Doctoral Dissertations Index

Doctoral Dissertations Index-21
Some librarians direct authors to the Copyright Clearance Center’s Rights Link service, while others have taken to compiling links to publisher policies, which often specify inclusion in a dissertation as a right retained by the author.Useful resources in this area include a compilation of publisher policies from MIT Libraries and a similar list from the Caltech Library.

Some librarians direct authors to the Copyright Clearance Center’s Rights Link service, while others have taken to compiling links to publisher policies, which often specify inclusion in a dissertation as a right retained by the author.Useful resources in this area include a compilation of publisher policies from MIT Libraries and a similar list from the Caltech Library.

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Many students now include their own previously published work in a dissertation, requiring instruction in publication contracts and copyright transfer agreements at the point of submission to the graduate school.

There are repercussions to publishing as a graduate student for which our institutions are not well prepared, and to which we could apply our expertise.

Whatever one calls it, the practice is overwhelmingly found in the STEM disciplines, where students tend to publish coauthored papers with their lab groups prior to graduation.

A different, but related, practice is the “manuscript” option, in which a group of publication-ready papers form the dissertation, with the expectation that students will submit them to publishers after graduation.

Although this situation is not entirely new (as early as 2005 the Council of Graduate Schools included information about the practice in “The Doctor of Philosophy: A Policy Guide”), it still takes many newer ETD practitioners by surprise.

At my own institution, where graduates in the humanities and social sciences tend to outnumber those in STEM, the issue arose when our dissertation deposit workflow was altered to include a librarian consultation, surfacing new concerns as to whether students were complying with their publication contracts.

As with everything, practices and requirements vary across institutions.

Some schools allow the publisher’s PDF to be included, while others mandate that students use the author’s version (pre- or post-print) and expand the material by adding an introduction, conclusion, and appendices.

It seemed to me that the primary task for scholarly communication librarians in this area was to broaden access to graduate research while protecting future publication opportunities for individual authors.

As graduate students begin to publish earlier in their careers, the relationship between the doctoral dissertation and scholarly publishing is evolving.

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