Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

OA dissertations at ProQuest

ProQuest will complete the migration of its dissertation database to its new platform on July 22, 2007.  The old platform was called ProQuest Digital Dissertations (PQDD) and the new one is called ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT).  From ProQuest's page on the migration progress:

With the December 2006 release of PQDT, most of the migration work was completed. All dissertation and thesis content - more than 2.3 million citations and 890,000 full-text PDFs - is available in PQDT. All of the major functionality is already in place as well. Some of the changes you can expect to see in the final migration release include: ...

  • Uniquely identifying Open Access graduate works. Open Access graduate works are available for free in PDF format in A&I and Full Text subscriptions and by uniquely identifying them, we can highlight this new content format....

I wrote to ProQuest to find out whether these OA dissertations were free for all users or only free for subscribers. I got this helpful response from Mike Visser, the Product Manager for Dissertations & Theses ProQuest, which I reprint with his permission:

Thank you for your inquiry. While Open Access graduate works will be (and are) available for free download through PQDT subscriptions, we are also making them available through our PQDT Open collection, which is freely available to anyone. You can access it at [PQDT Open].

Right now, that URL directs you to a page on our web site where we are listing all the open access graduate works that have made their way through the publishing process so far. Each graduate work title is hyperlinked, and when clicked on, spawns a new window that loads the citation record in PQDT, and provides end users with free access to the PDF of the graduate work (and the citation, abstract, and 24 page preview).

This web page is a temporary solution. We plan to build a more robust repository, with searching/browsing capabilities, etc., as the volume of open access graduate works grows. Right now, the volume is quite small - we have published 13 so far, with about 20 more in the publishing queue.

This is the first year we started offering the open access option, so while the volume will be small at first, we expect it to grow over time.