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August 03, 2015


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Very eager to hear what comes of this.

I also vote for more posts / reports from the law student. What a great storyteller he / she is!


good grief! you'd think it was Hillary Clinton's email.


The last time I heard a story like this it was about the attempt of Stanley Kurtz to get access to the archives of the Annenberg Challenge once jointly headed by Bill Ayers and Barack Obama, which were held away from public view by the public University of Illinois!


As a former Princeton student, I am not in the least surprised by this epic adventure; they get intense about their old documents, and they are fairly disorganized. Thankfully I only had to pull old dissertations once or twice in my time there.


I'm curious about the reason the dissertation is now "un" embargoed.

Who decided? When? What criteria were employed?

Has the dissertation been amended or revised since it was put on file? If so, when?

Are all dissertations subject to the same rules re: viewing, copying, etc.?

Aside from the bureaucratic nonsense that seems to plague all institutions, especially academia, I'm more interested in the willingness to now allow "access."


Embargoing work produced at an academic institution allegedly dedicated to the spread and increase of knowledge is a thing? How is Princeton not ashamed that they consider doing this? And yes it is unembargoed but what good reason could an institution that I'm sure claims First Amendment protection offer to justify an embargo???

Maybe I've spent too much time in the real world. How about we ask the local library to start embargoing books published by academics at Princeton?



I believe that there was a reason asserted for the embargo at one point. However, that reason seems to have been asserted to justify a temporary embargo, at best.

It is curious that the "release" is occurring now, and I am interested to know the answers to the questions posed above.

rather B anonymous

Dude, get a life.

Anony Academic

Embargoes are for copyright protection, so young scholars are able to transform their diss into a book. It's a legit thing. My understanding, though, is that AG's diss wasn't embargoed, it was never filed. Then after all of these questions, they received a copy that is now available to read. However, I also thought once something was unembargoed, it was uploaded online


If it was never filed, how can we know what is on file now is the "as originally submitted" version?

I also don't see any "copyright" issue here. Please explain.

Apparently, AA is telling us that all are not subject to the same rules regarding viewing, copying, etc.

What are the criteria? Are these published?


Where was Alice?

"A young man on a bicycle was shot and killed overnight in the Wynnefield section of West Philadelphia, police said. Police were looking for a man who got into a dark-colored sedan with two other men and sped away from the scene, heading south on Georges Lane.

Investigators are hoping surveillance video footage will help them find the shooter."


anon pro embargo

Of course there should be enough transparency that someone can go to a university and see a dissertation. The usual reason for an embargo (not at all an unusual choice) is as Anony Academic above suggested--to facilitate publication of a dissertation (revised or expanded) as a book. There may not be a literal copyright issue, but It's a fact that some university presses are less likely to take on a dissertation-derived book if a somewhat similar dissertation is already available online or even un-gated. In fact, I believe Princeton was one of the schools that first did a study of un-embargo-ed dissertations in the age of the internet and concluded that recent PhD's have been suffering from easy access policies. Princeton then followed up with a recommendation that many of its students should consider the choice to embargo. After all, no first book contract can mean no tenure down the road. None of this necessarily has anything to do with the case at hand (of which I'm ignorant). This is all just to say that the assumptions made here about the embargo as itself suspicious are un-informed. Better to get the facts before judging.


The book was reviewed in the NYT more than one year ago.

The diss became "available" more than one year after that review.

So, scratch the speculation. (It so academic to say "First, I'll lecture you on the facts that are stipulated and not in dispute, and then I'll claim you are wrong and perhaps mentally infirm for even asking questions about the issues that I concede I don't known anything about.")

Now, after a distraction with "copyright protection" issues and the reasons for an embargo that really have nothing to do with the discussion here:

I'm curious about the reason the dissertation is now "un" embargoed.

Who decided to make the dissertation "available" at this late date? When? What criteria were employed?

Has the dissertation been amended or revised since it was put on file? If so, when?

Are all dissertations subject to the same rules re: viewing, copying, etc.?

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