December 17, 2002. ProQuest Company's (NYSE: PQE) Information and Learning unit, in conjunction with The Berkeley Electronic Press, today announced the development of a Web-based application for the submission, review, and approval of electronic theses and dissertations. The application, which will be made available to graduate schools, is expected to improve and speed the dissertation publishing process for graduate students, faculty, and graduate schools.
Through its UMI Dissertation Publishing program, ProQuest publishes more than 50,000 dissertations and master's theses each year and offers full text copies of more than one million dissertations dating from the 19th century forward. Some 3,000 (or 5%) dissertations submitted for publication in 2002 were in electronic format, and that number is expected to increase significantly in the next few years.
"This is a major step toward the development of comprehensive dissertation authoring tools and services," said Dan Arbour, Executive Director and Vice President of ProQuest's UMI division. "We believe this new system will allow for greater efficiencies in the dissertation publishing process. It facilitates communication among the graduate students, faculty, and scholars, and provides a consistent medium and process."
The new system allows a graduate student to upload his or her approved dissertation into the publishing system, where it is automatically reformatted into Adobe PDF and sent directly to the graduate school. There, the document is reviewed for compliance with graduate school policy and format. Using an administrative tool, the graduate school reviewer can accept the document or request formatting revisions. The author is automatically notified by email of the actions taken.
Once the dissertation is accepted, the document and all relevant data are delivered to UMI Dissertation Publishing and to the university library for expedited processing, cataloguing, and posting. The new automated system is expected to substantially improve the publication process.
The backend technology to support this new process was developed entirely by The Berkeley Electronic Press. "We are pleased to support ProQuest in their efforts to streamline the dissertation process," said Robert Cooter, co-founder of The Berkeley Electronic Press. "This system will enable theses and dissertations to be processed and disseminated in a much more efficient manner, saving time for students, professors, and administrators."
The service is available now and is being rolled out to graduate schools throughout the next year. Graduate schools interested in signing up may contact ProQuest at email@example.com. UMI continues to accept dissertations for publication in print format.
About ProQuest Company
ProQuest Company (NYSE: PQE) was born of Bell & Howell Company's two highly respected information access businesses. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., ProQuest Company is a leader in e-learning and e-publishing. For its customers in the academic, library, automotive, and powersports industries, the company provides access to a body of content that is unmatched in breadth and depth. Additional information on ProQuest Company can be found at www.proquestcompany.com.
ProQuest Information and Learning is a world leader in collecting, organizing, and distributing information worldwide to researchers, faculty, and students in libraries and schools. Known widely for its strength in business and economics, general-reference, humanities, social sciences, and STM content, the company develops premium databases comprising periodicals, newspapers, dissertations, out-of-print books, and other scholarly information from more than 8,500 publishers worldwide. Users access the information through the ProQuest Web-based online information system, Chadwyck-Healey electronic and microform resources, UMI microform and print reference products, and XanEdu online faculty and student resources. For more information about ProQuest Information and Learning, visit www.il.proquest.com.
About The Berkeley Electronic Press
Three University of California, Berkeley, professors founded the Berkeley Electronic Press (bepress) in 1999. As scholarly authors and editors themselves, they realized that scholarly publication was plagued by difficulties. Characterized by slow time to market, typesetting gaffes, an inequitable revenue split between contributor and publisher, and exorbitant subscription rates, the scholarly journal system was broken. bepress develops Internet-based software to address these problems. In addition to licensing these tools, bepress publishes its own slate of electronic journals.