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DNP: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Guide to Finalizing / Submitting Your DNP Scholarly Project

Selecting Rights - Copyright / Creative Commons License

When submitting to FUSE, you will need to select the "rights" which apply to your DNP scholarly project. You have three options:

  1. Copyright, all rights reserved.
  2. CC By-NC-ND.  [This is the Creative Commons "Attribution – Noncommercial –No Derivative Works" license.]
  3. CC By-NC-SA. [This is the Creative Commons "Attribution – Noncommercial –Share Alike" license.]

Which option you pick depends on what permissions you’d like to give people who want to use your work. The first option is the most restrictive option. If you select this option, anyone who wants to use your work will have to seek your permission, unless their use falls within a copyright exception such as fair use. This is a good option for students who plan to publish their work in other forms later because some publishers require authors to retain this level of copyright in order to publish with them. Another reason students might pick this option is that they want control over whether people can copy, distribute, or modify their work. 

The other two options make your work available under what is known as a Creative Commons license. These licenses let you tell others who want to use your work, up front, the conditions you are placing on their use of your work. You might choose one of these two options if you don’t plan to publish, or plan to publish with a publisher that does not require restrictive copyright. A reason many authors choose a Creative Commons license is that they want people to be able to use and share their work more openly. 

The second option applies a CC-BY-NC-ND license. This license means anyone using the work must attribute it to you, cannot use the work for commercial purposes, and cannot modify the work.  

The third option is less restrictive than the second one. It applies a CC-BY-NC-SA license. Under this license, anyone using the work must attribute it to you and cannot use the work for commercial purposes. However, they are allowed to modify your work as long as they make the work available under the same Creative Commons license you applied.

Whichever of these options you select, you still retain the copyright of your work. You will be able to use your work as you want, and will be able to grant others the right to make use of your work in whatever way you want., Your work will be available through the University’s Institutional Repository, FUSE. Selecting a license simply lets users know how they can use your work.

For additional information, see the following pages of our Copyright Research guide:

How to Meet the Digital Accessibility Standards

Franklin University's Digital Accessibility Standards (DAS) exist to ensure the widest possible audience for DNP scholarly projects. Scholarly projects will not be published in FUSE if they do not meet these standards. The University's FUSE administrator will work with students to ensure that the standards are met.

Many of the standards should be met by creating a document in Word and following the instructions on the "exporting to Word from pdf" tab of this box. This guide also provides specific instructions for some of the standards that may cause students issues.

To ensure accessibility, students should use the accessibility checker in Word and address any issues before exporting their dissertation to PDF.

To ensure digital accessibility of DNP scholarly projects, Franklin University requires that scholarly projects submitted to FUSE meet the following requirements:

  1. Are submitted as a pdf file which includes full text;
  2. The PDF accessibility permission flag is checked;
  3. The text language of the pdf is specified;
  4. Figures and images include alternate text;
  5. The PDF document properties include the title, author, keywords, and subject;
  6. At least one heading level is included in the text and the document has appropriate headings;
  7. If color is used, it must not be the only means of conveying information and the text contrast of colors must not trigger a hard to read text contrast error.

Alt text (alternate text) exists to help individuals who use a screen reader because of difficulties seeing a screen understand the visual content in your paper.Alt text should be a sentence or two explaining what the image does or shows (i.e. the purpose of the image in the paper).

If the image is a graph or chart, the alt text should not just say "this is a chart of my research's values", but should indicate the important values or the concept you want readers to take from seeing the chart. Alt text should be your explanation of the purpose/meaning of the image in your paper. Do not auto-generate the alt text.

To add alt text in Word,

  1. right click on the figure or image;
  2. select "edit alt text";
  3. enter one or two sentences of alternate text which describes the figure or image, but is not just repeating the text around the image, or saying "an image of" X;
  4. after entering the alt text, click on the x at the top of the alt text box and save your document.

The screenshots below show the steps for adding alternate text.

For more information about creating alt text, see:

Image: Right click on the image or figure, and select "edit alt text" to enter your alternate text

Menu which appears on right click to select "alt text" to enter the alternate text for your image


Image: Enter the alternate text in the box under Alt Text on the right side of the page and click on the x at the top. then, save your document.

Enter descriptive alternate text in the box provided under the "alt text" heading


According to the DAS, “The PDF document properties include the title, author, keywords, and subject”

These items are all entered in the document properties in Word:

  1. Select “file” from the top menu bar, then look at the “info” tab;
  2. On the top of the right column is a dropdown menu for properties. Click on the arrow next to properties to bring up an option for "advanced properties";
  3. Click on advanced properties. Select the "summary" tab to input the document properties, as discussed below;
  4. Title: Copy the title of your paper from the title page.
  5. Subject The “subject” is the subject of the degree you are receiving – just the subject, not the whole thing. For DNP scholarly projects, the subject should be Nursing Practice.
  6. Author: Your name should appear as the author.
  7. Keywords: Enter your keywords separated by comma.
  8. After updating the properties, click on OK, then click on the arrow in the upper left to return to your document.
  9. Save the document.

The screenshot below shows how to edit the document properties in Word.

Image: Set Document Properties

Select the info tab and then advanced properties from the right column

The document must include at least heading level 1. If additional heading levels are used, they must be used in order, without skipping a level (i.e. you cannot use heading level 3 unless it is a subhead of heading level 2). Additionally, headings must be unique. Do not repeat headings, because that will make navigation of your document more difficult.

Use document styles from the "home" tab in Word to apply your headings. First, format the heading to meet the formatting requirements. Then, with the cursor in the line of your heading, right click on "heading 1" and select "update heading 1 to match selection."

After you have formatted heading 1, go to the next item you want to mark as heading 1. Click so the cursor is in the line of that heading, and then click on "heading 1" from the styles menu in the home tab to apply heading 1.

demonstration of where to click in document and home tab in Microsoft Word to apply headings

For more information, see the Microsoft Word guideline to improve accessibility with heading styles.

Manually review your document for uses of color and make sure that you have not used color alone to convey information. While use of color is permitted to enhance your document, it cannot be the sole means of providing information. If you see that your dissertation uses color alone to convey information, provide a textual alternative.

Use of color must include sufficient contrast. Run the accessibility checker in Word by going to “review” from the menu bar. Click on the “check accessibility” icon. If you get a “hard to read text contrast” error, change the text contrast and run the report again to make sure that the new color chosen resolved the error.

When you are ready to create a PDF of your Word file to upload to FUSE, select “file” from the top menu bar, then select “export” and click on the option to “Create PDF/XPS Document.”

Before saving, click on the “options” button. Make sure that the options under “include non printing information” for “document properties” and “document structure tags for accessibility” are selected. Also make sure that the option for “create bookmarks using:” is selected with “headings” selected underneath it. Then select “ok” and click “publish.”

The image below shows the options to select when exporting to PDF.

Image: Select these settings when exporting to PDF

Use these settings to create an accessible PDF file

If you run into technical issues with satisfying the DAS, such as when exporting your PDF, creating alt text or any of the other requirements, you can contact the Franklin University Help Desk.

The Franklin University Help Desk is available during the following hours:

Monday through Thursday: 8AM - 8PM (EST)
Friday: 8AM - 5PM (EST)
Saturday: 9AM - 1PM (EST)
Sunday: 1PM - 5PM (EST)

The Franklin University Help Desk can be reached:

Chat with the Help Desk on their website:

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