Title

Impact of Publishers’ Policy on Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Distribution Options within the United States

Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date

2010

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if large circulation journal publishers were rejecting articles submitted for publication because the submitted articles were derived from Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs). In this study, 403 universities were found to file ETDs in university repositories or in the ProQuest/UMI commercial repository. ETD university personnel were surveyed online and asked to report the number of graduate student alumni who reported publisher rejections for articles submitted for publication, because the articles were derived or taken directly from ETDs. In addition, other data were collected from ETD university personnel regarding ETD program policies and practices to determine if these policies and practices influenced the number of publisher rejections.

The results of this study show that two ETD universities reported three publisher rejections for articles that were submitted for publication because the articles were derived from ETDs. Since a small number of ETD universities personnel reported publisher rejections (1.8% = 2 universities/109 responses), ETD university policies and practices were examined to determine if they were assisting students in avoiding publisher rejections.

Several ETD program policies and practices are aiding students in avoiding publisher rejections. The ETD university distribution options and publication delays offering were flexible enough to allow students to publish from their theses and dissertations even when the students selected the wrong distribution option at the time of graduation. ETD universities within the United States appear to be doing exceptional job at assisting students in publishing articles and books that have been derived from ETDs.

Current ETD programs can move forward with confidence that they have found ways to assist students in avoiding publisher rejections through the types of distribution options offered, publication delays, and through the flexibility in changing distribution options for graduate student alumni when they have difficulties publishing from their ETDs. They can also feel more at ease that publishers appear to be considering ETDs pre-prints in many cases. Yet, ETD universities should remain aware that many publishers are resistant to allowing students to place previously published articles inside their ETDs.