Electronic thesis submission background information

In 1997 the University began a pilot project to examine the potential for having students submit their theses electronically. The project proved successful. A number of theses now reside in the UWaterloo e-thesis database.

Effective October 2006, the University thesis requirement is one electronic copy (PDF format) only. However, faculties/departments may have an additional requirement for bound paper copies to meet degree requirements. See more Thesis regulations.

At the time the e-thesis project was undertaken, it was decided that the theses would be stored online in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format to facilitate indexing, searching and ease of access; therefore you must submit the PDF file containing your thesis, not the Word or LaTeX file you originally created.

Related courses (Word/LaTeX/electronic thesis submission)

Once a term Techniques for managing theses using Microsoft Word is offered. Previously, courses have been offered regarding submitting your thesis online and preparing theses in LaTeX. See the Skills for the Academic Workplace (SAW) course brochure for details.

Electronic thesis submission procedures

There are a variety of things that must be considered when preparing your online thesis submission. Understanding how the process works may make it easier for you to get started.

  1. Create your thesis (usually using Microsoft Word or LaTeX).
  2. Convert your thesis to a single PDF file.
  3. Save your thesis PDF file as Lastname_Firstname.pdf (replacing 'Lastname' with your last name and replacing 'Firstname' with your first name (without any diacritics)).
  4. You may also consider submitting multi-media or data files (an "enhanced thesis"). If so, procedures for submitting an enhanced thesis are available.
  5. Review the Thesis regulations for formatting requirements.
  6. Follow the instructions to upload your thesis to UWSpace. This includes the submission of your Abstract and your thesis in PDF format. Note that you will be asked to enter your WatIAM (Quest) userid and password before you can access this page.
  7. Once your Thesis has been submitted to UWSpace the Graduate Studies Office checks the format to ensure that the standards noted in the Thesis regulations have been met.
  8. The Library stores your thesis in the online thesis database.
  9. Your thesis, in Adobe Acrobat format, will then be accessible to others online via UWSpace.

Issues involved in e-thesis submission

Font issues

Not all fonts will successfully convert to PDF format. Font issues for LaTeX users are discussed in the LaTeX page below. There is the potential for font problems to arise for those people creating their thesis with Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. If you plan on creating your PDF file using Active PDF , make sure that when you do the install you include all True Type fonts.

Using LaTeX

If you are using LaTeX to prepare your thesis, please refer to the above document for information on how to appropriately prepare your LaTeX thesis for electronic submission. It is critical that you use appropriate fonts as described in the above document. Failure to do so may result in the Graduate Studies Office rejecting your thesis.

Using Word

Every term, IST offers a Skills for the Academic e-Workplace (SAW) courseTechniques for managing theses using Microsoft Word. Information on the next offering, registration, and course notes can be found on Skills for the Academic Workplace (SAW) course brochure.

Tips for preparing Word documents for electronic thesis submission

If you are using Word to prepare your thesis, there are some issues you will need to deal with, such as:

  • Creating landscape (sideways) pages
  • How to create and edit your thesis in many small files, but convert it into a single file for electronic submission

View the tips document to address these issues.

UWaterloo electronic theses and dissertations

Everything you need to know about electronic theses and dissertations at Waterloo!