Open Access Dissertations in University Repositories:
The Shift to NoQuest or Proquest-optional Policies among American Institutions
An increasing proportion of American universities now require submission of doctoral dissertations to open access repositories, eschewing outdated policies that required microfilming and resale by the third party, commercial distributor UMI/ProQuest (Clement 2013). This significant movement away from mandatory paywalls for American graduate scholarship highlights that the obsolete practice of dissertation microfilming and reselling -- established in the pre-digital era of the the early-mid 1900's -- is no longer the "best" technology for effectively copying, preserving, and widely disseminating academic manuscripts. Moreover, housing electronic theses and dissertations in scholarly repositories affords more flexible and responsive curataion of multimedia, executable, and dynamic research outputs not optimally containerized in a PDF file with static supplements. Distribution via open access networks exposes the graduate students' works to broad audiences without the barriers of commercial paywalls, corporate copyright warnings, and outdated, one-size-fits-all file management and metadata options designed for bound paper volumes.
The ubiquity of academic scholarship on the Internet and the ready availability of rich online digital media provide superior methods to broadly disseminate and responsibly preserve dissertations. Management and discovery of dissertations via Open Access repositories, combined with unfettered global distribution via scholarly sharing networks offer much greater exposure, access to, and the potential for reuse of electronic theses and dissertations. Institution decision makers interested in reviewing the many benefits of open ETDs in Open Access repositories may find the associated reading list of interest.
These American universities preferring ETD access from open access repositories are all heavy-hitters in terms of research, with institutional status noted in terms of Carnegie Classification; top ranking in graduate program size (according to NSF's Science and Engineering Doctorates Report 2014) and membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology : Abstract only goes to PQ
University of Houston All schools with exception of Business and Liberal Arts & Sciences do not require PQ