At PhD2Published I have been blogging about whether or not I should make my PhD thesis available online. Its a question that occured to me late last year when I was thinking about the impact and dissemination of my research for the New Ideas Festival, a public engagement event I helped to organise in Lancaster. I am keen to make my research more widely available and accessible and I hate the idea of my thesis sat on a library shelf, gathering dust. I spent 3 and a half enjoyable yet difficult years on the thing and I also feel I owe it to those that got involved to make it really count. Of course, I intend to publish from my thesis (I have two journal articles in review at the moment and I plan to propose a monograph soon too!) but I am also increasingly using social media as a tool for networking and dissemination. A frequent question I see on Twitter in particular is how to use social media as a researcher, and disseminating findings is one such use for it. For Will Deyamport III it is a no-brainer: dissertations should be made available online (here’s why).
The more I have thought about this however, the more questions it has raised; questions that I know I am not alone in asking. One route is too make it available electronically through my university depository. It has now become an essential part of the submission process for those who submit post October 2011 at Lancaster University. I missed out on this but now have the choice to make mine available that way too. I have also considered making my thesis available on this blog site but things concern me about that, things that I explore in my blog series (see Part’s 1 and 2 here. More to follow at PhD2Published including publishing a monograph and using EThOS…).
I consider it important to explore all of the issues and opportunities in relation to making my thesis online and these are just a few. Please do comment and add any concerns you feel I have missed so far and take a look at PhD2Published and my blog series if this is an issue that interests you as well.