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Electronic Theses at HNU: Home

Frequently asked questions and links to more information about electronic theses.

Additional Resources

Example Repositories

Many colleges and universities nationally and internationally have launched electronic theses and dissertation repositories.  Below are a few examples of repositories of Education theses and dissertations.

Electronic Theses Pilot Overview

In cooperation with the Education Department, the Library has launched HNU's first-ever electronic thesis repository:

Our pilot project includes two theses, but we anticipate expanding to additional students and departments in the future, and to broaden the type of content beyond theses. 

The campus webmaster is working with IT to give HNU Digital Collections a more user-friendly web address.

Below are some common questions regarding Electronic Theses and Dissertation (ETD) initiatives and links to additional resources.

Electronic Theses: Frequently Asked Questions

What are electronic theses and dissertations?

Traditionally theses and dissertations are submitted to libraries and academic departments as bound paper manuscripts.  With the advent of new technology, and efforts to ensure greater access to scholarly material, many colleges and universities have instituted initiatives to collect and store electronic copies of theses and dissertations.  For a more detailed summary, please visit:


What are repositories?

Electronic theses and dissertations are often housed in software (called a repository) that allows the document to be accessed in full text on-line.  Electronic theses and dissertations are frequently submitted in PDF format, but can include audio, video, and data file formats.  The submission of the electronic theses to be placed in a repository is called a "deposit."  Examples of repositories from other institutions are linked in the box to the left.


Am I required to participate?

No.  This is not a mandatory program.  In the pilot phase department and student participation is completely voluntary.


How is an electronic thesis different from a print thesis?

An electronic thesis is essentially no different from a print thesis, however the digital format allows for displays of information not possible in print.  During the HNU pilot, digital copies (in PDF format) of final print theses will be deposited.


What are the benefits of participating in an ETD initiative?

There are many benefits of participating in an ETD initiative, including:

·      Electronically available theses are easier to access. In addition to having easy access to your own work, other students or prospective students, researchers, and potential employers can easily access your thesis. 

·      Because electronic theses are easier to find and access, research is more likely to be found by others, facilitating the research process for others and giving greater visibility to your research. 

·      The greater accessibility of electronic theses can make it harder to plagiarize work.  Plagiarism of openly accessible work is easier to detect than plagiarism of print theses.

·      By participating in an ETD initiative, you are participating in a movement that seeks to make information and knowledge more freely available to all people. 


How will readers find and access electronic theses?

As part of the pilot project, HNU librarians are developing the theses repository.  The repository will allow readers to access electronic theses through a website.  Most repository sites are linked to the academic library website of the school.  Theses are typically stored as down-loadable PDF.  Readers will download a PDF of the full text. 


Can I restrict access to my electronic thesis?

For the pilot project we will deposit only those theses that can be openly accessible (i.e. available for anyone to view). 


What if I want to publish my thesis?

An area of concern for some theses authors is “prior publication” requirements of journals or publishers.  These requirements (that vary by publisher) may limit the ability to publish work that has already appeared elsewhere.  There are differing viewpoints on this topic, and debate regarding whether or not participation in ETD initiatives constitutes prior publication.  For an excellent detailed summary of publication considerations, please visit: .


If I am selected to participate in the electronic theses pilot will I still need to submit bound print copies of my thesis?

Yes.  For the time being, participants in the ETD pilot will continue to submit bound print copies of their thesis.  Currently students in departments that require a thesis submit one copy to the HNU library and one copy to their department (if required). 


What do I need to do if I am selected to participate?

If you are selected to participate in the pilot project, an HNU librarian will meet with you to discuss the next steps and any requirements that need to be finalized before your thesis is deposited into the repository. 

Questions about the ETD Initiative?

For questions, comments or additional information about the electronic theses initiative at HNU contact Nicole Branch, Librarian for Research and Digitization.


Phone:  510.436.1060