Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, March 08, 2008

More on OA for ETDs

Richard Fyffe and William C. Welburn, ETDs, scholarly communication, and campus collaboration: Opportunities for libraries, C&RL News, March 2008.  Excerpt:

For many libraries, ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) are the first targets for an institutional repository program, and represent an opportunity to engage graduate students and their faculty advisors in broader conversation about open access, intellectual property management, long-term management of digital content, and other scholarly communication issues....

Potential benefits for students and universities

  • Expressiveness. ETDs can incorporate a wider range of media than printed dissertations, allowing students to express their interpretations and research findings through color imagery, audio, video, and interactive media.
  • Visibility. ETDs increase the visibility of students and their advisors, potentially leading to improved job prospects or graduate school placement for students and better recruitment for colleges and universities.
  • Operational efficiency. Theses and dissertations typically begin life as digital documents. Accepting and storing them digitally can be more efficient for students and the institution alike. Students are relieved of the expense of printing multiple copies of lengthy documents, and university units are relieved of the inefficiencies of interoffice routing, collating, and storage of multiple copies.
  • Knowledge-sharing. Most institutions find that ETDs are being downloaded hundreds if not thousands of times. By comparison, most printed theses and dissertations are seldom used. ETDs appear to be an effective way of sharing original research both across and beyond the academy....

PS:  Also see my own argument for OA to ETDs (in SOAN for July 2006).