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SEAS Thesis Portfolio Guide

A complete overview to the thesis portfolio from the history to submission.

What the heck is Libra?

Libra is UVA's scholarly institutional repository. 

A lot of universities have their own repository. We all do a lot of work and create a lot of knowledge. The repository is a way to  safely and securely store that scholarship for the university community. So for any research project (whether that final form is a paper, drafted article, poster, conference proceeding, literature review, dataset, any and all academic work) and you want to save it somewhere then you have the option to do that with the UVA repository. 

For the SEAS Thesis Portfolio, we're going to be using LibraETD (ETD stands for Electronic Theses and Dissertation)

There are other options if you want to save a dataset or you want to save anything that is NOT the SEAS Thesis Portfolio. But we're not going to link those just in case there's a possibility to confuse folks. Go learn more at the Libra website or contact libra[at]virginia[dot]edu if you have questions. 

FAQs for Submitting to Libra

Some Reassurances

  • If you're waiting on your professor for approval that is fine.
  • If you have friends in other sections with other faculty that seem to have a different timeline, that's also fine! 
  • If you're not sure about any part of the Libra submission process, you're welcome to reach out to Maggie via email or sign up for her office hours to check in. Even if it's just to get an email back saying "everything is fine!" go ahead and check in. 

Approval and Access to Libra

Your STS 4600 professor is the one that will approve your access to Libra.

Once they do that you'll be registered and you will get an email from with the title "Access to upload your approved thesis to LIBRA." This will also include the link to log into the Libra system. 

If you haven't gotten the email from Libra, check in with your STS Professor.

Submitting to Libra

There are instructions provided by your STS professor (check Collab!) and Maggie made an overly detailed guide to every step of the process

But if you have any questions, concerns, or just want a librarian to sit with you while you hit submit, reach out to Maggie via email or sign up for her office hours

Getting errors when trying to summit to Libra

Save a lot if you're experiencing this! Libra might get bogged down as literally 100s of folks try to upload at the same time. 

  • First, fill-in the fields EXCEPT the abstract - don't upload any files yet. So fill in all fields except abstract, click "Save and Exit". That should save. 
  • Then go back to "Edit" and enter in your abstract. Use "Save and Exit" again.
  • Now to get the files on your record: go back and "Edit", then click the "Files" tab. Upload one file at a time. Once an upload has finished, re-name it and then upload another. 

The Libra email says that the title of our submission "must match the title on record in [our] school or department." How would we find out what this is? 

I know it's odd but ignore this! The same Libra email is used for everyone but this only applied to the Master and PhD students and not the SEAS undergraduate thesis portfolio.

The format of your title should be: Capstone/Technical Report; STS Research Paper

But whatever your advisors approve those titles are is great (double check with them that your title is correct. Some folks don't know that their advisor wants a particular title!)

How can I add the title pages?

Abobe offers a free PDF merger. This is a great option so you can save the title page and your file as a a PDF and then combine them together. Less wrangling multiple formats into one document! 

My Executive Summary (aka SocioTechnical Synthesis) seems way too long to be the abstract?

That's fine! As long as you STS Professor is happy with it then it's great.

What if I mess up my Libra submission?

That's okay! ("it's gonna be fine" is the theme for this process!)

We ask that you please (please please) triple check everything before you submit. And there are TWO preview screens before you get to the final submission and at any of those you can save and log out, take a break, and look at it one last time with fresh eyes. 

We can change almost anything on the backend. BUT there's only one Libra librarian, Sherry Lake, and there are 700+ of you all submitting Thesis Portfolios. So we try not to overwhelm Sherry. 

If you do submit and realize something is wrong, you can email Maggie and Sherry letting them know what happened and needs to be changed. And Sherry will take care of it and Maggie will make sure if it's something that we need an advisor's approval on that we get that done without you having to figure that part out.

It will be fine!