Highly Available Dissertations: Open Sourcing Humanities Scholarship
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The moment an early career scholar decides how to deposit a dissertation often comes during a fraught period of transition. For those who have options, they must weigh the often unquantifiable benefits of open access against the fear of not being able to turn their dissertation into a viable book for publication to earn tenure. Much of this anxiety stems from concerns about university press policies and copyright with respect to digital publication. Currently, there is not much data around open access dissertations being published by presses. Additionally, scholars without a publication track record may not be mentally prepared for an additional level of scrutiny from the public after rounds of reviews with their committee. Though dissertations are vetted by important stakeholders in the field, they are often not structurally overhauled by professional editors and polished by copyeditors beyond the writer’s own departmental resources. This lack of a final quality assurance process during an already stressful time can cause the dissertator to err on the side of caution and embargo their dissertation for several years if they have the option.1
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Humanities. Music and Theater Arts Section
forthcoming in The Digital Dissertation: History, Theory, Practice
Tagliaferri, Lisa. "Highly Available Dissertations: Open Sourcing Humanities Scholarship." Forthcoming in The Digital Dissertation: History, Theory, Practice, edited by Virginia Kuhn, Anke Finger, and Kathie Gossett, 2019.
Author's final manuscript