Born Accessible: Creating Templates for Standardized, Accessible ETDs: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  At the University of Southern Indiana (USI), graduate programs primarily produce physical theses and capstones. As programs expand online options, the need for electronic dissertations and theses grows. The institutional repository offered a chance for the library to collaborate with graduate studies and teaching program faculty to develop templates that would streamline workflows and improve document accessibility. Templates were created for doctor of education dissertations in APA style, along with master theses in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles that could serve multiple programs. This presentation outlined the process of working with campus stakeholders to develop the templates, as well as the steps taken to ensure accessibility of both the template and final dissertation or thesis. Presentation resources and electronic theses and dissertation (ETD) templates are available for download at http://bit.ly/born_accessible.

 

Dissertating in Public | hc:45003 | Humanities CORE

Abstract:  Kathleen Fitzpatrick analyses the sudden isolation graduate students find themselves in during the dissertation process. In the humanities, she observes, graduate students are regularly habituated into an anxiety of intellectual independence whereby sharing ideas, collaboration and publishing work in progress is to be considered suspect and potentially diminishing scholarly value. Digital scholarship, she argues, can eliminate or at least sideline such anxieties (and their untimeliness) by creating a participating public, testing ideas, interesting possible publishers early and creating a community of scholarship that, together with the support of PhD-granting institutions, endorses ‘new kinds of open work’.

UC Davis Contacts Alumni Authors in Successful Project to Open Theses and Dissertations for Worldwide Access – California Digital Library

“From January to September 2021, Sara Gunasekara of the UC Davis Archives and Special Collections Department, headed by Kevin Miller, undertook a project to expand access to UC Davis theses and dissertations digitized by Google and deposited in HathiTrust. Per copyright law, access to these volumes was restricted, based on their date of “publication.” Sara’s strategy for overcoming this barrier was to contact these alumni authors, asking them to submit a Rights Holder Creative Commons Declaration Form to HathiTrust, in order to have a Creative Commons License applied to their works. As a result, 1,047 UC Davis theses and dissertations were opened for worldwide access, to date, in HathiTrust. 

In all, nearly 24,000 UC Davis theses and dissertations (published from 1923 – 2010, with the physical volumes stored at UC’s Northern Regional Library Facility [NRLF]) were digitized by Google in 2017 as part of the Google Library Project. The resulting scans were uploaded to both HathiTrust and Google Books. UC has also partnered with Google to digitize dissertations and theses from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UCSF, all of which are also in HathiTrust, which means that UC Davis’ model could be used by these campuses as well – given staff availability.

The UC Davis Archives and Special Collections team had long wanted to conduct an outreach effort to open theses and dissertations in HathiTrust, but did not have the bandwidth until the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. In the past, the team reached out to an author only when their thesis or dissertation was requested through interlibrary loan. This process had introduced them to the challenges and rewards of tracking down and contacting alumni authors, so the team knew what a larger scale project would entail. Then working from home actually provided the opportunity required for such an initiative.”

Harmon | ETDplus Toolkit [Tool Review] | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) have traditionally taken the form of PDFs and ETD programs and their submission and curation procedures have been built around this format. However, graduate students are increasingly creating non-PDF files during their research, and in some cases these files are just as or more important than the PDFs that must be submitted to satisfy degree requirements. As a result, both graduate students and ETD administrators need training and resources to support the handling of a wide variety of complex digital objects. The Educopia Institute’s ETDplus Toolkit provides a highly usable set of modules to address this need, openly licensed to allow for reuse and adaption to a variety of potential use cases.

 

Toward scientific dissemination of undergraduate thesis in physical therapy programs – a cross-sectional study | BMC Medical Education | Full Text

Abstract:  Background

The execution of undergraduate thesis is a period in which students have an opportunity to develop their scientific knowledge. However, many barriers could prevent the learning process. This cross-sectional study aimed to analyze the scientific dissemination of results from undergraduate theses in physical therapy programs and verify the existence of barriers and challenges in the preparation of undergraduate thesis. Second, to investigate whether project characteristics and thesis development barriers were associated with the dissemination of undergraduate thesis results.

Methods

Physical therapists who graduated as of 2015, from 50 different educational institutions, answered an online questionnaire about barriers faced during the execution of undergraduate thesis and about scientific dissemination of their results.

Results

Of 324 participants, 43% (n?=?138) of participants disseminated their results, and the main form of dissemination was publishing in national journals (18%, n?=?58). Regarding the barriers, 76% (n?=?246) of participants reported facing some difficulties, and the main challenge highlighted was the lack of scientific knowledge (28%, n?=?91). Chances of dissemination were associated with barriers related to scientific understanding and operational factors, such as the type of institution, institutional facilities, and involvement with other projects.

Conclusion

Scientific knowledge seems to be a determining factor for the good development of undergraduate theses. In addition, it is clear the need to stimulate more qualified dissemination that reaches a larger audience. Changes in operational and teaching factors may improve the undergraduate thesis quality. However, the importance of rethinking scientific education within physical therapy programs draws attention.

How To Reuse Your Prior Publications in Your Thesis/Dissertation – Harvard Library Calendars – Harvard Library

“Are you a Harvard student working on your thesis or dissertation? Do you want to reuse your prior publications as chapters? In this virtual January@GSAS workshop led by the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication, you will learn how to read your publishing agreements for comprehension so that you can feel confident about your ability to reuse your work and understand the conditions under which you may also share it publicly in DASH, Harvard’s open-access institutional repository. Get tips for exploring publisher policies and asking permission for reuse. Open to all graduate students. Contact the Office for Scholarly Communication with questions about the event and accessibility.”

Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography

“The Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography includes selected English-language articles and books that are useful in understanding electronic theses and dissertations….

Most sources have been published from 2000 through 2020; however, a limited number of earlier key sources are also included. The bibliography has links to included works. Such links, even to publisher versions, are subject to change. Where possible, this bibliography uses Digital Object Identifier System (DOI) URLs….”

“Open Education Policies in Irish Higher Education and the Role of Librarians: Review and Recommendations” by Aisling Coyne

Coyne, Aisling, “Open Education Policies in Irish Higher Education and the Role of Librarians: Review and Recommendations” (2020). DOI: 10.21427/d77j-yw77

Abstract: This research aims to highlight the role librarians can play in OER policy, development, design, collaboration, publishing, teaching and management. This research will interview key experts, advocates, and librarians working in this area. Semi-structured interviews will be analysed using thematic analysis. The main results of the study for policy are that institutional culture and institutional buy-in are of paramount importance, pervading policy discussions, policy involvement, rewards and incentives, OER use and management. Recommendations from the study are that a national OER policy be created with a timeline for compliance to allow autonomy of the institution and consider institutional culture, librarians should be supported to up-skill, we should follow a Team Science model for reward and incentive, and that a national university press is a worthwhile idea in an Irish context.

Pampel (2021) Strategische und operative Handlungsoptionen fu?r wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen zur Gestaltung der Open-Access-Transformation (Strategic And Operational Options For Research Institutions To Shape The Open Access Transformation) | eDoc server, HU Berlin

Pampel, Heinz. 2021. ‘Strategische Und Operative Handlungsoptionen Für Wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen Zur Gestaltung Der Open-Access-Transformation’. PhD Thesis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Philosophische Fakultät. https://doi.org/10.18452/22946.

This thesis investigates the role of research institutions in Germany in transforming scholarly publishing from subscription to Open Access in the field of scientific journals. Open Access transformation aims to overcome the traditional subscription model to further innovative methods of digital scholarly communication. The study examines the options open to higher education institutions and research performing organizations for shaping the Open Access transformation. The thesis presents a description of these options in the areas of strategy and communication, services and infrastructures, business relations with publishers and cooperation. Then, the implementation of these options in practice was analyzed. For this purpose, a survey was conducted among 701 academic institutions in Germany. The response rate of 403 responding institutions (57.49%) can be considered very positive. This survey, which is probably the most comprehensive on the subject to date, shows that higher education institutions and research performing organizations in Germany have so far implement-ed only a few options for promoting Open Access. While the distribution of Open Access repositories is positive, the handling of Open Access publication charges and the associated monitoring of publication costs are still at the beginning. The results of the survey indicate a high need for action. The presented quantitative survey closes the gap of missing data on Open Access in Germany. Based on this new dataset, the study formulates recommendations for further engagement with the Open Access transformation at research institutions in Germany. One focus is on activities that arise in the area of academic libraries.

 

ETDplus Toolkit [Tool Review]

Abstract:  Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) have traditionally taken the form of PDFs and ETD programs and their submission and curation procedures have been built around this format. However, graduate students are increasingly creating non-PDF files during their research, and in some cases these files are just as or more important than the PDFs that must be submitted to satisfy degree requirements. As a result, both graduate students and ETD administrators need training and resources to support the handling of a wide variety of complex digital objects. The Educopia Institute’s ETDplus Toolkit provides a highly usable set of modules to address this need, openly licensed to allow for reuse and adaption to a variety of potential use cases.

 

“Building and Using Digital Libraries for ETDs” by Edward A. Fox

“Despite the high value of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), the global collection has seen limited use. To extend such use, a new approach to building digital libraries (DLs) is needed. Fortunately, recent decades have seen that a vast amount of “gray literature” has become available through a diverse set of institutional repositories as well as regional and national libraries and archives. Most of the works in those collections include ETDs and are often freely available in keeping with the open-access movement, but such access is limited by the services of supporting information systems. As explained through a set of scenarios, ETDs can better meet the needs of diverse stakeholders if customer discovery methods are used to identify personas and user roles as well as their goals and tasks. Hence, DLs, with a rich collection of services, as well as newer, more advanced ones, can be organized so that those services, and expanded workflows building on them, can be adapted to meet personalized goals as well as traditional ones, such as discovery and exploration.

 

 

 

Accessibility of ETDs: Raising the Bar

“Accessibility of online content is of a focus of effort for many higher ed institutions. Electronic theses and dissertations are no exception to this, and graduate school and library staff have been working to improve the accessibility of content submitted by their graduate students. As part of the 2021 TxETDA webinar series, staff from Montana State University, Texas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin will describe the current status of accessibility in institutional repositories (based on a 2020 survey), talk about gaps in accessibility for ETDs, and share templates and workflow ideas for improving ETD accessibility.”

Ph.D. graduates of British university complain about dissertations published by Amazon

“Scholars at a British university have condemned “unlawful” attempts to sell their Ph.D. theses without permission on Amazon’s Kindle service.

The outcry follows the discovery by academics who did their doctoral studies at Durham University that their Ph.D. dissertations had been scraped from the university’s online thesis repository, where they are freely available, and were being sold as individual titles for as much as 9.99 pounds ($13.68).

 

Around 2,000 Ph.D. theses — many of which appeared under the authorship of “Durham Philosophy” — had been made available as Kindle ebooks, according to Sarah Hughes, vice chancellor’s research fellow in human geography at Northumbria University….”