InfoIssues: February 2005 | Mansfield Library | The University of Montana-Missoula

The University of Montana Libraries—Missoula

A publication of the faculty of the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana

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To comment on this issue or to suggest an issue, please contact Jennie Burroughs, Chair, Key Constituencies Committee.

Issue of the Month: February 2005

Mansfield Library Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) Project

-John Greer
Head of Technology and Systems Services

The University of Montana and the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library are positioning the University to be at the forefront of new technologies by allowing students to move their dissertations and theses to a 21st century digital model. This project allows students to participate in the evolution and advancement of the nature of scholarly communication. 47% of ARL libraries currently have an Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) program for dissertation or thesis access. Digital dissertations enable students to enhance the meaning and clarity of their work by including color, video, sound, animation, simulations, data archives, and dynamic linking in their documents.

Digital dissertations also greatly increase access to student work. The most circulated dissertation in Mansfield Library's print collection has circulated less than 100 times. This can be compared with the most circulated digital dissertation at Virginia Tech, which was requested over 72,000 times in 2003 alone. This type of huge increase in access is mirrored at nearly all sites that are allowing students to produce digital dissertations. ETDs extend the research of our graduate students beyond the physical university in order to better share knowledge, stimulate related research, and foster partnerships throughout the state of Montana and internationally. Further, the process of creating ETDs introduces students to digital publishing. This will be of great benefit to them over the course of their careers as traditional publishing models are supplemented by digital publishing and distribution.

Doctoral ETDs completed at The University of Montana can be found by searching the Mansfield Library online catalog. All UM dissertations were retrospectively scanned and digitized; to browse all UM dissertations in the ML library catalog use the Advanced Search and enter “digital dissertations” as a keyword search term. Additionally, dissertations from UM (and the rest of the world) can be searched via the ProQuest Digital Dissertations database. The full text of Doctoral ETDs from around the world are available from 1997 – present in the ProQuest Digital Dissertations database.

To learn more about ETDs, their history, and their future try these links:

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations

Some Facts about Virginia Tech ETDs

To comment on this issue or to suggest an issue, please contact Jennie Burroughs, Chair, Key Constituencies Committee.