Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Now Frontier: Posting Dissertations Online

By Will Deyamport, III, Ed.D. Candidate

This article was originally posted on PhD2Published.com.

This digital world we live in isn’t going anywhere. We pay bills online, we shop online, we make phone calls online, we date online, and now we’re streaming movies and going to school online. So why wouldn’t I post dissertation online?

Has the academy become so insular that it has failed to understand and embrace the realities of this digital age? Has it become so arrogant that it believes that it can remain the sole guardian of academic knowledge? Or has the academy so blindly held on to its beliefs of what it is scholarly work that it refuses to see the scholarly work being published on a daily basis on blogs around the globe?

Whatever its reasons, I plan to publish my dissertation online and here’s why:

  • I happen to have a passion for digital media and most of what I read is read online.
  • What I do and want to do for a career is done online. I’ve been a social media strategist, I blog, and I am earning my doctorate online. So for me the online space isn’t some separate entity. It’s a part of who I am and how I express my ideas.
  • I am a digital citizen. As such, I see the online world as the way for mobilizing the world towards a common humanity.
  • I routinely seek out information online. Whether it is via Youtube, LinkedIn, or my personal learning network on Twitter, I am able to gain access to experts from a variety of fields and disciplines.
  • I believe that academic knowledge belongs to the masses and should be made available and given freely to those who seek it.
  • My dissertation is on teachers using Twitter to support their own professional development. The topic doesn’t belong is some bound book. It was meant to be posted online and shared with scholars and practitioners alike.

The ivory tower and those who worship at its feet need to understand that education is no longer insular. Holding information hostage does nothing for the academy or the betterment of society. In order to truly build a thriving academic knowledge-base and further the continued and expansive research expected in academia, technology has to be a part of how that research is shared and disseminated. Using emerging technologies, schools have the capacity to expose its students’ research to every corner of the globe. It is with this type of free exchange that the academy can reinvent itself and lead the way in today’s growing global economy and workforce.

Moving forward, I would like to see every doctoral student publish their dissertation on ProQuest or some other online platform. Just like TED has revolutionized the conference model, as current and future scholars, we have an opportunity to revolutionize the way people think, learn, and are taught about academic research.


  1. Hello, my name is Keeley Bryan and I am a student at the University of South Alabama currently taking EDM310. I am working on a bachelors degree in secondary education. I know that there is minimal use of technology in high schools today, and technology seems to be more utilized in colleges than in high schools. We do live in a technology age and I do not understand why a university would not not utilize the process of submitting a dissertation on-line. The title of your blog post is accurate in relation to the present age that we live in, but I do foresee colleges eventually converting all of their possesses to the internet. I'm not and most likely will not be working toward a doctorate or submitting a dissertation, but I do think that by the time I will be teaching technology will be utilized by nearly every school system. I am not necessarily an advocate for consuming a child's life with technology, but I do believe that schools should prepare students for their future which will be technologically centered. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. Feel free to check out my EDM 310 class blog

    Keeley Bryan

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  3. Victory,

    Thank you for the compliment. Thank your cousin for recommending my blog. I hope you both continue to stop by.

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