Day One Recap

We began the day with a welcome from Dr. Gift, vice provost for Libraries and IT Services & Chief Information Officer at MSU. Dr. Gift spoke briefly about the importance of the archiving and preservation of digital scholarship, especially born-digital dissertations.

After Dr. Gift’s talk we started with an overview of the project that included a review of Virginia Kuhn’s troubles depositing her digital dissertation at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. (For links to an interview with Virginia see http://storify.com/leeannghajar/born-digital-dissertations.) Kathie also talked about the results of the research she and Carrie Lamanna conducted into the status of digital dissertations in the field of English studie. One of the most surprising findings in that study was that when we asked participants “Which entities beyond the dissertation committee determine the shape of dissertations at your institution?” 17% of the respondents indicated that Proquest helped determine the shape of their dissertations because of university requirements that dissertations be deposited with in the Proquest Thesis and Dissertation Database.

We then brainstormed to identify systems currently being used to store digital dissertations and digital scholarship and used that list to conduct a landscape analysis. (See the Landscape Analysis post for the list of software/services we investigated.) Then, working in small groups we began to gather a list of requirements for the digital dissertation repository in four categories: components, characteristics, challenges, & characters.

We wrapped up the day focusing on identifying potential users of the system and building a robust list of characteristics for each user type in preparation for persona building and use case development on day 2.

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One comment on “Day One Recap
  1. This is such a great endeavor and I am both surprised and not surprised to see ProQuest identified as an extra-academic entity that shapes dissertations. I have an article about my dissertation coming out in Academe (Jan/Feb); Aaron Barlow is the new editor, and one of the things we’ve been talking about is faculty governance and the concomitant responsibilities that faculty have which don’t include surrendering their authority on such matters. For my part, my committee, once convinced that my dissertation HAD to be digital, was furious that ProQuest could exert any influence on the matter (as one of my committee members said “We’re awarding the doctorate, not them!!” I hope your second day (was today, yes?) was productive!!

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