Hopkins Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Initiative

Last week I sat down in the Brody Learning Commons with David Reynolds, Manager of Scholarly Digital Initiatives, who’s promoting the upcoming changes regarding Hopkins new paperless Thesis and Dissertation initiative. David says “We’re calling this the ETD program—ETD stands for electronic theses and dissertations”. As the time draws near David’s been working like a demon to ensure everyone’s aware of these new changes. Aside from the eco-friendly aspects of going paperless, some may ask --- “why is Hopkins doing this?”

Here are a couple answers:

·      It’s easier on the student--no more printing hassles

·      wider dissemination--your dissertation will be available to the world soon after you graduate

I don’t know about you, but if it was MY Dissertation, I’d love the world knowing about it ASAP. That’s not just crazy talk, if the world had access to my work, why wouldn’t I hasten the process. Next, you may ask, “who’s affected by this?”

Here are several more answers:

·      All PhD students 

·      Masters students with a required thesis

·      Other graduate degrees: (best to consult with your graduate office)

That’s a pretty fair amount of students. However, there’s no need to panic because David has the essential information spelled out nice and pretty. So if you’re worrying about what you have to do, fear not! Take a moment and feast on these details:

·      Instead of bringing paper copies of the thesis or dissertation to the library, you will submit a PDF via a special JHU ETD web portal. You will login to the portal using your JHED ID, enter some contact information about yourself, enter some information about the dissertation (title, keywords, abstract, etc.), and upload the PDF. The library will do some brief format checking. We will then approve the submission or email you about necessary changes. The ETD will not be visible to the public at this point

·      At the end of each semester, the library will make the ETD available to researchers around the world via a digital repository.  Your research can make an immediate impact in your field. In rare cases, you may need to delay public access to your dissertation because of patent concerns or a pending publication derived from your dissertation. In such circumstances, you will be allowed to embargo your dissertation for a period of up to four years. In most cases the embargo will be short, if at all. Extensions beyond four years may only be granted by your school’s graduate academic board.

·      In addition to distributing the ETD through the JHU repository, you have the option to make your ETD available through the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database.

David’s been trying his best to make this transition “as painless as possible” for everyone, and he realizes the deadline is coming up fast. “Just how fast?” you may wonder? This is the timeline:

·      Summer 2013: Business as usual—turn in your paper dissertation or thesis the same way it has always been done. We may ask a few lucky people to help us test out the new ETD system.

·      August 31, 2013: last day to submit paper thesis or dissertation

·      September 1, 2013: only electronic theses and dissertations in PDF format will be accepted

August is just around the corner (take a couple vacay weeks in July and we’re there), so take a moment and tell a friend or two about the transition. And if your friends want more info here’s where to go:

·      Visit the JHU ETD guide at http://guides.library.jhu.edu/content.php?pid=450528

·      Contact David Reynolds, the library ETD Coordinator, at (410) 516-7220 or dissertations@jhu.edu

·      Stay tuned for training opportunities beginning in summer 2013

How can I stay informed about ETD?

·      “Like” the library Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mselibrary

·      Follow our Twitter feed @mselibrary

So that’s the blueprint. But if you read this and perhaps get a little busy, rest assured you’ll be hearing more from the Welch Library about David and ETD in the very near future. We won’t rest until the word gets COMPLETELY out.


That’s David Reynolds (above) looking relaxed NOW. However, this is just  a short layover till he gets back to fine-tuning the ETD Program. Since he paid for my expensive white mocha, I have to get back to Brody Commons to reciprocate. Those soy white mocha’s are pricey. Thanks for taking some time out, David.


Alonzo LaMont




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