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William Cronon

The AHA Statement on Dissertation Embargoing and the Future of the Profession

Last week, the American Historical Association issued a statement on the apparently growing practice of newly-minted PhDs embargoing their dissertations in order to make books based on them more publishable.  While dissertations have traditionally been available through interlibrary loan, the internet has made non-embargoed dissertations more-or-less instantly available in electronic form. Expressing a concern that such publicly available dissertations were less attractive to publishers than non-available dissertations, the thrust of the AHA’s statement is to encourage programs and universities to give their students the option to embargo their dissertations. The AHA statement was greeted with a variety of responses, positive Read more