Promises and Perils of Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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The possibilities of putting graduate research online are endless. Now from the comfort of their dorm rooms, students can market themselves for jobs, receive solicitations from publishers interested in their ideas, and increase the profile of themselves and their departments. Nonetheless, they also lose much of the control they once had over print publications, open themselves up to possible plagiarism from rivals, and may actually be jeopardizing their chances for future tenure and promotion. The University of Pennsylvania recently created an option for graduate students to submit their dissertations in an open access website, ScholarlyCommons, and many of these challenges have come to the fore. Graduate students, and more importantly their advisors, need to be made aware of the issues of publishing online, and need to carefully consider their options to best disseminate their work.
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