please contact us by utilizing the "Request Help" tab on the right margin of this page.

 

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (continued)

Accessing eTDs

If you allow your eTD to be freely available worldwide, which we recommend (see below for reasons and for discussion of other options), we will work to make your eTD as easily available as possible. First, we will allow access over the World Wide Web, so people can link to our collection for browsing, and even link directly to your eTD (with a special type of URL that is not subject to change). Second, in the record for your eTD that will be in the Penn State library catalog, we will have link information, so those searching that catalog can link directly to the eTD. Third, we will provide one or more search engines so that people can search the Penn State eTD collection using &quot;full-text&quot; searching. Fourth, we will have a mechanism so that your eTD can be found by anyone seeking to search the NDLTD (i.e., the full distributed collection of eTDs made available by institutions that are part of the initiative). Fifth, we will work with third party organizations, such as UMI and OCLC (a not-for-profit in Dublin, Ohio that provides library cataloging and other services to libraries), to encourage them to provide access as well as archiving services.

Once your committee and the Graduate School have approved your eTD, that version is a matter of University record and will be archived as such. You may not make any corrections. For this reason, you and your committee must check the eTD thoroughly before submitting it.

UMI Dissertation Services, a Web-based service of ProQuest, maintains a microform archive of about 1.5 million dissertations, as well as an online service called Dissertation Abstracts. Most dissertations written in the United States are submitted to UMI for archiving on microfilm, from which microform or paper copies can be produced. UMI functions as an on-demand book publisher that eliminates the editorial process. One of the services they offer is to help you regarding copyright and working with publishers.

They accept electronic submissions as well as paper submissions. The latter are scanned in and OCR'ed, but in most cases current technology does not yield as good a result as would come from an electronic submission. UMI plans to make available online electronic versions of all works they received after 1996.

UMI has a representative on the Steering Committee and on the Technical Advisory Committee for the NDLTD. More information about UMI can be found at the ProQuest Web site.

The NDLTD project focuses on graduate education and raising the level of knowledge transfer. Since students may wish to read a thesis or dissertation that was prepared many years before, it is imperative that the NDLTD arrange for archiving of eTDs, so they can be accessed even when media and technology change. UMI, as well as OCLC, is interested in providing such archival services.

Once UMI receives the appropriate documentation from Penn State, they will:

The author gets a 10 percent commission when UMI sells copies, paid on the "sevens" (7, 17, 27, ...).

  • Download the eTD from our server
  • Put the eTD on their eTD server (pay-per-view)
  • Print a paper copy (black and white)
  • Photograph the paper onto microfilm
  • Store the microfilm in their argon vaults
  • Shred the paper copy
  • Publish your abstract in "Dissertation Abstracts"

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Training/Help

ITS has purchased and installed Windows and macOS versions of Adobe Acrobat in selected computer labs.

General inquiries should be directed to gradthesis@psu.edu.

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Hardware/Software

Theses and dissertations can be produced in a PC or MAC environment using word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, and LaTeX and desktop publishing software, such as PageMaker. For non-Adobe products, any file that can be printed from Windows/Macintosh can be printed to PostScript and then distilled into PDF. For more "eTD How-to Information" visit the Virginia Tech Website.

Adobe Exchange can be found on IBM and MAC computers in selected computer labs. For the location of the selected labs, please see the CLC Web site.

If you allow your eTD to be freely available worldwide, we will work to make it as easily available as possible. The University Libraries established a link on their Website to Penn State's collection of electronic dissertations and each dissertation has its own URL. Search engines will be provided so that the Penn State's eTD collection can be searched by author, subject, title, and keyword. Penn State's eTD collection is also searchable through UMI and NDLTD.

To view most eTDs you will need a Web browser (e.g., Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) as well as Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Financial Aid

The best places to identify sources of financial support are your intended plan of study, the Graduate School Office of Fellowships and Awards, the Office of Student Aid, the Graduate School’s website and resources outside the University. The plan of study is the most important source of funding for the majority of graduate students.

If you allow your eTD to be freely available worldwide, we will work to make it as easily available as possible. The University Libraries established a link on their Website to Penn State's collection of electronic dissertations and each dissertation has its own URL. Search engines will be provided so that the Penn State's eTD collection can be searched by author, subject, title, and keyword. Penn State's eTD collection is also searchable through UMI and NDLTD.

To view most eTDs you will need a Web browser (e.g., Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) as well as Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Funding

Following is a compilation of the most frequent inquiries to the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration. If you review this information and do not find the answers you need, please email l-gs-fellowships@lists.psu.edu.

At Penn State, graduate assistantships are awarded by academic departments. Contact the department in which you are currently enrolled or are applying for admission to inquire about the availability of assistantships.

Students on full fellowships, i.e., receiving tuition and stipend, and students on assistantships are eligible for an 80 percent University subsidy of the annual student premium cost for the Penn State Graduate Assistant Graduate Fellow Health Insurance Plan. Penn State also provides a 70 percent annual premium subsidy for eligible dependents of graduate assistants and fellows. Contact the Student Insurance Office at (814) 865-7476.

No, only degree-seeking graduate students are eligible for financial aid through the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration and from most other sources of University support.

Penn State does not offer tuition waivers. Tuition grants-in-aid generally are attached to teaching or research assistantships and fellowships. All assistantships are offered directly by the college in which the degree plan of study is housed.

Penn State does not withhold taxes from fellowship stipends. The Payroll office should be consulted on any questions regarding withholding from student stipends. Although taxes are not withheld, these monies may be taxable according to federal guidelines. Please see IRS publications #970 and #505 or contact a tax accountant for additional information.

Emergency loans are available through the Office of Student Aid. There are established eligibility criteria for these loans. Contact the Office of Student Aid at (814) 865-6301.

While you are appointed as a fellow, you need to register for at least 9 credits during fall, spring, and summer (with summer enrollment dictated by academic program requirements and the funding sponsor). Graduate assistants should review the assistantships information page to determine the appropriate number of credits. Please note, you must be registered as a degree-seeking student to receive any financial support.

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Housing

Housing information can be found on the Penn State Housing website. Please note that housing information will be sent to all applicants who are recommended for admission. Applicants must be admitted to the Graduate School before their requests for on-campus living accommodations can be processed.

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Reference Questions

If the intended plan of study has elected to use the online reference features (refer to your intended plan of study website), your referees will be notified via email upon submission of your graduate application.

If the intended plan of study chose not to use the online reference features (refer to your intended plan of study website), your referees will not be notified and it is your responsibility to contact these individuals.

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