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Succeeding in a Graduate Seminar

Some of your most important and impression-forming interactions with your classmates and professors occur in graduate seminars. Your stellar performance in graduate seminars is paramount to your success in the graduate program. Graduate seminars are the building blocks for your knowledge in the field and in graduate school.

How to succeed in a graduate seminar

Prepare for class

Do the reading. All of it. But don’t stop there. Annotate your reading. Ask questions of the text in the margins. Maybe even type up your notes. Always consider what’s at stake in the reading, how the reading informs your understanding of the class themes, other course materials, the methods, the content. How does the reading relate to your own burgeoning research questions?

Come to class with questions and discussion points. If you are reticent about speaking in class, recruit a friend to chat about your ideas for five minutes the day before class. Do not, however, memorize one point in the reading so that you make your one perfunctory comment in class. Everyone is on to that game!

In class

Do your part to help foster community. This means: Listen. Participate fully. Be respectful.

Showcase your intellectual curiosity by engaging with all types of ideas, not just the ones in your designated area of study.

When you speak, remember to look at your classmates, not exclusively at the professor.

Use your breadth of knowledge — connect the readings to other readings in your class and other out-of-class readings. Feel free to apply the readings or theme of the day to your project, but don’t be so focused on utilitarian knowledge that you fail to engage fully with all of the issues at hand.

Do not fall into the trap of wholesale skewering the reading of the week. This is intellectually lazy. The work must have some redeeming value if the professor has chosen to assign it. Even if you want to make a serious critique of the reading you should attempt to articulate its contributions/interventions as well as limitations.


Turn in all writing assignments on time. Do not save your seminar papers for the last week of class. Begin generating ideas the first week of class. Talk about your ideas with your classmates and your professor. If the professor has not given you a series of deadlines, create deadlines for yourself (i.e., identify paper topic in the third week of class, generate working bibliography in the fourth week of class, create abstract in the fifth week, write your first draft in the sixth week, etc.).

Graduate seminars are your first practice attempts at being a scholar. It should be fun to engage with ideas. Be prepared to spar respectfully — and always be prepared!

by Ralina Joseph, professor, Communication

Turning Your Dissertation into a Book

Interested in publishing your dissertation as a book? You will likely need to revise it extensively so it will appeal to a wider audience and compete in the literary marketplace. Here are some guidelines to help you in this process.


  • Allow plenty of time!
  • The review process can easily take up to a year, as it entails a peer review of your manuscript, potential revisions, further peer review and then approval.
  • The editing process can easily take a year to a year and a half as it entails copyediting, design, typesetting and proofreading, preparation of the index, printing and binding.

Dissertations differ from books in several ways

  • Dissertations are highly specialized, while books are geared to general readers.
  • Dissertation audiences are usually fewer than 100 readers — books are about 500 or more, in general.
  • In a dissertation, the author’s authority must be proven; in books, it is assumed.
  • Dissertations contain extensive documentation (to prove authority), while books document to credit sources and help the reader.
  • Dissertations can run long; books are often far shorter.

Elements that make a good book

  • A concise, memorable and intriguing title that includes essential key words
  • Clear and effective organization
  • A succinct introduction
  • Illustrations that enhance the text
  • Sections that are meaningful either alone or as part of the total book
  • Navigational aids, such as chapter titles, running heads, subheads, notes, bibliography, index
  • A voice (relationship of author to reader) that functions like an invisible tour guide or creative storyteller, and avoids sounding like a lecturer at a podium

The revision process


  • Forget your dissertation. Forget your committee.
  • Be bold!
  • Clarify your modified topic and audience.
  • Determine how to present it in a dynamic way.


  • Remove unnecessary references to yourself.
  • Delete conspicuous chapter intros and summaries.
  • Make style parallel in chapter titles, captions, chapter openings and closings, subheads.
  • Revisit the introduction and conclusion.
  • Remove unnecessary notes; condense or combine others.
  • Eliminate most cross-references.
  • Cut unnecessary examples and data.
  • Make chapter openings strong, clear, and inviting.
  • Add definitions of jargon, foreign terms, biographical and historical dates.
  • Brainstorm several possible titles and subtitles.
  • Tighten prose.
  • Use active verbs.
  • Begin and end sentences with words you want to emphasize.


The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. (2003). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

German, William. (2005). From dissertation to book. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Harmon, Eleanor, et al., ed. (2003). The thesis and the book: A guide for first-time academic authors. 2nd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Lucy, Beth, ed. (2004). Revising your dissertation: Advice from leading editors. Berkeley: University of California Press.

by Lorri Hagman, executive editor, University of Washington Press

Managing Large Writing Projects

Large projects, such as an master of arts degree thesis, dissertation, book, or just a long paper, can be daunting. For some of us, myself included, project management can be a challenge for any article written from scratch. This memo can help you break down your writing project into smaller, less intimidating parts. I will focus on the writing of a thesis or dissertation, but the same basic logic applies to even smaller writing tasks.

Getting started: Clarify purpose, argument, audience

Purpose: A thesis or dissertation should yield a high quality document that adds to the body of scholarly knowledge and is worthy, eventually, of publication in a peer- reviewed journal. Or your writing may address a public controversy or develop a creative insight that could change how people view a phenomenon of interest.

Argument: With your purpose clarified, think about your argument. Create a main argument that carries you through your thesis or dissertation. (There may be many other points along the way, but a core message will help you stay focused from beginning to end).

Audience: Keep a particular audience in mind. For academic work, identify a target journal. Think about who would want to read your work; this will motivate you to write and clarify your message.

Outlining, setting deadlines

One of the causes of vertigo with large writing projects is the sense that the work before you is too big or too much for you to handle given all your existing responsibilities and pressures. So break the project into manageable parts, and make the immediate task a two- or three-page mini-paper.

How to start: Outline your project carefully. Start with a one-page handwritten outline that is simply the main sections or chapter titles.

Then move to a more thorough outline, with detail under each of the points in the first version. At this point, each part of the outline is no more than a few pages.

Refine your outline to indicate how many pages and what kind of work each part will require. For instance, I might have a line in my outline that reads, “Introduce self-perception theory (two pages; brief literature review).” Your daunting, massive thesis or dissertation has now been reduced to a series of manageable, “do-able” tasks.

Set a schedule for completing each piece of the outline. Make sure that each chunk is small enough to be do-able in just a week or two, or even just a day or two.


First-time procrastination problems? You may just be tired, so relax and don’t be hard on yourself.

Persistent procrastination? Break your task into even smaller pieces.

One option: Identify a one-hour block of time. Work on your next writing task for just 15 minutes, followed by a five-minute stretching/social break. Repeat two more times, and in one hour you will have done 45 minutes of work. If that works, then schedule your next writing period for 80 minutes, and so on, until you can set aside three hours at a time for writing. You may find that taking the break after 15 minutes is hard to do because you get a rhythm and can’t stop working. That’s a good thing.

Another option: Schedule writing appointments with fellow students or faculty—or, form a three-to-five person study group that meets every one or two weeks to help keep each other on track.

Other options: See your adviser, commit to a scholarly conference (to create an external deadline), or set up some other writing-related appointment.

If your large writing project becomes so emotionally upsetting that you find yourself unable to do any of the above successfully, consider making an appointment for student counseling. It is easy for the different parts of our lives to get entangled, and the fear or stress you experience regarding your writing may have nothing to do with the quality of your ideas or your skill as a writer—but instead be symptomatic of other things upsetting you at home or at work.

And remember—it’s OK to ask for help.

by John Gastil, former professor, Communication

The Literature Review

From seminar paper to master of arts degree thesis to dissertation, the literature review provides both the foundation and the frame for your own research. Its preparation requires careful planning and a well-crafted presentation.

The purpose of the literature review

A literature review tells us what is known by sharing the results of prior studies related to your own.

A literature review places your study within a larger body of work. It shows how your study seeks to fill a gap in, or extend, our knowledge in this area.

A literature review offers a benchmark for assessing your own results. In the conclusion to your study you will revisit the literature review armed with your new findings.

Organizing the literature review

A good literature review is a synthesis of prior research presented in a way that adds value to our understanding of that work. So, it’s important to organize your review in a way that is coherent, relevant to your own study, and useful to other researchers. For example, you might cluster prior research by media type, communication situation, similar findings, key themes, respondent type, or other useful distinction.

Whatever organizing scheme you choose, it is typical to present the most important, relevant, or strongest collection of existing research first, and go from there. If not, there should be a narrative logic to the review presentation.

Another way to add value is to identify conceptual linkages among ideas and authors. Researchers often talk about the same processes — just in somewhat different ways.

It’s tempting to want to include every study that appeared in the key word search of your topic. Don’t. The challenge is to find the right balance between giving the reader confidence in your familiarity with literature and focusing on what’s most relevant for the study at hand.

Writing the literature review

Your synthesis of prior research should focus on key findings or conclusions with just enough information for the reader to discern the question and approach: “In her ethnographic study of Muslim immigrants’ perception of mainstream British media, Gillespie concluded…” The exception being if the study cited is significant because of its methodology — only then would you offer more methodological detail.

Not all ideas in the literature review are used to construct your study’s conceptual framework. So, at the end of each section, tell readers what key concept, finding, definition, or theme is most critical to “carry forward” into their reading of your study.

Don’t over-quote. It slows down your narrative. Direct quotations should only appear if the author said something in a unique, powerful, or precise way (e.g., a definition) that demands repeating in its exact form. Otherwise, use your own words.

Since a good review is a coherent, value-added organization of the literature, provide the reader with clear “signposts” through the instructive use of headings, introductions, transition phrases, and summary statements.

Finally, because people reading your paper or dissertation may not be familiar with your area of research, be careful not to weigh down your literature review in field-specific jargon. It is important that you write in clear and active prose.

by Nancy Rivenburgh, professor, Communication

Collaborating and Co-Authoring

Finding opportunities to collaborate and publish

Many scholars enjoy co-authoring because doing so affords an opportunity to develop new ideas, extend our methodological toolkit, and share the workload. The first step in finding opportunities to co-publish is to let your faculty mentors know that you are available to help if they ever get such invitations. Faculty sometimes receive unsolicited invitations to write an article or contribute a book chapter. Since faculty often plan long-term writing agendas, they may decline an unexpected invitation. They may be more likely to accept such an invitation if they know they can share the research and writing tasks with a co-author.

If you hear of such an opportunity, or see a call for papers that you would like to answer, you may also pitch a co-authorship opportunity to other students or faculty. Whether or not they accept your invitation will depend on how thoroughly you’ve considered the workload, authorship credits, and of course, the intellectual fit.

Many forms of collaborations

Collaborative work with faculty can take many forms: payment in the form of a stipend without additional acknowledgement; a thank-you in the acknowledgments of a book or an article; a footnote in the relevant section of the published work; gradations of co-authorship; or independent access to the data or field notes.

Across the humanities and social sciences, an author is someone who makes a substantive creative contribution to a project. A research assistant makes a minor creative contribution or a mechanical contribution such as collecting data or organizing archives.

For the most part, being paid as a research assistant does not eliminate the obligation to acknowledge the contribution of a minor or mechanical contribution. The benefit of collaborating is that all parties acquire new experience and skills, and have the creative opportunity to generate and test new ideas.

Discussing the workload

There are several good tools that facilitate co-authorship, such as Endnote, Word’s “track changes” tool, and of course, e-mail. Your discussion of workload should not only include the details of which parts of an article you will author, but the process for editing drafts, for backing up drafts and data, for keeping notes on major edits, and for resolving intellectual differences. But co-authoring doesn’t stop there—you should also talk through the likely division of labor for submitting to journals, corresponding with editors, handling revisions and resubmissions, and reviewing page proofs.

Even though many of these tasks seem far in the future and hypothetical — contingent on acceptance — they are a significant part of the work of publishing and it is best to talk through the hypothetical scenarios. The more you clarify the workload and timeline before the writing starts, the more likely you are to have a successful collaboration. Moreover, writing may not even be the most difficult task for authors: conceptualizing the problem, designing the research project, and collecting data are major tasks that need to be made even before writing begins.

Negotiating authorship credit

We are in an unusual profession in that faculty actively work to make students into colleagues. So many project leaders will err on the side of generosity in negotiating an authorship credit, and there are several possible permutations:

  • Listing authors in alphabetical order, which in the social sciences and humanities can indicate equal contributions (if specified in the footnotes);
  • Listing authors in the order of substantive contributions made;
  • Randomizing the order of authors across multiple papers based on the same project;
  • In increasingly rare cases, subdividing authorship, which takes the form of “A with B” or “A and B.”

Journals may also have their own guidelines for how to acknowledge each other’s contribution in a footnote, endnote, or other front matter.

It is best to establish early on—as part of the workload conversation—what the duties and obligations for these credits will be for your particular piece. However, the initially agreed-upon authorship order can change based on the actual contributions realized at the end of the paper.

Personal negotiations

It is best to have face-to-face conversations about the terms of this important relationship, so avoid using e-mail. Unlike writing a paper for a class, collaborating and co-authoring is a long-term personal commitment to being available and amenable to an extended process. This longer-term working relationship means meeting deadlines (and being flexible with them), deferring to your collaborators in the areas in which they have more expertise, and picking up responsibilities when necessary. Ultimately, it can mean celebrating and sharing the reward of successfully publishing and contributing to the advancement of knowledge.

by Philip N. Howard, professor, Communication

Writing Resources & Techniques for Grad Students

Recently we’ve received several letters from students struggling with writing. Students tell us they struggle with focusing on competing projects, managing nebulous deadlines and distilling complicated ideas to in a clear and concise way.

As Your Grad School Guide, I know can be difficult to find motivation and avoid procrastination when faced with such writing projects.

Whether you’re developing a thesis or dissertation, or writing essays for a class, there are a number of resources at the UW for support. Here are some ideas of services to access on campus, and tips for developing as a more productive and effective writer.

Campus-based resources:

Looking for ways to beat procrastination or improve your writing on your own? Here are a few ideas:

  • The Pomodoro method. Work in 25 minute increments with short breaks in between sessions. This can help you avoid distractions and get down to business. This technique can help academics make the most of their limited writing time.
  • Develop a strategic writing plan. Ph.D. student Nue Lee details in this blog post how she plans for effective writing sessions. Lee’s plans include daily writing and scheduling blocks of time for writing in her calendar. Your strategic writing plan may differ based on your schedule and needs.
  • Consult a style guide. William Zinsser’s On Writing Well may be a good place to start for insight or inspiration.

What if you’ve tried any combination of these resources and techniques, and nothing has helped. What should you do?

  • Reflect on the things that you’ve tried so far. Did one or two of them help you manage distractions or write more effectively, even a little bit? Of the things that helped a little, what did they have in common?
  • Try dictating your ideas to a trusted friend or a recording device before even bringing pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. It may help take some of the anxiety out of the process and allow you to get your ideas out.
  • In some cases, difficulty with productivity in writing and research may be related to other factors, including anxiety or worry. If you think this applies to you, please seek support from a writing tutor, academic advisor or counselor at the Counseling Center.

Any questions? Feel free to shoot me an email.

Happy Writing,

Your Grad School Guide

Ask Your Grad School Guide is an advice column for all y’all graduate and professional students. Real questions from real students, answered by real people. If your Guide doesn’t know the answer, you Guide seeks out experts all across campus to address the issue. (Please note: your Guide is not a medical doctor, therapist, lawyer or academic advisor, and all advice offered here is for informational purposes only.) Ask your Guide a question >

Strategies for Communicating with Faculty

For the past three years, Core Programs has hosted a communication skills workshop with the goal of sharing effective strategies international graduate students can use when communicating with faculty. Below are a just a few of these communication best practices. These tips are useful not only for international graduate students but also all graduate students across the University of Washington.

Be proactive. Faculty panelists at our workshops have stated that despite their busy schedules, they truly appreciate hearing from their graduate students who need guidance or mentoring. As such, it’s important to take initiative if you need to connect with a faculty member. Whether you need feedback on a project or paper, are in the process of searching for a thesis or dissertation advisor, or are seeking letters of recommendation for an internship or job, taking steps to communicate your needs to faculty in advance are steps towards success in graduate school.

Email etiquette. Just like with every mode of communication, there are general guidelines for writing that very first (or fortieth) email to faculty. Some of these tips may seem like common sense to some, but it’s always helpful to remember that all of us start at the beginning, no matter the task. First, have a clear subject line like “Request to Schedule Meeting to Discuss My Research Progress.” Include a professional greeting, and keep your message short and to the point. If you want to convey updates about your work, include an attachment (or ask what the faculty you are contacting prefers) rather than including long updates in the message body. Finally, include a closing statement that thanks the faculty for their time, followed by a closing phrase and your signature. Then proofread your email (with a peer or co-worker if needed) at least one time before sending.

When you are in doubt, clarify. Making a point to clarify what you are discussing in meetings with your faculty advisor is important to being successful in graduate school, whether or not you are an international graduate student. For example, you can use the repeat or rephrase strategy by saying, “I’d like to make sure that I heard you correctly…” If you’re still unclear, you could ask, “Do you mind clarifying what you mean by…?” Finally, it’s always a good idea to take meeting notes and email them to your advisor soon after the meeting, “This is what we discussed… Here is how we are moving forward…” Emailing your notes allows you and your professor to document your meetings and progress.

Letters of Recommendation. Asking for letters of recommendation from faculty can be intimidating, and it’s something that just takes practice. Whether you are seeking a letter of recommendation for an internship, job, or fellowship application, try out these tips. In the body of your email, include a very brief description of the job or fellowship you are applying for. Mention aspects of the job description or fellowship that are relevant to you. Include a bulleted list of the skills or experiences that make you a strong applicant. Make sure to include the deadline for the faculty’s letter of recommendation, the submission link or mailing address, and thank them for their time and efforts. Finally, attach the most recent, updated copy of your resume or CV, proofread your email, and send!

We hope you find these tips useful, and let us know what has worked for you!

Best Regards,

Core Programs Team

Many thanks to Ziyan Bai, graduate staff assistant for Core Programs and PhD Candidate in Education for doing an outstanding job of organizing these workshops. We also extend gratitude to the following faculty who have offered their time and insights as panelists and guests at these workshops over the past three years (in no particular order): Liz Sanders (Education), Sara Goering (Philosophy), Mari Ostendorf (Electrical Engineering), Wendy Thomas (Bioengineering), Xiasong Li (Chemistry), Kelly Edwards (Bioethics), Gino Aisenberg (Social Work), Gojko Lalic (Chemistry), and John Sahr (Electrical Engineering).

5 tips to boost your productivity

All of us struggle with motivation at different times, and winter can be particularly challenging. That said, it can also be a good time to hunker down and get some work done. Whether you plan to stay in academia or not, you will need written products coming out of your postdoc years to demonstrate what you have accomplished. Perhaps you are also finishing up publications from your doctoral research or laying the groundwork for a new research direction. Recently, the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development (NCFDD)’s “Monday Motivator” featured 5 tips for productivity.

  1. Create a plan. How? Dr. Rockquemore writes: “It’s a simple process: 1) list your writing and wellness goals for the remainder of this calendar year, 2) map out all the steps that are needed to complete your goals, and 3) figure out when that work will get done.” While it may not be in your skill set yet, it is truly simple once you start. During your next work week, put “Planning” in your calendar for a 1-2 hour block and work through it. This is your work. This is a great time to revisit your Individualized Development Plan (IDP).
  2. Write every day. We also know that your own writing is the task that will consistently get put aside for other demands (e.g. lab meeting, responding to your advisor, looking up one more article, sifting through Facebook, etc.). Research shows that if you dedicate just 30 minutes a day to writing (really writing), you will make consistent progress toward a writing goal and complete a product faster than if you hope for a half-day or protected Saturday that never does emerge.
  3. Join a group of daily committed writers. You are not alone. We all have to write and produce. Just like a regular exercise or spiritual practice, if you are connected with others who are also committed, it helps you sustain the practice. You can meet face-to-face for your blocks of writing time or just stay connected online and check-in, which gets to the next point:
  4. Commit to regular accountability. Tell someone your goals and plans, and schedule a check-in meeting (virtually or in-person) to see how it is going. In the short-term, this can be yourself. Apps such as Grid Diary can help you self-assess at the end of the day what 3 things you accomplished, and set personal goals for how tomorrow can be better.
  5. Find dedicated mentors. All of this takes hard work, and sifting through the noise that comes at you on a daily basis. Find mentors—you should have a full team—who genuinely are invested in your success (see blog posts on mentoring). They can help hold you accountable, prioritize what needs to happen, strategize where products need to go, and troubleshoot when things fall through the cracks (which they will).

If you are interested in signing up for a weekly email with these Monday Motivator tips from NCFDD, or checking out other writing resources on their website, you can login with the UW membership.

Pushing Through to the End of the Quarter

It’s the home stretch of the quarter and we know you are actively working through your projects, grading, and other milestones, even while looking ahead to the break. We offer a few tips that can help you make the most of these final weeks.

Set Priorities. Look over your schedule for the next two weeks. Block out time slots you know you can’t be flexible on: hard deadlines for school, work, and family time. Hold off on meetings or appointments that can actually wait until after the quarter (and holiday break) is done. You’ll start to see where you have wiggle room for things like self-care. The reality is, there is always time take care of ourselves. This can be a glass of water, a healthy snack, getting up from your desk to stretch, a 10-minute walk outside, or even taking a nap to improve your productivity. Setting priorities allows us to realistically see that we do have control over our schedules, especially when stress makes us feel the complete opposite.

Writing. Carve out 30 minutes of time each day to work on your writing. Set a timer, close your web browsers, and unplug from social media. You’ll find that you’re eventually making progress on that larger writing project. For more support, remember that you can schedule an appointment with a writing tutor at your UW campus. You also have the option of reaching out to a peer or two in your department — or from outside of your program — to hold one another accountable for writing by organizing group writing sessions. If you’re considering something more structured beyond this quarter, here are some tips for organizing a thesis or dissertation writing group.

Connect with your support network. It can be a struggle to stay motivated these last few weeks of the quarter and complete what needs to get done. But as Andrea Zellner from GradHacker states, “Don’t underestimate the power of your cheering section. Maybe all you need to get moving is a pep talk.” Call, Skype, or meet up with a close friend or family member, so they can root you on! Attend a community gathering with like-minded peers, such as the upcoming Holiday Gathering for First-Gen Graduate Students in Seattle, or the Holiday Wine, Beer & Spirits Walk in Bothell, or organize a low-key, small potluck with peers to celebrate one another. If you’re needing mental health support — and there is no shame in this at all — reach out to your campus counseling center for an appointment or for community resource referrals.

Check in with advisors and mentors. Maybe you’re in a 9-month graduate program, about to complete the first quarter of your Master’s degree, or heading into the final months of your doctoral program. Maybe you and your advisor or mentor haven’t checked in with each other in a while (because life happens). Whether you are thinking through your goals for winter quarter or needing guidance on your research or next steps in your graduate program, it might be a good idea to schedule a time to meet with your advisor(s). Check in with them via email to see about scheduling a time to meet during early winter quarter. Just scheduling the meeting can give you piece of mind.

We hope you find these tips useful in helping you push through — and thrive — at the end of the quarter!


Core Programs Team

Navigating Licensing Options for a Thesis or Dissertation

Which license(s) should I use or create when publishing my doctoral dissertation?  – Anonymous 

This week’s answer is courtesy of Elizabeth Bedford, scholarly publishing outreach librarian, Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Congratulations on getting to the home stretch of your dissertation! As part of your degree requirements, you will be depositing your dissertation into ResearchWorks, UW’s online open repository, and it will be important for you to understand your license options through this process.

Some background: being able to access something online does not mean that readers can use it any way they’d like – US law gives copyright holders a set of exclusive rights over their works, which include distributing or adapting the material. Normally if a reader wants to make use of a work in one of the ways protected by copyright, they have to get explicit permission. But what if a copyright holder is fine with some uses, and wants to communicate that to potential users?

Licenses are the mechanism by which a copyright holder allows uses of their work, and traditionally they have been used for individual permissions. However, Creative Commons licenses work on a broad scale, allowing the copyright holder to let an audience know that they automatically give permission for certain uses under certain conditions. CC licenses make things clear and simple for both the copyright holder and the user, and have been proven legally sound, which is not something you get with a DIY license.

CC licenses can be very restrictive or completely permissive, with many shades in between. If you want something more restrictive than anything-goes CC0, you can choose one of the ‘BY’ licenses, which require others at minimum to credit your work. You’ll make decisions prohibiting or allowing combinations of three types of use: 1) commercial use; 2) adaptations; and 3) ‘viral’ licensing. This is a very personal decision, but there’s lots online about factors copyright holders should consider and why some copyright holders make the decisions they do.

You’ll notice that I’ve been careful to say ‘copyright holder’ rather than ‘author.’ For UW dissertations, the author always starts out as the copyright holder. But if you enter into negotiations with a publisher, be aware that sometimes publishers ask you to completely transfer your copyright to them. If that happens, you no longer have the right to make licensing choices over the work and the publisher gets the final say. So read the fine print of your publishing contracts!

My office is here to help with this, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us.