November 1997

Navigation Key
o [*] - [] *

Problems and Possibilities of Electronic Theses and Dissertations

by Christian Weisser, John Baker, and Janice R. Walker


Many universities and libraries throughout the world are now making digitized versions of traditional (print) dissertations available online. Some of these institutions have even gone so far as to completely eliminate printed copies. We propose to discuss what is being done now with electronic theses and dissertations as well as demonstrate the problems and opportunites of authoring theses and dissertations in non-text formats, e.g., hypertext, synchronous and non-synchronous formats, multimedia, etc. As we prepare our students for scholarship in the twenty-first century, it is imperative that we consider how to manage these important new forms of writing.

Table of Contents

^ Why ETDs?
^ Universities Online
^ Students Online
^ How Does It Work?
^ Problems and Opportunities
^ Conclusion
^ Annotated Bibliography

Christian Weisser ( completed his M.A. in American Literature at Old Dominion University, where he was Coordinator of the Writing Center, and is currently working on his PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of South Florida, where he teaches courses in Professional Writing, Expository writing (computer assisted), Advanced Composition (computer assisted), and American Literature. He has written several articles (under review) dealing with computers and composition.

John Baker ( is a former journalist now completing his doctoral course work in Rhetoric & Composition at the University of South Florida. He teaches writing classes at USF and Polk Community College, and recently published "Developing Technical (Re)Writing Assessment," Exercise Exchange, 41.2 (1996): 24-25. Formerly, he edited The Water Skier magazine and has published work in magazines such as National Wildlife, Skin Diver, and Ebony

Janice R. Walker ( is author of the "Walker/ACW Style Sheet for Citation of Electronic Sources" and Coordinator of the Computers and Writing program at the University of South Florida. She has published several articles dealing with Copyright, Citation styles, and other issues involved in the field of Computers and Writing. Her book (co-authored with Todd Taylor), The Columbia Guide to Online Style, is under contract to Columbia University Press.

Copyright © 1997 by Christian Weisser, John Baker, and Janice R. Walker. All Rights Reserved.

Contents Archive Sponsors Studies Contact