November 1997

Root Page of Article: Problems and Possibilities of Electronic Theses and Dissertations, by Christian Weisser, John Baker, and Janice R. Walker

Students Online

Many students are already publishing their theses and dissertations online. Some have done this on their own, with little or no institutional support, and many of them have also had to produce traditional print documents for traditional publication. However, others have been lucky enough (or convincing enough) to have committees that allowed them to "play" with new formats; for the most part, however, graduate schools have still required some form of print publication.

Following Virginia Tech's lead, this may soon change, as universities begin requiring publication of theses and dissertations in digital format--and cease print publication entirely. In turn, this can lead us to new forms entirely--multimedia, virtual reality, native hypertext--and more. We have here a sampling of online theses and dissertations that are already available on the WWW in HTML (HyperText Markup Language) at various institutions.

  • "Barbarians on the Greek Periphery? Origins of Celtic Art."

    Dissertation Proposal of Constanze Witt, University of Virginia. This is an aesthetically-pleasing site that incorporates digitized photographs of artwork from antiquity and Netscape links, along with text detailing the proposal itself. The purpose of the proposed study is to "examine the material evidence for the great stylistic change that took place in fifth century Celtic art, the highly complex and distinctive cultures that produced it, and their relationships with the Mediterranean." This site is a good example of the potential that electronic publishing offers to scholars--the ability to offer images, text, and links to other texts in a way simply not possible using the traditional print medium.

  • Lucas, Gerald. (1996). Healthy Blasphemy in Rushdie and Bulgakov. Master's thesis.

    Master's thesis completed at the University of South Florida, December, 1996 by Gerald Lucas. Explores the role of the artist in works by Salman Rushdie and Mikhail Bugakov. Done originally in traditional print based form, this thesis is currently under construction as a hypertextual, interactive document which will eventually include responses and links to related works.

  • Morton, Deborah Balzhiser. (1994). Orientations, Hypertext, and Multiplicity: ISU's Language and Composition II Web. (Vers. 1.1).

    Illinois State University's Orientations, Hypertext, and Multiplicity actually consists of two texts. The first, Orientations, Hypertext, and Multiplicity: ISU's Language & Composition II Web, is a hypertext that serves as a web of information for instructors and teaching assistants in ISU's Writing Program. Pragmatically, the scope of the project is to aid in the orientation of instructors to Language & Composition II and the Macintosh-assisted classrooms in the Department of English and to function as a course-specific resource of ideas and suggestions throughout the academic year. To supplement the orientation of Language & Composition II, a second composition course focusing on academic discourse, the hypertext includes governing statements for ISU's Writing Program and information such as course goals, sample syllabi, assignments, student work, and models for conceiving the course.

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