ETDs and Graduate Education: Programs and Prospects Joan K. Lippincott, Associate Executive Director, CNI Clifford A. Lynch, Executive Director, CNI H igher education groups like the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) have been examining US graduate education in an attempt to understand where improvements are needed. Many critics of graduate education would echo the sentiments of Lee S. Shulman, President Emeritus of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, who recently wrote, “Doctoral preparation remains a striking example of faith- based education… Our practices in doctoral education are a combination of longstanding traditions, replications of how we ourselves were trained, administrative convenience, and profound inertia.”1 One of the areas where this is most striking is in the dissertation stage of doctoral education. There is growing concern both about the length of time for candidates to complete their dissertations, and completion rates, particularly in the humanities. Often advisors and members of a student’s doctoral committee, who completed their own doctoral work in a pre-Internet era, interact with and guide their advisees in the same manner that they were treated when they wrote their dissertations. Generally, graduate students are advised to produce straightforward text dissertations that do not take advantage of new technologies. For years now, virtually every dissertation in the United States has been created in electronic form, yet students may still be required to submit their work in very precisely specified paper form and their institution may only keep bound print copies as part of the institution’s permanent record. The electronic thesis and dissertation initiative was launched in the early 1990s to change this. As part of an electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) program, services are put in place for electronic submission of the thesis or dissertation to the graduate school or other designated academic unit, and for subsequent ingest into a repository managed by the institution’s library. Generally the RLI 270 6 JUNE 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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