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Boston College has about 5,000 graduate students in six main schools, the largest of which is the Graduate School of Arts and Science. Its other schools include Education, Social Work, Management, Nursing, and Theology & Ministry. With both doctoral and master’s graduate degrees on offer at the institution, these students produce about 200 theses and dissertations per year which, until approximately five years ago, the institution was handling as paper submissions.
“We made the transition from paper to electronic submissions of dissertations in part due to our partnership with ProQuest,” said William Donovan, Digital Imaging and Curation Manager at Boston College. “In 2008 we started thinking about transitioning to a digital-only system and were looking at how we might do this directly. At the same time, ProQuest was bringing out its online submission tool, the UMI ETD Administrator, so we decided to try the system to see how it worked for us.”
Convenience in having access to a ready-made submissions system as well as the fact that it was free for students to use were major advantages for the institution. “It meant that we didn’t have to build the equivalent of the ProQuest system and interface ourselves,” continued Donovan. “And it’s a well-thought out system. The UMI EDT administrator is organized, streamlined and includes documentation which helps the institution track submissions, so we can go back and check if any queries come up, which saves both students and library staff time.”
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