The University of Chicago will no longer be accepting and archiving dissertations on paper. Furthermore, they will be using UMI Dissertation Publishing’s web-based interface for submission of dissertations. What a concept! In the current process, dissertations begin life as digital documents, get printed on paper, then get scanned to be turned back into digital documents. The resulting scans are PDF files that are of inferior quality to the originals and are not accessible to those using screen readers to read them.
The new process will accept PDFs created directly from the originals to be archived at the library. These electronic versions will also be sent to UMI for inclusion in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Saves time, saves money, saves space, saves trees, and results in a more useful product. Win, win, win.