Digital Dissertations

Public Group active 2 months, 1 week ago

Did you make a website to accompany your dissertation?

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  • #16769

    Hello from the new(ish) Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication, and apologies to those who already saw this message on the Internet Research Team forum!

    I’m writing because the library is in the process of obtaining a subscription to Archive-It, a web archiving service offered by the Internet Archive ( We’re doing this primarily because we want to preserve and continue to make available websites that graduate students have created to accompany (or illustrate or comment on or in any way enrich) their dissertations or theses. (And sometime soon, I’m sure there will be websites that are the primary component, where the written dissertation/thesis is secondary to the web presence.)

    We recognize that website components of dissertations/theses are important scholarly contributions, and we want to make sure that they are preserved as well. The archived version in Archive-It will serve as a snapshot of your site as it was when you earned your degree. After you graduate, you might continue to update your research website, or you might let the domain name expire. But the version in Archive-It will persist as it was, giving other researchers a fuller sense of your dissertation/thesis research.

    We’re in the process of changing deposit procedures to make sure we find out about websites we should archive. But that doesn’t help us learn about websites that were created for degrees already earned. Please help us identify dissertation/thesis websites to archive! Are you a recent grad who had a website in addition to your dissertation/thesis document? Do you know about a website made by someone else who graduated? Are you going to graduate soon, and you’d like your site to be on our radar? Let us know!

    Please contact me ( or Stephen Klein ( to let us know about websites we should archive or if you have any questions.


    Steve Brier

    I applaud the library’s initiative, Jill, and thank you and your library colleagues for the forceful way you’ve put the issue of the digital dissertation front and center. I hope this will help us launch a major conversation inside the GC about this important opportunity to broaden and make public the academic work that our students are producing. When we finally get Archive-It I would suggest we do major presentations for the community by reaching out to various representative groups (e.g., Council of EOs; DSC; Grad Council, EO cluster meetings, etc.).


    Thanks, Steve! We’ll work to get it on everyone’s radar!

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