Comments on: My dissertation is online! Wait – my dissertation is online!? Copyright & your magnum opus University of California Fri, 16 Dec 2016 18:31:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Daniel Himmelstein Thu, 17 Nov 2016 02:45:00 +0000 Really awesome guidance for UC students working on their theses — as I was earlier this year at UCSF. I made sure to license my dissertation as CC BY 4.0 on the copyright page of my thesis. This way others can reuse my dissertation however they like as long as they provide attribution. I didn’t have to seek any permissions from others, since while there were other copyright holders for certain chapters of my thesis, we were joint authors. Hence I did not need permission to apply a Creative Commons license, which is a non-exclusive license.

Grievances. It’s too bad UCSF is not one of the six UC schools that make their theses publicly available by default. Nonetheless, I paid the $95 open access fee for ProQuest. To my dismay, ProQuest created two online locations for my thesis. First, the primary location with a nicer user interface. Second, an alternative location at PQDT Open with an inferior interface. Unfortunately, the thesis is only freely accessible at the second location. The primary ProQuest site displays the following (if you’re not on a network with institutional access):

So ProQuest shows a list of three subscription methods instead of delivering my thesis. Finally, ProQuest doesn’t even assign a DOI to the thesis, making it inconvenient to cite. This detracts from the idea that theses are serious scholarly works that others may want to refer to. I mention these issues here since UC is a large ProQuest customer and hopefully their feedback will penetrate ProQuest’s customer service, which thus far I have been unable to achieve!