With the developments in digital publication platforms, many universities require students to submit their dissertation in electronic format. Dissertation transcription services go a long way in supporting students’ efforts to produce an electronic thesis or dissertation by ensuring error-free transcripts of dissertation interviews. Such efforts pay off when their work is recognized as meeting the level of quality that their institution expects. Stanford recently announced that its valuable collection of electronic theses and dissertations has topped the 5,000 mark.
A digital dissertation can range from a fully interactive website online to a conventional book-length text along with a searchable catalog of images. Stanford students submit theses and dissertations electronically under a free program offered by Stanford University Libraries and the Office of the University Registrar. This, according to the news report, offers many advantages:
- Digital dissertations can be accessed online which greatly improves the sharing of knowledge.
- Students find the submission process convenient and easy to use.
- Going digital is environment friendly as it avoids the use of paper.
- Handling digital dissertations and theses is faster and cheaper than handling a paper version.
- With digital submission, students don’t have to print and make multiple copies, so that they save printing and binding costs.
- Unlike text, digital theses and dissertations are accessible on the web, and searchable via Google and other search engines, maximizing the visibility and impact of student research.
- The digital approach makes research an instant part of the global academic record.
Digital dissertations in various disciplines include databases, websites, interactive maps, and recordings of sound and video. Researchers need to document of audio files of interviews, rough notes, press clippings, podcasts and PPT presentations. Transcripts emphasize the contents of the audio with the new information. The process of creating a quality transcript involves several steps:
- A verbatim rendering in print of the words as well as the non-verbal utterances spoken in the interview with minimal editorial intervention
- Quality assessment for accuracy and correction in the document
- Editing and annotation for sense, context, and so on
- Indexing and cataloguing
Students are usually pressed for time and hire a digital transcription service provider to handle the task of transcribing research material. This allows them to focus on their analysis and writing of the dissertation. With good quality audio recordings, a company that specializes in academic transcription can provide error-free transcripts of dissertation interviews. Including transcripts along with the audio/video recordings in electronic dissertations improves their visibility on search engines and makes them accessible to those with hearing impairments. Usually, these transcripts are word-searchable, a major advantage for researchers looking for a specific reference.
Each year, about 700 electronic theses and dissertations enter Stanford University’s online collection. While electronic dissertation submission is a free optional program, nearly 100 percent of doctoral students take part in it. The free program is an indication of how the library is moving ahead with services and information in the digital age.