The provision of theses and dissertations
in electronic format has significant advantages for students,
university faculty and staff, and institutions as a whole.
Benefits for students:
• A student is likely to improve his/her I.T. skills in
the process of creating an ETD.
• The process of producing an ETD for publication on the
web will require students to learn about copyright and IPR issues
that will be of benefit to them in their future careers.
• The opportunity to create a born digital thesis allows
a student to express his/her research results in creative and
• The production of an ETD is a cost effective alternative
to printing and binding a large number of paper copies.
• Students’ theses are likely to be read more widely
if they are easily accessible via the Web.
Benefits for academic staff/faculty:
• Researchers can undertake full content searches of ETDs
on the Web, without having to judge from an abstract whether
it is worth requesting a copy of the full text of a hard-copy
thesis on inter-library loan.
• Researchers are able to access ETDs on the Web as soon
as they are required.
• ETDs can be obtained from remote locations at any time.
• A researcher can obtain access to an ETD regardless of the number of other academics using the same material at the same time.
• Researchers can use the possibilities offered by ETDs
to motivate students and encourage them to think of the diverse
ways in which their research results can be expressed.
Benefits for institutions:
• Access to the research output of staff and students is
improved through the medium of ETDs. An increase in the level
of use of such high level material is of benefit to the institution
in terms of promoting its research profile.
Benefits for libraries:
• Shelf and storage space is saved.
• Staff time is saved when there is no longer any need to
retrieve and re-shelve paper theses.
• The number of inter-library loan requests received is
likely to be reduced.
• Electronic access to the content of theses reduces the
need for library staff to photocopy pages of text in order to
satisfy requests from external users.
• The collection of usage statistics is easier.
• An improvement to the service is likely to lead to an
improved level of customer satisfaction.