Electronic Thesis Preserves and Make Available a Scholarly Knowledge to a Wider Audience
With the dawn of the digital revolution, the conversion and digital publication of thesis has created what is termed as Electronic Thesis. This preserves thesis written by research students in digital form. Advent of computers and the widespread expansion of the internet have made possible for the collection of theses written by students at Institutions of Higher Education in such digital format. In the past, research finding are presented in the form of type written pages bound as a book. The general norm was to make not more than five copies of the final thesis. If the results of the findings are not of very exceptional nature and has no immediate practical use, these may be the only copies made of the thesis. With this traditional practice of bounding few copies, knowledge gathered so painstakingly may be lost forever because there were no methods for preservation and emanation of thesis information. Electronic Thesis puts an end to this sad situation.
Initiatives for Electronic Thesis and Present Status
The idea of collecting, storing and circulating the theses presenting research work done by the academics and the scholars electronically, was mooted as early as 1980s and was widely accepted by the academic community. Many Universities started their Digital Libraries to collect the degree thesis from students in digital form and scan the previous thesis. This led to the possibility of making these theses available to all interested academics, scholars and the professionals, from world over. The networked environment provided by the internet was the biggest driving factor for the success in making such knowledge accessible to the world. As a result of these programs, today over a million electronic theses are available through the internet from various university libraries all over the world.
International Support for Electronic Thesis Programs
An electronic thesis which is also called digital thesis make the knowledge accessible to a worldwide public, facilitating instant knowledge transfer irrespective of national boundaries. Due to these global benefits, the digital thesis programs have got wide acceptance from the global academic community. International and government support to universities made it possible for implementing the program even in many countries that did not have the proper resources. Today majority of universities in USA, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Asia are participating in electronic thesis programs.
Future of Electronic Thesis programs
It has become a common requirement today for the students to submit a digital copy of their thesis along with the customary thesis. This will be available for anybody to download soon after it is accepted and the degree is awarded to the student. Many universities have scanned the previous theses that were available in the library and stored digitally and already available for retrieval. This process is in progress in other universities as well, allowing the digital access of work that has been conducted almost a century ago in some cases. In very near future, Electronic Thesis will be the most common form of an academic thesis.
Students Must take Full Advantage of the Electronic Thesis
Today work of the research students have been made a lot easier due to the availability and ease of access and search provided by the electronic thesis. Before the arrival of the electronic thesis, only the papers published in the journals were easily available for students. When doing a literature review of prior research, students now have the access to the vast number of thesis written by others. This helps them to avoid duplicating the work done and gear their work towards addressing gaps in knowledge within the field of study. Actually, this facility is a great advance in the human pursuit of knowledge. It helps the development of knowledge to grow exponentially. Students must take maximum advantage of these facilities in writing their own thesis. Students can get thesis help in research tasks like a literature review of an electronic thesis from professionals.