Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Are dissertations lost forever?

It has always been my belief that no one actually reads dissertations other than their author, perhaps one of the author's parents, and the dissertation committee.

The partial exception to this is students who take non-academic jobs and thus never publish their thesis chapters. I have sometimes pointed people to the dissertations of such students (and am often sad that their sometimes important findings do not ever see the light of publication).

This post suggests that dissertations do sometimes get read outside the set of persons and conditions already described.

Just one data point, but worth keeping in mind when making time allocation decisions.

Oh, and I think the post actually undersells Alex' dissertation.

Hat tip: Alex Resch

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