Making my Dissertation Available Online

Greetings From the 20th Century

Greetings From the 20th Century

As I’ve written in my instructional technology blog, I’m going to publish my old dissertation (completed in 1998) on Scribd. I am influenced by an article about doing that in The Chronicle of Higher Education which appeals to my sense of sharing my work, but more than that, since I did not attempt to turn it into a book, I think it deserves a readership. I put a lot of work into it and hope that someone finds it of some value.

At first I was looking everywhere for the single file, until I realized that in the 1990s it was unlikely that I ever had a single file of it. Yes, I used a computer to write it, and it’s possible that chapters found their way onto old floppy disks, but each chapter was submitted in multiple print copies to my dissertation committee, not as a single printout of the whole thing. I think the whole thing only exists in the UMI copies I have of the finished work.

So, I am in the process of finally combining the chapters into a single copy, with all the end notes working correctly. Things I am going to do:

  • I am going to put it in a more readable font than the old-fashioned Courier of the originals
  • I am going to fix the table of contents so that the titles match the final titles of the articles. Don’t ask how that mess slipped by everyone on my committee.
  • I am going to put chapter titles on separate pages as they are in the original MS
  • Even though I applied for and have the copyright certificate from the Library of Congress, I’m going to give it a Creative Commons Attribution license

Things I am not going to do:

  • I am not going to fix the old formatting of having typed two spaces after each period, so expect to see a few holes in the text
  • I am not going to re-read and proofread for errors or make corrections–even if I see some

I think if there had been blogs when I was in grad school, my work would already be out there. I’m just playing catch-up.