Stanford doctoral students now will be able to post their dissertations on Google as the university replaces the traditional bound volumes of acid-free paper with electronic files of scholarly work, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Beginning last week, Stanford students who used to lug three or four copies of their dissertation to Stanford’s registrar’s office could file their work simply by uploading it from a computer. Plans are being made to extend the electronic effort to thousands of master’s theses and honors papers as well. The key to the initiative is the university’s partnership with Google, which will allow anyone with a computer to access the work of Stanford doctoral students. "We have way north of 35,000 bound dissertations on our shelves," said university Librarian Michael Keller, who has been pushing for the digital dissertations. "Many of them just stay on the shelf, forgotten and invisible, or scholars have to pay enormous sums to come to Stanford to read them." The Google link "will allow our students’ work to be seen more readily [and] may also help a student get identified online as an expert in a certain subject, which could help in the promotion of a young career." The new system also will give students more freedom to be creative in producing their work, Keller said, because electronic documents allow for easier use of spreadsheets and graphics, as well as hyperlinks to pictures, citations, and other online resources…

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