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Caltech Theses

Ph.D. theses must be submitted in electronic form as part of the graduation requirements for Caltech. This guide serves as a tool for this process.

Updating Your Thesis Before Final Approval

Updates Before Final Approval

  • Once your Committee and the Graduate Office have approved your thesis, that version is a matter of official record and will be archived as such. For this reason, you and your Committee must check the thesis thoroughly before submitting it.
  • If your thesis has not yet been approved by the Graduate Office, you may still make revisions to your thesis document.  There are several ways of doing this.
    • Contact the library and ask for help
      • The library will either return the thesis submission to you for corrections and changes
      • Or they will make the changes for you.  This can include having you send them new files (PDF and pre-PDF) of your thesis, or specific pages that we can replace for you.
      • Send replacement files via the Caltech DropBox during the week.  Please note that after 24 hours, Dropbox will delete your uploaded file, and the URL will become invalid.   Library staff may not get to it in time and will ask you to resubmit them.
    • You may retrieve your thesis submission, make the changes in the original record, and resubmit it.
      • NOTE: this only works if your CaltechTHESIS record is still under Review and has not yet been released.
      • Open your record in Manage Deposits using the Magnifying glass icon.
      • Click on Actions/Return to Work Area.  Make your changes, then RESUBMIT your record.
    • DO NOT create a "new version" of the original record. 
      • The "new version" function creates a permanent link between the new and original records, and will show as a broken link if the original record is deleted.  If you have already deleted the original record, we will be forced to create a brand new one, starting from scratch.

Updating Your Thesis After Approval and Release

Updates After Final Approval

  • Please DO NOT resubmit your thesis after this stage without contacting the library (thesis@library.caltech.edu).  Once the Graduate Office has approved your thesis and the library has released it, that version is a matter of official record and is archived as such.
  • Any corrections to the thesis must be approved by your advisor and/or Committee and the Graduate Office. This especially applies to changes or additions of a greater magnitude than typographical errors.   The library will request written approval from at least one of them.
  • Once the corrections have been approved, contact the library and ask to have the specific PDF pages replaced.  You may send them either a PDF copy of the corrected pages, or a PDF copy of the full thesis.  The library will make a permanent dark-archived copy of the original thesis, and then either replace the affected pages or upload the corrected full version.  Its file name will indicate that it is a "corrected" or "updated" one.  The new copy of the thesis will then become the visible version.
  • If you correcting typographical errors, contact the library and explain the changes to be made.  You will most likely be asked to send a PDF copy of the specific pages with the corrections inserted.  The library, at its discretion, may decide to simply replace the pages in the original document, or dark-archive the original and display a corrected version.
  • Rather than replace the pages, you also have the option of having an Errata PDF document added to the files for your thesis.  This can be done after you have received the requisite permissions from the Committee and Graduate office.  You may contact the library for help in adding the Errata document.

Avoid Common Mistakes Made During Submission

How to Avoid These Common Mistakes During Thesis Submission

We will likely return the submitted thesis record to you for corrections if the following common mistakes have been made:

  • Making new versions of the original thesis record and submitting the newer version.
    • DO NOT CREATE a new version of the original record in CaltechTHESIS. We will have to transfer all your changes from the new to the original record, and delete the new version. This slows everything down for everyone.
    • Simply make the required changes on the original record and resubmit that one.
  • Degree Date (year)
    •  Caltech only holds one graduation per year, so the Degree Date on your Title Page and on your CaltechTHESIS record's Thesis Details should be the calendar year of your upcoming graduation.
      • If you are graduating in the same calendar year that you defended, use the calendar year as your Degree Date
      • If you are graduating in the following June of a different calendar year than when you defended, your Degree Date should be the following calendar year.
  • Defense Date
    • Your defense date needs to be on your Title Page, under your graduation year.  Example: (Defended March 1, 2019).
  • ORCID iD (p. ii)
    • Add your ORCID iD to the title page verso, below the copyright statement.
    • If you do not have an ORCID iD, either create one or remove the statement from the page.
  • Missing Published Content and Contributions Page (~p. v)
    • Include a bibliography of published articles or other material that are included as part of the thesis. Citations must include DOIs or publisher URLs if available electronically.
    • Describe your role with each article and its contents.
  • Missing Links in the Related URLs field in the Description Tab
    • If you have publication citations listed in your Publications and Contributions page, you must list the DOIs or links in the Related URLs field
    • Also add the DOI links for any previously published chapters or parts of your thesis into the Related URLS field in the CaltechTHESIS record's Thesis Details area in the Description section.,/li>
    • You may also use this field to provide links to related material that is not included in your thesis but might be of interest to your readers.
  • Student Email Addresses
    • Add your NON-Caltech email address in the Author's field in the Description tab.
    • If you do not choose the visibility of your email address, we will change it to "No".
  • Incomplete Advisor/Committee Sections
    • If the advisor is also on the committee, his/her name must appear in both subsections.
    • Advisor and committee member email addresses must appear in both subsections.
    • Individuals' roles for advisor/committee section must be designated. Use the pull-down menu options.
    • Email addresses must be included.
  • Thesis Embargo Forms
    • If you want to restrict access to your thesis in any way, you must fill out an embargo form. Read the Thesis Dissemination Policy section carefully to see if your reasons apply.
    • Library staff will add your embargo request to your CaltechTHESIS record, forward the request to the Thesis Embargo Review Committee if required, and update the information once the Committee has rendered its decision.
  • Missing Complete Thesis
    • You did not upload a full thesis file, even though chapter files have uploaded separately. You must provide a full thesis file.

Other types of mistakes that could affect completion and/or graduation

  • Not Redepositing CaltechTHESIS record After Corrections
    • If not redeposited, the thesis will sit in your buffer, and will not be sent to the Grad Office for final approval .
  • Missing Paperwork and Signatures in the Grad Office (check REGIS!)
    • The Library does not have access to REGIS, You must do this yourself.
    • The Grad Office will wait on giving final approval of your thesis until all paperwork, forms, and signatures have been turned in.
    • Check your REGIS list carefully, and have someone in the Grad Office double-check the paperwork you hand in to make sure nothing is missing.
    • The Survey of Earned Doctorates is the form missed most often.  Once you have filled out and submitted the electronic form, a notice of completion will be automatically sent to the Grad Office.