ERIC Number: EJ790381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-28
Reference Count: N/A
U. of Iowa Writing Students Quash Planned Open Access
Foster, Andrea L.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n29 pA15 Mar 2008
The University of Iowa has reversed course on a plan to make some students' theses freely available online, following protests from students in the university's writing programs. The students said the plan could have threatened the potential commercial value of their novels, plays, and other creative works. The controversy began in late winter, when graduating students in the writing programs noticed new language in a form required for all students depositing their theses with the Graduate College. The document informed students that the University of Iowa Library would scan the hard-copy theses as part of the degree requirement and then "make them open-access documents," which the form defined as freely available over the Internet and retrievable "via search engines such as Google." The form has since been removed from the Web, and it has been revised to remove the open-access language. After meeting with students, professors, and librarians, the university provost said a consensus emerged that the thesis-deposit form for students in graduate writing programs will include a statement saying that the theses cannot be scanned or distributed without the authors' consent. Students are also being advised to attach pages to their theses that reaffirm their copyrights to their works. Students and professors in the writing program said they were pleased by the provost's quick response. Unlike graduate students in sciences who frequently prefer to have their theses and dissertations widely disseminated online because it can lead to more citations of their research, other colleges are also facing opposition from creative-writing students over open-access publishing of theses.
Descriptors: Graduate Students, Copyrights, Degree Requirements, Writing (Composition), Access to Information, Information Policy, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa