The requirement that the dissertation be available to scholars may also be satisfied by depositing three copies of a commercially-printed work that is identical to the dissertation as defended. If the entire dissertation as defended has not been commercially published by the time of final deposit, the author may not deposit under the commercial publication option. With this option, the dissertation is not digitized, catalogued or bound, and the fee payable at deposit is $55 rather than $160 ($170 effective 7/1/09). The fee, paid to ProQuest, covers the cost of listing of title and abstract in Dissertations Abstracts International, Comprehensive Dissertation Index and the Digital Dissertations database. The Dissertation Office will accept U.S. Postal Money Orders, bank money orders or certified checks. If the candidate is depositing from abroad, a money order (in U.S. dollars) drawn on an international bank is acceptable. Cash, credit cards, personal checks and international postal money orders (for domestic as well as international deposits) cannot be accepted.
The commercially-printed work may be a book, set of professionally bound reprints that are numbered throughout, a government report, a lab report, or some other publication. It must also be available from a distributor such as a bookstore, government printing office, journal publisher, etc., and contain the Library of Congress number. The three copies are distributed to the Columbia University Libraries. At the time of deposit, the author must provide to the Dissertation Office a dissertation abstract and complete the form, Publish Abstract Only (PAO) Agreement form, available at the Dissertation Office.
Work submitted under the commercial publication option must be conventionally published, commercially available and identical with the defended dissertation. GSAS does not accept the so-called "author's publication" for work not previously commercially published, nor does GSAS consider photocopied material to be printed material. The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (of which the Dissertation Office is a part) reserves the right to deny submission of any dissertation under this option that is not in accordance with these regulations.
If the defended dissertation is wholly composed of separately published articles, GSAS will accept three professionally bound hard cover books containing reprints of the articles, including the title page (front cover) of the volume of the journals in which the articles were published. In addition, this privately bound copy must include a title page as described in the guidelines above. If the titles of the articles are different from the overall title of the dissertation as defended, all must be included on the title page. The spine of the bound copies must include the full legal name (as on the Registrar's official records) of the author and the year of conferral. Binding should be of library quality; spring or spiral binders and clear plastic covers are not acceptable.