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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

University Libraries host seminar on dissertations and theses

Evans+Library
Photo by Photo by Angelina Alcantar
Evans Library

Geared toward preparation for potential researchers, Texas A&M University Libraries is opening its upcoming seminar, The Information Landscape of Dissertations and Theses, to anyone who wishes to attend.
Each week from Wednesday, Sept. 30 to Monday, Nov. 9, Texas A&M University Libraries is hosting a seminar in its copyright workshop series that starts with an introduction to copyright, transitions to information about dissertations and theses and concludes with different types of publishing models. The second event — The Information Landscape of Dissertations and Theses — will take place online on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.
Kathy Anders, a graduate studies librarian and seminar host, said this series is applicable to all advanced researchers, ranging from undergraduate to postdoctoral, or even faculty members who would like to learn more.
“These workshops are a part of the G.R.A.D. Aggies program,” Anders said. “This is the professional development program that graduate and professional students can participate in. You can take these workshops for credit, [but] anyone is welcomed to attend them.”
This week, University Libraries director of learning and outreach Stephanie Graves said the seminar will focus on dissertations and theses, which are written documents that help describe a student’s original research project.
“A thesis is required for a master’s degree, [and] a dissertation is required for doctoral students,” Graves said. “Graduate students often have questions about how their dissertation or thesis will be published. This workshop gives students the opportunity [to] learn more about the history of thesis and dissertation publishing [and] their options as an author.”
Digital Scholarship Librarian Sarah Potvin said students must reserve a spot in advance to participate in a seminar, which is limited to 50 seats, and she encourages people to attend if they would like to conduct research in the future.
“Theses and dissertations represent the culmination of work completed in pursuit of a graduate degree,” Potvin said. “It’s important for students to have the background they need to make informed choices about their scholarly work.”
During the seminar, Anders said she will go over how electronic theses and dissertations have evolved to the current practices at A&M as well as emphasize what options students have when it comes to releasing their research.
“It’s about thinking about the life of that document once you’re done with it,” Anders said. “I think there are a fair number of students who don’t know that it’ll be made publicly available. They’re findable by anyone who wants to find them on the open web in the case of our repository.”
By the end of the seminar, Anders said she hopes students will be able to better anticipate the process and make informed decisions about the work they are creating as authors.
“When you’re finishing a dissertation or thesis, oftentimes, you have a lot of decisions that you’re trying to make and requirements that you’re trying to meet in a short amount of time. Understanding what that process will look like beforehand… I’m hoping, will reduce stress,” Anders said. “I [also] think it’s important to know what you’re going to do with your works as an author [because] as a researcher, you’ve created a work of importance and value.”

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