Umi Microfilm Dissertation

Umi Microfilm Dissertation-18
Obviously, such changes would affect the significance of your dissertation’s being available online.

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Since you knew the material was unusable without permission, you felt free to ignore dissertations, except to make sure that a recent one was not too similar to the one that you hoped to write, lest it get published before yours and scoop you.

Yes, such documents were technically “available,” but they were definitely not published or easily consultable. Universities have enthusiastically assumed that a thesis online is just a faster and handier form of microfilm, and dissertation supervisors have assumed that since they put their theses on microfilm, you should put yours on Pro Quest. Once available through any form of open access, be it Pro Quest or a university library’s public access materials, that dissertation is functionally published, though this does not constitute refereed publication.

[July 2019 Update below by Jacqueline Barlow, Open Access Officer at The University of Winchester in Winchester, Hampshire, United Kingdom–please read] Today we are honored to have a guest post by Kathryn Hume, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Penn State University and author of Surviving Your Academic Job Hunt: Advice for Humanities Ph Ds (revised edition, 2010).

I got in touch with Kathryn Hume initially to send her a fan email!

Revising a humanities dissertation into a book can take far more effort than you realize.

If you are moving from one temporary job to the next, having to pay for moves with nonexistent savings, and teaching six or more new courses each year, you will need to remember and act on successive deadlines despite many distractions.

Not all fields, even within the humanities, operate on the same assumptions, and some people see dissertations cited as a way of boosting your visibility within your specialty.

Presses may eventually decide to ignore Pro Quest dissertations and rely on the degree to which you have revised your material.

You could ruin your chances of getting tenure if your thesis is freely available.

In the Chronicle of Higher Education ( Leonard Cassuto sums up a round table discussion among six academic publishers as follows: Don’t make your dissertation available online.


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