Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish…

Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities? :

« An increasing number of higher education institutions worldwide are requiring submission of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) by graduate students and are subsequently providing open access to these works in online repositories. Faculty advisors and graduate students are concerned that such unfiltered access to their work could diminish future publishing opportunities. This study investigated social sciences, arts and humanities journal editors’ and university press directors’ attitudes toward ETDs. The findings indicate that manuscripts which are revisions of openly accessible ETDs are always welcome for submission or considered on a case by case basis by 82.8% of journal editors and 53.7% of university press directors polled. »


Open access theses in institutional repositories an exploratory…

Open access theses in institutional repositories: an exploratory study of the perceptions of doctoral students :

« Introduction. We examine doctoral students’ awareness of and attitudes to open access forms of publication. Levels of awareness of open access and the concept of institutional repositories, publishing behaviour and perceptions of benefits and risks of open access publishing were explored.
Method. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through interviews with eight doctoral students enrolled in a range of disciplines in a New Zealand university and a self-completion Web survey of 251 students.
Analysis. Interview data were analysed thematically, then evaluated against a theoretical framework. The interview data were then used to inform the design of the survey tool. Survey responses were analysed as a single set, then by disciple using SurveyMonkey’s online toolkit and Excel.
Results. While awareness of open access and repository archiving is still low, the majority of interview and survey respondents were found to be supportive of the concept of open access. The perceived benefits of enhanced exposure and potential for sharing outweigh the perceived risks. The majority of respondents were supportive of an existing mandatory thesis submission policy.
Conclusions. Low levels of awareness of the university repository remains an issue, and could be addressed by further investigating the effectiveness of different communication channels for promotion. »


Electronic doctoral theses in the UK a sector…

Electronic doctoral theses in the UK: a sector-wide survey into policies, practice and barriers to Open Access :

« Sharing knowledge and research outputs is critical to the progress of science and human development, and a central tenet of academia. The Internet itself is a product of the academic community, and opening access to that community’s most important body of research, doctoral theses, is both a logical and an inevitable development. Progress toward open access to electronic theses has been slow in the UK. Much has been written on the perceived barriers and practical/infrastructural considerations that might explain this, but a comprehensive picture of that progress, and obstacles to it, was lacking. In 2010, a survey of policy and practice in UK HEIs was conducted by UCL (University College London) Library Services (commissioned by the Joint Information Systems Committee, JISC) to address this very issue. Incorporating inputs from 144 institutions currently awarding doctoral degrees, the work provides the first clear and detailed picture of the status of open access to doctoral research in the UK. The mission of the UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) is to promote and support the interests of graduate education, and this it does through dissemination of best practice and intelligence on emergent trends; helping to shape policy and practice for the benefit of the UK HEI sector. This report contributes to that mission by bringing to the membership’s attention the results of this important work by UCL Library Services; a collaboration between UKCGE and the authors of the original work, it sets out the policies and practices that emerged from the survey and also considers what has been learned about the perceived barriers to the implementation of open access to electronic theses.

The 2010 survey has enabled, for the first time, a differentiation to be made between barriers that are “real” and those which are unfounded and/or yet to be properly validated. At the same time, the work highlights the progress made in certain critical areas, as well as those that require our greater attention. A positive picture emerges for the UK on the adoption of the electronic thesis, with the majority of HEIs surveyed expected to be providing open access to their theses in five years’ time. A more detailed picture also emerges regarding the primary reasons for requests to restrict access to theses, some of which, notably, apply only to electronic (not print) theses. This has necessarily given rise to new policy developments. There is positive evidence also of collaboration among HEIs to provide an efficient and robust service for accessing electronic theses; pooling their resources and expertise either in the development of their institutional repositories or in operating a joint service. The key driver of open access to electronic theses is the opportunity for UK HEIs to “showcase” their research outputs to the widest possible audience and enhance their impact. There are no reliable means as yet to measure this impact, but there are encouraging early indications that electronic doctoral theses attract significant attention when made openly accessible. Open access to electronic theses may therefore indeed accelerate the sharing of knowledge and the progress of scientific discovery and human development. »


Influencing the Deposit of Electronic Th…

Influencing the Deposit of Electronic Theses in UK HE: report on a sector-wide survey into thesis deposit and open access :

« This survey formed part of the ‘Influencing the Deposit of Electronic Theses in UK HE’ project, commissioned by the JISC and led by UCL. The survey was designed to capture a snapshot of current and planned electronic theses policies and practices in UK HEIs, and to gather evidence about the main barriers to the electronic deposit of e-theses. »