Katina Rogers (The Futures Initiative, Graduate Center, CUNY) has posted her position paper for an upcoming Council of Graduate Schools workshop on the future of the dissertation. In it, she links the changes and challenges afoot for dissertations with those facing the greater landscape of scholarship and scholarly publishing.
The same questions of values, methods, and impact are at the heart of the changing landscape of scholarly publishing systems, and new developments in one domain will undoubtedly affect norms and expectations in the other. With that in mind, a discussion about new opportunities for the dissertation must also touch on ways that innovative scholarship is received and recognized at later stages of a scholar’s career, including expectations set out in the tenure and promotion process. I would argue that placing greater emphasis on public engagement, collaborative work, and creativity in both dissertations and other scholarly work, while also maintaining an open stance toward technological innovation, will result in meaningful research whose reach extends far beyond the academy.
She goes on to provide of examples of dissertation projects that challenge traditional notions of the form and she theorizes the impacts of such work on the academy.
As partners in the scholarly communication process, academic librarians and other information professionals will appreciate Rogers’s consideration of the complexities of digital publishing and can bring her perspectives into conversations around providing support for new modes of research and publication at their own institutions.