Digital Dissertations

One of my pet projects for the past several years has been to advocate for the acceptance of digital dissertations (and digital scholarship). I spent two years interviewing grad students, faculty, grad directors, and deans to find out why (or more often why not) their institution accepted digital dissertations and how they prepared (or again more often why they didn’t prepare) their grad students to write/create/design digital projects. Hands down the biggest stumbling block for departments and universities was the lack of a sustainable place to deposit such dissertations.

Enter my current project, which just received NEH funding, to build an opensource repository for digital dissertations. I’d be interested in having a brainstorming session to think about what this type of a space should look like. Some of the questions I’m tackling:

  • Should the repository be centralized or decentralized?
  • How can digital projects be maintained (e.g., emulation, upgrades, etc.)
  • How should such a repository deal with IP issues (e.g., copyright vs creative commons)

Those questions would be a way to get the conversation started, but by no means represent the only questions I have as I embark on this project. We could maybe even work in some hack with our yack!

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About Kathie Gossett

I'm an Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities in the English Dept at Iowa State University. I am the former co-director of the CeME Lab at Old Dominion University, an interdisciplinary lab that focused on innovating and enhancing experiences with technology in the humanities. My research interests include user experience, open source design, intellectual property, and medieval rhetoric. (And yes, there is a logical connection between technology and medieval rhetoric!) I have a PhD in New Media and Medieval Rhetoric from the Center for Writing Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before returning to graduate school I worked in the information technology sector as a project manager, interaction designer, systems designer, Y2K integration manager, web designer/architect, and technical communicator.

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  1. Pingback: Digital Dissertations | THATCamp Iowa City 2012 « The Stacks Cat

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