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The Dual Rise of Open Access and Dissertation Embargoes This is the first of a three-part series on dissertation dissemination and publishing for humanities and social science scholars. Part 2 can be found here. Part 3 can be found here. For most graduate students, the final step on the road to completing their PhD is depositing a copy of their dissertation.
But in recent years dissertation deposits have become a focal point for controversy and anxiety among junior scholars. The central catalyst for this shift is that dissertation deposits have largely gone digital.
Since the late s, most United States-based students have deposited their dissertations online with ProQuest, the official repository of dissertations written at American universities. At many universities, students now simultaneously submit a copy of their thesis to an institutional digital repository that then makes the dissertation freely available online.
Especially in the last decade, many PhD candidates have balked against disseminating their dissertations so widely and instead elect to embargo delay the release of their theses for six months, one year, two years, or even six years.
How do students decide whether to embargo their dissertations? Their universities might make a recommendation, but more commonly schools punt the question to academic advisors, who, according to their advisees, mostly fail to ever discuss dissertation embargoes with their advisees.
Yet, if a junior scholar choose to release her dissertation or if her university compels her to do sothe dissertation will be available to a notably wide audience. We arrived at this bizarre idea of the unpublished but broadly accessible dissertation slowly and through a rich history.
In this article, I recount the history of making dissertations discoverable, the shift to putting them online, and current practices of disseminating and embargoing PhD theses. Stay tuned for the second installment of this series, going live on Monday, April The Discoverable Dissertation and the Advent of ProQuest In the pre-internet days, dissertations were deposited as hard copies in the library of the university at which a graduate student completed her PhD.
The paper copy of the thesis then typically sat on a shelf for decades, attracting dust more often than readers. In the late s, a man by the name of Eugene Power set out to change the uneventful end of most dissertations as mere place holders on library shelves.
Eugene Power founded a company called University Microfilms later renamed University Microfilms International, UMI that, among other things, launched a monthly publication that provided abstracts of dissertations.
This publication, first called Microfilm Abstracts and later dubbed Dissertation Abstractspublished summaries of North American theses. Starting in the mids, the summaries were divided into two broad categories: These monthly abstracts opened up American and Canadian dissertations to subject-based discovery.
For the first time, libraries could catalog and index dissertations. Interested readers and libraries could purchase microfilms of a relevant dissertation from UMI. UMI quickly began to do a brisk business selling dissertation abstracts, indexes, and microfilms to university libraries. Over the decades UMI went through a few ownership changes including a stint when it was owned by Xerox in the ss.
It was renamed ProQuest in The company also added European dissertation abstracts to their offerings in the s. The most substantive change, however, was the move from microfilms to digitization of dissertation abstracts, indexes, and entire theses.
When ProQuest offers a full dissertation online, for most professional purposes, this does not constitute a publication. This may seem a pedantic point, but it is a crucial technicality.These papers have open access and everyone can use them as a source of information and inspiration.
But you should value the hard work of others and mention them in . Help; My Account; Home > ETDS > OA_THESES. Open Access Theses. Jump to: Author Last Name. Theses/Dissertations from PDF. Theses/Dissertations from PDF. Integrated Biocompatible Piezoelectric Micropump System with Nanoliter Volume Precision, Yagmur Akin.
PDF. An index of over million electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). To the extent possible, the index is limited to records of graduate-level theses that are freely available online. Includes all dissertations freely available in the University of Michigan's Deep Blue institutional repository, along with those harvested from other college and university repositories.
Updated continuously through the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Open Access Publishing.
The authors of these dissertations and theses have opted to publish as open access. Open Access Publishing is a new service offered by ProQuest's UMI Dissertation Publishing, and we expect to have many more open access dissertations and theses over time.
What is open access, and how does it apply to my thesis or dissertation? Articles, books, theses and dissertations are said to be "open access" when they are "digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.".