Archive for December, 2013

Your Research, Your Dissertation or Thesis, Your Rights

Where academic writing is involved, copyright is not only about protecting one’s work, it is critical to establishing their contribution to scholarly research. Learning the nuances of copyright law, understanding the relationship between copyright and fair use, and using copyright to advance scholarly opportunities is of utmost value to anyone writing a doctoral dissertation.

Information about copyright is readily available, but in the midst of the dissertation whirlwind, it can quickly become a costly afterthought. After all, the “copyright battles” we typically hear about almost always involve popular design, art, music or film. There are not a lot of instances where CourtTV features a grad student on trial for including protected materials in their dissertation without being granted the proper permission. Kenneth D. Crews, J.D., Ph.D. touches on this in his manual, “Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities.” He points out, “few copyright matters in higher education rise to that level.”dissertations

That being said – it can still happen. Although it is not the norm, one example is the Georgia State University fair use exception case that took place a few years ago.

However, Crews contends that when it comes to research and copyright, there are two basic concepts that are of importance: “respecting copyright…and the process of creating and sharing research,” and, “advance planning and strategic choices.” Upholding the integrity of research and using a bit of planning to avoid pitfalls are two integral components of copyright.

So, read up on copyright law, understand fair use, and avoid headaches by registering things properly — got it. It seems pretty clear cut — until it gets murky. For instance, if an American graduate student has been doing research, and writing a dissertation in China and Japan for two years, and wants to publish the work in the United States, exactly which copyright laws should he/she follow?

Scholarly work and research cross international borders regularly in this digital age. Thus, it has become necessary to understand the ramifications of the Berne Convention, and copyright law exceptions in different countries.

Those in the throes of their dissertation need not worry; not only is copyright information available, but it’s available from the same folks that have published over 3 million graduate works from graduate schools around the world since 1938. ProQuest Dissertation and Theses now has two links that guide researchers through the intricacies of copyright law:

1. “Copyright and Your Dissertation or Thesis: Ownership, Fair Use, and Your Rights and Responsibilities,” is a manual designed to “help readers learn and understand copyright issues relevant to doctoral dissertations.”

2. In addition, “Copyright Laws Around the World” provides a summary of international copyright laws, including laws pertaining to the Berne Convention, as well as notable copyright exceptions in various countries.

Addressing copyright issues upfront not only protects the work, but upholds the integrity of research as well, and it ensures that the publication can be a significant contribution to the scholarly community. A simple understanding of copyright can empower the author and solidify the worth of their dissertation.

At ProQuest, we are committed to supporting authors by providing broad access to vital work that builds reputations, extends impact, and advances research. Each dissertation and thesis we have published is listed in our ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database, through which academic researchers around the world can gain access to your published graduate work.

For more information, visit




First-Time Enrollment of International Graduate Students Up 10 Percent

India surges 40% while growth from China slows to 5%

The “2013 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase III: Final Offers of Admission and Enrollment” study has been released, and the numbers tell an interesting story.

The survey had a response rate of 56%, including 76 of the 100 institutions that award the largest number of graduate degrees to international students. Overall, the 285 institutions responding to the Phase III survey conferred 66% of the approximately 103,000 graduate degrees awarded to international students in the United States in 2010/11.

international enrollment chart

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reported a 10% increase in the first-time enrollment of international graduate students from 2012 to 2013, a growth that adds to 8% increases in this figure in each of the last two years. Total enrollment of international graduate students among responding institutions reached 220,000 in 2013.

International students now account for 15 percent of the nation’s total graduate enrollment. International graduate students continue to enroll in fields that have been traditionally popular among this population. The two most popular fields among international students are physical and earth sciences, which includes mathematics and computer sciences, and engineering: together they comprised 47 percent of all international graduate student enrollment in 2013.


“Findings from the 2013 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase III: Final Offers of Admission and Enrollment” is based on the third phase of a three-part annual survey of international graduate student applications, admissions, and enrollment among U.S. member institutions.

Current and past reports are posted here.

ProQuest is proud to sponsor the CGS Awards Luncheon this week, in San Diego, where we congratulate and present certificates and honoraria to the winners of the CGS/ProQuest Dissertation Publishing Awards! 


Old books never die; they just get stored away…

Not only are library collections outgrowing available shelves, but the shelves themselves are disappearing in favor of shared study spaces, reading areas, and classrooms.

The result? A bunch of books with nowhere to go!


Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s up to libraries to decide where legacy collections will go, and many libraries are banding together in regional or statewide groups to share the decisions about—and space for—storage.

The Michigan Shared Print Initiative, representing seven public universities, worked together to identify and eliminate duplicate holdings among the participating libraries. They used three filters:

  • Titles that were published or acquired before 2005
  • Titles that appeared in at least three collections
  • Titles that had circulated three or fewer times since 1999

They then uploaded bibliographic and circulation data into a software application that produced data and analysis in the form of collection summaries, allowing the libraries to make better-informed decisions about what to keep.

The Western Regional Storage Trust consolidates and maintains print journal archives for more than 100 individual libraries, including the University of California library system, which set up the repository in 2009.

Northeastern U.S. institutions of all sizes, ranging from Harvard University to Wellesley College, joined in a discussion that resulted in the formation of the Northeast Regional Library Print Management Project. About 90 institutions have joined so far. A co-director of the project notes that individual libraries see different ways of resolving the storage issue:

  • Some want to split up responsibility for legacy collections (“you keep some and I’ll keep some”)
  • Some want to expand their holdings through greater access to other libraries’ collections
  • Some want to find and share off-site storage

The Five College Consortium (made up of Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, along with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst) transformed a retired military bunker into a high-density book-storage facility. Yet the bunker, which can hold about 570,000 volumes, is already almost 95% full.

And although 65% of Smith College’s acquisitions budget is spent on electronic content, Smith’s director of libraries points out that certain types of materials, such as art books, are generally preferred in print format. So, even with the explosion of digital materials, the college will still have to find a place for its new print acquisitions while also dealing with the issue of storage for older or less-used collections.

Ultimately, libraries are faced with the responsibility of making decisions about “deselection,” to create space, while ensuring that books that make up part of the intellectual record (even those that haven’t circulated in a long time) are held somewhere.