UF dissertations from 1934 to 2006 being digitized for open access » News » University of Florida
"The Digital Services Department of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida is building a digital collection of about 12,000 dissertations written by doctoral graduates from 1934 to 2006. The initiative will be completed through the university’s Retrospective Dissertation Scanning Program. In 2007, the university started to require doctoral degree candidates to submit dissertations in a digital format, while dissertations from earlier years are primarily available in print or microfilm. Project leader Christy Shorey said there are several benefits to the digitization program. 'Currently, when students graduate, their theses and dissertations are now released electronically,' she said. 'By digitizing the ones that have been released in print in the past, it gives them the same worldwide access.' According to Shorey, the project started in 2008, and about 4,900 dissertations have been digitized so far. She said she hopes to see the project completed in the next two years. According to a release, the project will make a more comprehensive set of dissertations available online. Authors and copyright holders of UF dissertations from the 72-year span are being reached with e-mails, letters and postcards to let them know about the digitization effort. The service is free to authors and copyright holders. Dissertations are commonly used as the basis for research and are popular requests from other libraries and their patrons. The digitization process preserves otherwise fragile paper copies. Dissertations by authors who cannot be located through a search process will be digitized and remain available electronically unless the author or copyright holder chooses to 'opt out' of public access to the work. The dissertations are available electronically in the Institutional Repository at UF at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ufetd."