A French-German Survey of Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Access and Restrictions
"As a French-German research team we conducted a survey with a sample of academic libraries and graduate schools in France and Germany to determine the current situation and trends in the publishing of electronic PhD theses and dissertations (ETDs) under Open Access (OA). The percentage of OA theses varies depending on the country, the research field, and the institution. Not all ETDs are available in OA for a variety of reasons, including confidentiality, embargoes, author-imposed restrictions, and a lack of encouragement and/or requirement by libraries and graduate schools. The survey reveals qualitative and structural differences between France and Germany in this area. Here we discuss the survey findings, the methodologies used in the survey, and the various policies (or lack thereof) and their impact on ETDs and OA. A strategy is outlined for moving towards ensuring that publishing ETDs under OA becomes routine, and an electronic version becomes the only manifestation of a thesis."
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