12.0241 e-publishing of dissertations

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 6 Oct 1998 12:50:06 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 241.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Matt Kirschenbaum (33)
Subject: Re: 12.0238 e-dissertations?

[2] From: "Strahorn, Dr. Eric" <estraho@fgcu.edu> (84)
Subject: RE: 12.0238 e-dissertations?

[3] From: "Wouden A. van der" <vdwouden@let.rug.nl> (59)
Subject: Re: 12.0238 e-dissertations?

Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 15:21:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mgk3k@jefferson.village.virginia.edu>
Subject: Re: 12.0238 e-dissertations?

I have been told informally by representatives from several academic
presses that they would not consider or would consider only with
prejudice a manuscript that had been previously "published" online as a
thesis or a dissertation. (That information is anecdotal at best.)

But I put scare-quotes around the word "published" here because I think
it demonstrates the real issue at hand: the need to sophisticate our
understanding of what publication actually entails. To me, publication
entails a great deal more than simply the act of making public.
Certainly the provision of general public access to a manuscript is an
essential part of what constitutes publication, but it is finally only
_one_ part of a process that also includes peer review, editing,
publicity and advertising, various legal obligations, remuneration, a
commitment to continuing dissemination, and so forth. All of these
things are typically part of the model of distriubtion and access we
have historically termed "publication," but _not_ all of them are
necessarily part of a university-based ETD initiative, such as the one
now in place at Virginia Tech (even if one particular objective of such
initiatives is to make a thesis or a dissertation publicly accessible).
Likewise, a university-based ETD initiative itself suggests a very
different model of distribution and access than if I, as an individual,
were simply to place a dissertation-length monograph on my own personal
homepage, served off of a commercial ISP. To flatten all of the above --
a personal homepage, a university-based ETD initiatve, and academic
and/or commercial publication (themselves two very different endeavors)
-- reveals to me a crude imagining of what publication actually entails.
It would be disappointing if publishers, particularly academic
publishers, were unable or unwilling to do better. Matt

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Matthew G. Kirschenbaum
Department of English
Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
University of Virginia

mgk3k@virginia.edu or mattk@virginia.edu

Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 14:14:52 -0400
From: "Strahorn, Dr. Eric" <estraho@fgcu.edu>
Subject: RE: 12.0238 e-dissertations?

I think the fundamental question here isn't the potential publication of
the dissertation, but control over intellectual property. It is my
opinion that student work of any kind should not be posted on the
Internet without the permission of the student. Administrators should
not require students to give up their rights, but should make
publication on the Internet optional. I know that I personally would
not want my dissertation on the Internet. My dissertation may or may
not be publishable, but I want to reserve the right to decide whether it
should be posted on the Internet.

Eric Strahorn
Assistant Professor of History
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd. South
Fort Myers, Fl 33965-6565
(941) 590-7214

Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 20:52:33 +0200 (METDST)
From: "Wouden A. van der" <vdwouden@let.rug.nl>
Subject: Re: 12.0238 e-dissertations?

I can only speak from my own experience. My dissertation has been
available to the world since its defence - and in fact, it still is,
as you may learn from my home page - and that hasn't been a problem
for Routledge, who published the commercial edition (after thorough
revision, in which their reviewers and copy editor have been very
helpful & influential).


> Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 00:59:17 -0400
> From: "Patrick W. Conner" <pconner@wvu.edu>
> >
> 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
> which has been made available electronically locally, let alone one which
> been available to the whole internet. I rather think that dissertations
> 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
> to be thoroughly rewritten for publication.
> Does anyone know of a publisher with a policy not to publish books
derived from
> dissertations which may have been locally available on the Web? Do you
> good publishers to have such policies? Do you have any opinion about how
> electronic dissertation publication affects subsequent hard-copy
> Many thanks for any contribution to this debate.--Pat Conner
Ton van der Wouden

VNC-Project "Partikelgebruik in Nederland en Vlaanderen"
Afdeling Nederlands, Fries en Nedersaksisch, Groningen en ATW Leiden
Postbus 9515
2300 RA Leiden
tel. 071 5171089 (thuis) 071 5277983 (werk) 071 5272615 (fax)
email vdwouden@let.rug.nl

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