UMI Develops Digital Library of Dissertations

Article excerpt

UMI has announced the development of a digital library of doctoral dissertations and masters' theses that will be accessible by the second quarter of this year.

The new digital library, known as ProQuest Digital Dissertations, will be created from electronically submitted material as well as from UMI's conversion of traditional paper-based dissertations into digital format. ProQuest Digital Dissertations will be accessible initially on the Web (http://wwwlib.umi.com) and in the future through UMI's online information system, ProQuest Direct.

UMI is a leading publisher of doctoral dissertations, annually publishing more than 90 percent of all dissertations submitted from accredited institutions of higher learning in North America as well as from many colleges and universities in Europe and Asia. UMI's dissertation database, amassed over the past 60 years, totals nearly 1.4 million titles, beginning with the first U.S. dissertation accepted by a university (Yale) in 1861, according to the company.

Bonnie Lawlor, senior vice president and general manager of UMI's academic, public, and government library division, said, "The digital revolution and the rapid rise of electronic publishing have changed the needs of virtually everyone in academia. Today's students are computer literate and technology facilitates innovation, in the presentation of their research results. UMI wants to encourage innovation, and ProQuest Digital Dissertations will give colleges and universities a new tool they and their students can use as digital publishing becomes increasingly commonplace."

Noting that many colleges and universities are still formulating policies and procedures for electronic publishing of dissertations and theses, Lawlor said, "UMI's guidelines for the submission of electronic material for inclusion in ProQuest Digital Dissertations will help these institutions in their endeavors and will be an indispensable asset, not only for colleges and universities, but for authors and researchers as well. …