PhD candidates ought to carefully consider whether they have sufficient cause to embargo their dissertation given the possible costs of this course of action. As I detail above, many professional benefits can stem from releasing one’s dissertation online, especially in an open access forum. In contrast, as the University of California-Berkeley argued in a December 2013 memo , “The potential disadvantages of releasing the dissertation at the time of deposit, or after a short embargo, remain anecdotal.” While UC-Berkeley’s position is largely substantiated by my research, there are a few specific circumstances under which an embargo might be helpful.
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