Sharing Dissertations Beyond the PDF in IUScholarWorks

This blog already provides a summary of the benefits of making your dissertation available in IUScholarWorks as well as details on how to submit your dissertation to the repository. But what if your dissertation is more than a PDF file? What if it includes video, dynamic web content, or other interactive media? IUScholarWorks can still serve as a space for making your work available for anyone around the world to read, regardless of their affiliation. 

We generally call non-traditional, born-digital dissertations “digital dissertations.” Digital dissertations could be as simple as including an extra video or data file alongside a more traditional piece of scholarship or as complex as having a dissertation completely hosted on a dynamic web platform with accompanying text files. Digital dissertations are becoming more widespread as digital scholarship and digital humanities continue to gain momentum. Here are just a few examples and excerpts of what we’re calling digital dissertations: 

Digital dissertations might include capturing performances, integrating images and audio records, modeling concepts with 3D figures, sharing the underlying data behind the research reported in the dissertation, and building new web content that allows the author to organize information in a non-linear structure. 

It’s important to note that while IUScholarWorks is able to host several different types of content and file formats (PDFs, Word documents, text documents, Open Office, slide decks, image formats) and we have creative workarounds for capturing the content in digital dissertations, there are some limitations. Sometimes, particularly with dissertations that are built as websites, the navigation of content is just as important as the content itself and is considered part of the dissertation. While we will be unable to perfectly preserve the navigation and look/feel of a particular website, we can host a majority of the content through alternative methods. We can also capture the “pieces” of most sites, including videos (through Media Collections Online), data, and 3D objects. 

Interested in sharing your digital dissertation? 

 

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