Dissertation Resources

A dissertation at the Institute of Fine Arts can be no longer than 60,000 words (approx. 250-300 pages). This word limit does not include footnotes, front matter, or appendices.

The Graduate School of Arts and Science has guidelines for the formatting of the dissertation and its text. Students should refer to the GSAS Doctoral Dissertation Checklist and the Formatting Guide for information.

Citations for bibliography and images should follow the Art Bulletin Style Guidelines, which requires the standards set by The Chicago Manual of Style.

Images or Plates should be included as an appendix to the text, with one or two images on each page. A list of images or plates must be included in the front matter of the dissertation.

Large file sizes can be avoided by resizing all of your images, especially your personal photography, to a size equal to or below 1280 x 1280 pixels. Additionally these images should be saved in JPEG format with an image quality setting of 7 or "medium."

Please remember to embed all fonts before converting your dissertation into a pdf.  The ProQuest website provides instructions on how to do this.

Should you have further questions contact tsupport@proquest.com or call 1-800-889-3358.  Proquest can provide technical support and confirm your course of action in uploading a unusually large file, which is often a problem for art history dissertations. 

Dissertation Submission

There are two major submission deadlines to which students must adhere in order to receive their degree. A preliminary draft must be submitted approximately 6-8 weeks before the graduation date. The final document will be submitted during the month of graduation. Documentation and accompanying forms are required at each of these stages. Students should refer to the Ph.D. Packet and Cover Memos on the above linked GSAS website for deadlines and required forms.

Submission of the dissertation in ProQuest is required. Students are highly encouraged to include their dissertation in the IFA Dissertation Collection and should contact Jenni Rodda after their dissertation is complete. See below for more information regarding the IFA Dissertation Collection.

Defending Your Dissertation

Three core readers and two signatories must approve the defense of the dissertation. Four faculty members must be present at the defense. IFA students may defend their dissertation at any time during the year.

Once the Primary Advisor has nominally approved the text of the dissertation, the student may give copies of the text to their second and third readers. At this time, the student should contact the Academic Office about scheduling a defense. In order for the student to receive a degree during the current term, a defense must occur at least two days prior to the deadline for final submission.

Students should contact the IFA’s Academic Office with questions about the formatting, defense, and submission of their dissertation.

About the NYU Libraries IFA Dissertation Collection

The IFA Dissertation Collection provides NYU Institute of Fine Art dissertation writers with the
option of depositing an electronic copy of their dissertation with NYU to provide longterm
storage and online access to their work. The IFA Dissertation Collection is hosted by NYU’s institutional repository, the Faculty Digital Archive (archive.nyu.eduOpen link in new window).

The Dissertation Collection is intended to promote access to and scholarly reuse of NYU dissertations, benefitting dissertation authors, NYU Libraries, and the greater scholarly community.

Benefits for Dissertation Authors

1. A permanent URL for the dissertation that will never change and can be used as a citation or link in the author’s CV, online profiles, etc.

2. Greater discoverability: the IFA Dissertation Collection is intended to be a highly visible repository of NYU digital scholarship and can be picked up by major search engines, such as Google Scholar.

3. The ability to include images or other thirdparty copyrighted materials within the dissertation, in accordance with fair use.

4. A nocost option for making a dissertation publicly available to anyone with internet access, and/or “open access” via a Creative Commons license. Making dissertations available openly can broaden audience, increase citations, and allow potential employers and publishers to more easily find the work.

IFA Dissertation Collection Deposit Process

Beginning in the Spring of 2013, IFA dissertation authors will have the option of depositing their dissertation with the IFA Dissertation Collection.

1. If you wish to deposit a copy of your dissertation in the IFA Dissertation Collection, please contact the IFA Curator (jenni.rodda@nyu.edu) and provide a PDF copy of your dissertation.

2. Before adding your dissertation to the Collection, you will need to complete and sign a Dissertation Deposit Form & License Agreement Open PDF in new window. This form is your grant of permission to NYU to store your dissertation in the Collection and to make copies available for scholarly uses.

3. The Dissertation Deposit FormOpen PDF in new window gives you the option of allowing fulltext access to your dissertation. You can choose to provide fulltext access either to:
(i) only individuals with an NYU netid,
or
(ii) the general public via the open web.
You can also elect to distribute your dissertation under a Creative Commons license.

4. If your dissertation includes images... Images that are subject to copyright or other third party rights may be used when consistent with fair use law and best practices, or with permission from the rights holder. Licensed images must be used in a manner consistent with license terms and conditions. The Dissertation Deposit Form asks you to warrant that any thirdparty copyrighted materials are used appropriately. If you have questions about image rights, please contact the Scholarly Communications Librarian (fairuse@nyu.edu). For more information about NYU's stand on copyright and fair use click hereOpen link in new window.

5. The IFA Curator (jenni.rodda@nyu.edu) will notify you when your dissertation has been deposited with the Collection.

NYU IFA Dissertation Collection: Q&As

Q. What is the NYU IFA Dissertation Collection?
The IFA Dissertation Collection provides NYU Institute of Fine Art dissertation writers with the option of depositing an electronic copy of their dissertation with NYU, in order to provide longterm storage and online access to their work. The Dissertation Collection is hosted by NYU’s institutional repository, the Faculty Digital Archive (archive.nyu.edu). The Dissertation Collection is intended to promote access to and scholarly reuse of NYU dissertations, benefitting dissertation authors, NYU Libraries, and the greater scholarly community.

Q. What are the benefits of depositing with the IFA Dissertation Collection?
Benefits to authors include:

1. A permanent URL for the dissertation that will never change and can be used as a citation or link in the author’s CV, online profiles, etc.

2. Greater discoverability: the IFA Dissertation Collection is intended to be a highly visible repository of NYU digital scholarship and can be picked up by major search engines, such as Google Scholar.

3. The ability to include images or other thirdparty copyrighted materials within the dissertation, in accordance with fair use. Under ProQuest/UMI’s current policies and practices, authors are required to submit proof of copyright permission in order to include any thirdparty images or other copyrighted works. Images without accompanying permissions are typically removed by ProQuest prior to distribution via PQDT. This means that authors must either deal with the potentially burdensome and/or expensive process of obtaining permissions from rights holders, or have images stripped from their dissertation.

4. A nocost option for making a dissertation publicly available to anyone with internet access, and/or “open access” via a Creative Commons license. ProQuest also offers an open access publishing option, but charges authors a fee for this ($95). Making dissertations available openly can broaden audience, increase citations, and allow potential employers and publishers to more easily find the work.

Q. Am I required to deposit my dissertation with the IFA?

No. Submission to the IFA Dissertation Collection is optional.

Q. Am I required to submit my dissertation to ProQuest?
Yes. NYU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences requires that all completed dissertations be electronically deposited with ProQuest. See: http://gsas.nyu.edu/page/grad.life.dissertationOpen link in new window. ProQuest will in turn distribute your thesis via its online subscription database.

Q. Can I place an embargo on access to my dissertation?
The IFA Dissertation Collection does not provide the option of an embargo period. However, authors can choose to submit at any point following the completion of their dissertation. When submitting your dissertation to ProQuest, you can opt to embargo fulltext access for a limited time.

Q. Can I include images or other copyrighted materials?
Images can be included in dissertations distributed via the IFA Dissertation Collection when in
accordance with fair use, or with permission from the the copyright holder. Authors relying on fair
use should ensure that their use is consistent with fair use law and best practices, as set forth in
Visual Resource Association: Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, &
Study
Open PDF in new window, #6. Reproduction of Images in Theses and Dissertations, as well as Code of Best
Practices in Fair Use for Academic Research LibrariesOpen PDF in new window
, Principle 6: Maintaining the Integrity of
Works Deposited in Institutional Repositories.

Q. Who will have access to my dissertation?
When you submit a copy of your dissertation to the IFA, you can choose who will have fulltext access to your work. Within the IFA Dissertation Collection, you can elect to give online, fulltext access to the general public, or only to others within NYU. You can also choose to only make the abstract of your dissertation available online. If you choose this latter option, fulltext copies will only be distributed at the request of library patrons for personal, noncommercial scholarly uses.

Q. What does it mean to distribute my dissertation under a Creative Commons license?
Creative Commons licenses are a way for you an an author to retain the copyright to your work, while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make certain other uses of of it. The IFA Dissertation Collection uses a CC NCBYSA 3.0 Unported licenseOpen link in new window, which requires others to attribute the work to you and limits reuse to noncommercial purposes. To learn more, visit creativecommons.orgOpen link in new window.

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