A letter to Virginia Tech Students Preparing an ETD

Dear Student Preparing an ETD,

Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation or ETD will contribute to worldwide graduate education as we build a Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) in collaboration with other scholarly institutions. We are writing to address concerns and questions you may have about how this relates to other types of publication.

The Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Initiative at Virginia Tech has several goals, including to help you in your career, to help other learners and researchers, and to make available many works that are now "lost" (e.g., theses that led to no other publications and that only are available through inter-library loan).

Most publishers contacted by the ETD Project Team support our initiative, realizing that theses and dissertations are very different from previously published or derivative books and articles. We believe that making ETDs available will supplement the efforts of publishers so both activities can proceed in harmony. We urge you to prepare your ETD to harmonize with publishing practices, and so that your research becomes as widely disseminated as possible, as soon as possible.

Thank you for your contributions to the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations and the Virginia Tech Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Initiative.

Edward A. Fox, Professor
(for the Virginia Tech ETD Initiative)

Note: This letter represents views of the project team, not official University policy, but has been reviewed by a number of campus officials, outside experts on copyright, and publishers.

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