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Evaluating the process and impact of active dissemination of an e-thesis: a new authorial model Dr Colin Macduff and Colin MacLean ETD 11 th International.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating the process and impact of active dissemination of an e-thesis: a new authorial model Dr Colin Macduff and Colin MacLean ETD 11 th International."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating the process and impact of active dissemination of an e-thesis: a new authorial model Dr Colin Macduff and Colin MacLean ETD 11 th International Symposium Spreading the Light RGU June 2008

2 Overview of presentation Traditional PhD dissemination: forms and norms My ETD case study reported via a four stage model Strengths and weaknesses Intrinsic and instrumental lessons Final thoughts and personal reflections

3 The traditional PhD: forms and norms Accessing a traditional thesis Disseminating your thesis PhD – RIP ******************** An alternative scenario

4 Stage 1: Conceptualisation/re- conceptualisation PhD Viva in May 2007 Thesis traditional in structure, content and format Thoughts of a book, but lack of time Opportunity to directly inform national policy, but surely PhD a blunt instrument? The ETD moment! 3 month preparation process helped greatly by team in library (Dr Susan Copeland; Colin McLean; Sheila Scott) OpenAIR IR to house thesis and related output (Annexes and published papers) Ongoing integral evaluation designed

5 Evaluation objectives compare pre and post perceptions of product content, quality and market utility identify and appraise the key process elements involved in preparing a recently completed thesis for an IR articulate and undertake an integrated publicity strategy that would support the dissemination of the thesis collate and analyse data that would indicate the nature and extent of engagement achieved through this dissemination activity identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of the above processes, with reference to relevant evaluative literature

6 Evaluation methodology Design informed by: Robert Stake (1995) – case studies with intrinsic and instrumental value Kolb (1984) – experiential learning – planning, acting, reflecting and concluding

7 Evaluation methods Ongoing documenting of experience, collation of relevant documentation (e.g. s, notes of meetings) Collation of data on website hits, website questionnaire and e mail feedback Reflection and ongoing comparison with relevant evaluative literature about ETDs

8 Stage 2: Preparation Permissions Copyright Errata Framing, my idea to bring reader in through own web pages with quick guide to thesis Proactive, assertive dissemination strategy planned, with in-built evaluation research project Gradual awareness of novelty value in field of nursing: e theses but no evaluation

9 Stage 3: Dissemination September 2007 launch individual e mails to policy, education, practice and research contacts Invitation to access and snowball Distribution via professional/disciplinary e- mailing lists (e bulletins) known to be received by total of at least 7,000 people Internal publicity via RGU News Professional and academic journal articles prepared

10 Stage 4: Evaluation (6 months post launch) Own web page: new hits Thesis views/downloads: 700+ times Methodological annexes views: times Hits on integral feedback form: 300 Actual feedback forms completed: 11 (mostly UK academics but one student and one practitioner) Personal feedback via e mail: 70 (majority educationalists and researchers, but a few managers and practitioners) Content of feedback highly affirmatory of process of access and product itself Not all hits and feedback by me and family!

11 Related output by self and library team 2 conference papers (Royal College of Nursing International Research Conference April 2008 and Spreading the Light 2008) 1 popular journal paper on how to publish your thesis on-line (Nursing Standard 2008) 1 academic journal guest editorial imminent (The PhD thesis as a virtual guest house; Journal of Clinical Nursing 2008) 1 further academic journal paper in preparation Accessibility of thesis content (new model and methods) useful in securing two very recent research grants (£150,000)

12 Strengths and weaknesses/questions StrengthsWeaknesses/questions Thought through and integrated Could have collated who was accessing it and where from Clear evidence of engagement Has it made any impact on policy or practice? Ostensibly original within nursing Will it be cited and will people seek permission to use any material?

13 Intrinsic and instrumental lessons Particular/peculiarMore general Fortuitous conjunction of thesis conclusion and policy development Searching ETD databases should be standard practice now Confidence of mature student with much research experience Key process elements identified may be relevant to all ETD preparation Motivation to actively disseminate The 4 stage model may be relevant to all ETDs

14 Final thoughts on ETDs and their dissemination The conceptualisation/re-conceptualisation stage seems the most important: who are you writing for? imagined audience when thesis becomes a publication? Thesis as a living electronic entity: scope for innovative form and content Sheer power of the internet as a medium to foster access and potential deeper engagement A growing e academy of theses enables learning: exemplar theses

15 Personal impact and reflections A fascinating learning journey in one year The seemingly involuntary development of metaphors to make sense of the ETD journey Gratitude to the pioneers of the ETD movement who have helped my work to take to the air Gratitude for the Innovative Learning through ETD Award from NDLTD and Adobe Systems ETD = Enrichment Through Dissemination!

16 References My thesis link: ?pge= ?pge=27219 Macduff, C (2008) Think out loud: how to get your dissertation or thesis published online. Nursing Standard 22 (21) Macduff, C (2008) The PhD thesis as a virtual guest house (guest editorial in press) Journal of Clinical Nursing

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