History Department
History Department

New York Times interviews Jacqueline Jones on dissertation publication and protecting the rights of Ph.D. students

Mon, July 29, 2013
New York Times interviews Jacqueline Jones on dissertation publication and protecting the rights of Ph.D. students
Professor Jacqueline Jones

The New York Times interviewed Dr. Jacqueline Jones yesterday about the American Historical Association's recent statement recommending that students be given a choice over the digital dissemination of their dissertations. The article offers concrete examples of doctoral students who are likely to be affected by their university's policies on electronic publication.

Dr. Jones, holder of the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas and Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History, is the Graduate Advisor of the History program at UT Austin and is the current vice president of the Professional Division of the AHA Council.

“The A.H.A. is recommending that universities adopt flexible policies that will allow newly minted Ph.D’s to decide for themselves whether or not to embargo their dissertations,” Jones is quoted in the article.  The reporter continues, "Professor Jones and others described the dissertation as little more than a rough draft on the way to becoming a monograph, on which the hopes of academic tenure rest. When a new Ph.D decides to withhold her work, she is really saying to her professional colleagues, do not judge my research and analysis until I am ready to publish in print."

Read the AHA statement here, as well as a Q&A about the statement. The New York Times piece can be read here.

Further reading

UT COLA Office of Research and Graduate Studies, "Statement of Support for the Option to Embargo Electronic Publication of Completed Disserations," July 29: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/research/news/6821

William Cronon, "Why Put at Risk the Publishing Options of Our Most Vulnerable Colleagues?" in AHA Today, July 26::

Stacey Patton, "Scholarly Group Seeks Up to 6-Year Embargoes on Digital Dissertations," in The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 24: http://chronicle.com/article/Scholarly-Group-Seeks-Up-to/140515/

Rick Anderson, "Dissertation Embargoes and the Rights of Scholars: AHA Smacks the Hornet’s Nest Posted," in Scholarly Kitchen, July 26, 2013:

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