ETD Guide/Students/How to learn about ETDs? (workshops, online resources, helpers)

Some students who prepare an ETD undertake this effort as an independent. That is, they prepare a paper document as required by their university and turn that in, but are not allowed to submit an ETD to their degree granting institution. If they understand about ETDs and realize the benefits of such works, if they know about creation and submission, they may elect to submit an ETD, such as to a service for independent ETD authors which are afforded by NDLTD or other groups. In such cases, students are usually "on their own" and will follow instructions in this Guide or at other online sites, such as those hosted by Virginia Tech (

In addition to learning about ETDs from this guide or other online sources (see also from, students may be helped by local staff. Typically staff at institutions that are members of NDLTD will have a project in place, with personnel identified who can assist. Often there are two types of helpers. One type involves trainers. These typically run workshops or other training events or programs to help students to create ETDs. In some cases there are both basic and advanced training efforts, depending on the level of interest of the student and/or depending on how "rich" (in terms of use of multimedia content, for example) an ETD will be.

The other type of helper is a person who provides assistance on demand. This may be a person who works in a campus New Media Center (see, for example, These centers may have a wide variety of multimedia devices (to capture images, audio, or video - as well as to help one create such resources from scratch). Alternatively, there may be people in one's own laboratory or department with particular expertise in creating certain types of digital works that might be an important part of an ETD. In short, students should seek out such help where appropriate and work with trainers and mentors as desired to hone their knowledge and skills, as well as to prepare the very best ETDs.

Exemplary Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Our goal here is identify "technologically innovative" theses and dissertations. We want to provide models of new media scholarship for the next generation of scholars and researchers.

Do you know of any theses or dissertations that are crafted in new ways, perhaps using streaming multimedia, interactive features (chats, listservs, response questionnaires, three- dimensional models, animation? If so, please take a moment to add the ETD to our collection:

By celebrating the innovative work of our graduate students and graduate faculty, we can inspire future research.

Exemplary ETDs in Our Database

View the ETDs that have been submitted to our database as exemplary models for future researchers and writers

Exemplary ETD Database

Submit an exemplary ETD in our database. Please be sure to clarify under "special features" what distinguishes the ETD from a "digital perspective." For example, does the ETD incorporate hyperlinks, multimedia, visuals, animation, or other interactive features?

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