Collaborative Librarianship, Vol 2, No 1 (2010)

Evolving in Collaboration: Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Workflows in North Carolina

Mary G. Early, Anne Marie Taber


Thirty-seven colleges and universities in North Carolina offer advanced degrees, and most require a thesis or dissertation. The websites of thirteen (35%) indicate they accept or require electronic submission of dissertations and/or theses (ETD). How do these institutions handle the interdepartmental communication and collaboration needs of ETD programs? To begin answering this question, this study examines current practices among ETD administrators in North Carolina and in current national literature, paying special attention to communication, collaboration, workflows, and divisions of labor. The literature review surveys current (since 2003) library and higher education articles on topics related to collaboration, workflows, and divisions of labor in ETD programs. Then the authors use a brief web survey (sixteen questions) that was emailed to twenty-three individuals identified on institutional websites as being involved in the ETD program. Fifty percent of recipients completed the survey, and the results tend to support common themes found in the literature: ETD depositories require a great variety of skill sets and thus will involve multiple departments; libraries and graduate schools are primary players, but not exclusively, in ETD workflows; and communication and collaboration between departments are important from start to finish.

Full Text: PDF