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Theses Canada

For Students


Why Library and Archives Canada Wants Canadian Theses

Library and Archives Canada's (LAC) mission is to build a world-class national resource enabling Canadians to know their country and themselves through their documentary heritage and to provide a an effective gateway to national and international sources of information. LAC considers graduate theses important sources of original research and would like to add them to the national theses collection and to preserve them for future generations of Canadians. LAC makes theses and dissertations visible and accessible by creating bibliographic records available through the Theses Canada Portal. If LAC acquires electronic versions of theses, the URLs in the bibliographic records provide direct access to the theses.

Student participation in the Theses Canada program is voluntary. Universities have different policies and graduate students are advised to check with their graduate schools regarding policies on submission of theses to LAC.

Benefits of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs)

The most significant benefit is the dramatic increase (50 - 250%) in citation impact that results from electronic publishing. This leads to increased rewards from universities, in the form of promotion and increased salary, and from granting agencies.

Other benefits to authors include:

  • free publicity for research - authors of electronic theses become more widely known and their reputations are enhanced
  • easy worldwide access to theses for colleagues and collaborators
  • easy worldwide access to theses for job and grant applications
  • a raised profile for their research institutions
  • reduced costs at the point of graduation as there is no need to have multiple copies printed.

Future Commercial Publication

The text in this section is taken, with permission, from the NDLTD website
[www.ndltd.org/resources/statement-about-
web-publication
].

Some graduate students in both the humanities and sciences are concerned that making their electronic theses and dissertations widely accessible will limit their ability to commercially publish journal articles or books from the ETD content. Related publications almost always are radically different from the theses and dissertations that include them.

There are a number of ways that students can determine the publication policies of various academic journals. An excellent source of information is the SHERPA/RoMEO Database [www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php]. which includes detailed policies of a vast number of academic publishers.

Another way to determine the publication policies of various journals is to check the Web site of the respective journal or to contact the editor or publisher or the association for a specific discipline, such as the American Institute of Physics, and ask for its policy on prior publication of electronic theses.

In certain disciplines in the humanities it is often a requirement for young academics to publish monographs in order to get tenure at their institutions. Often they turn to their dissertations as a means to accomplish this. It is important that they understand that no academic press will publish a dissertation without considerable revision. The reason for this is one of simple economics. As Beth Luey points out in her excellent book, Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors, updated edition (Berkeley & Los Ange-les: University of California Press, 2008).

"The purpose of the dissertation is to learn ... how to define an original topic, ask interesting questions, apply the relevant research skills and methodologies, tap the relevant resources, draw conclusions, and write about what you have learned. A student's first large independent project has to be fairly narrow ... Although writing in a narrow topic makes perfect sense when the goal is to complete a dissertation, publishing such work raises enormous problems ... A book that appeals to a thousand readers is a better investment than one that will appeal to a hundred. It is more likely to influence a field of knowledge and advance work in that field".

A specific way to address concerns about making dissertations widely accessible is to contact academic publishers that would be likely to publish a monograph to determine exactly what the publishers' policies are and what is required to turn a dissertation into a monograph.

Royalties

Theses authors can collect royalties of 10% from ProQuest on sales of their theses if they include their permanent address information on the Theses Non-Exclusive License (note that providing address information is only necessary if authors want to receive royalties). Royalties will be paid when accrued earned royalties reach $25.00.