12.0238 e-dissertations?

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Fri, 2 Oct 1998 18:52:13 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 238.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 00:59:17 -0400
From: "Patrick W. Conner" <pconner@wvu.edu>
Subject: Publishing e-Dissertations

I have a question which is causing much controversy here, and I've promised my
colleagues to ask those publishers with whom I'm on speaking terms. I know
you're not a publisher, but I rather think there might be pertinent
publisher-ness on HUMANIST. So, I'll ask here as well:

Our university has just made it a requirement of graduate students to file
their theses and dissertations electronically. This means that all theses and
dissertations sit on a server, and they may be accessed (according to
privileges set by the student at the time) only by persons with a computing
account at this university, or by anyone on the Internet.

Some students are convinced that no publisher will ever publish a dissertation
which has been made available electronically locally, let alone one which has
been available to the whole internet. I rather think that dissertations have
always been available freely to members of the home institution, and often
to a
wider audience as well. I've also never seen a dissertation which didn't need
to be thoroughly rewritten for publication.

Does anyone know of a publisher with a policy not to publish books derived
dissertations which may have been locally available on the Web? Do you expect
good publishers to have such policies? Do you have any opinion about how
electronic dissertation publication affects subsequent hard-copy publication?

Many thanks for any contribution to this debate.--Pat Conner

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