In the fall of 1998, Penn State’s Graduate School, Information Technology Services , Digital Library Technologies, and University Libraries embarked upon an initiative to allow theses and dissertations to be submitted and archived electronically. What began as a pilot project is now required for all doctoral students, and masters students requiring a thesis at Penn State. Joining Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, and other universities across the nation, Penn State has enabled its students to incorporate multimedia formats into their theses/dissertations and to submit them electronically—the final product being easily accessible worldwide.
Electronic theses and dissertations (eTDs) expand the creative possibilities open to students and empower students to convey a richer message by permitting video, sound, and color images to be integrated into their work. Submitting and archiving eTDs helps students to understand electronic publishing issues and provides greater access to students’ research. People from any place on the globe can link directly to eTD collections at Penn State and other universities.