Graduate School
Graduate School
Current Students Academic Support

Benefits of Electronic Theses and Dissertations

An electronic thesis or dissertation (ETD) is an electronic version of a thesis or dissertation. It is similar to a bound thesis/dissertation; however, instead of printing a hard copy on a printer, the thesis/dissertation is converted to a Portable Document File (PDF) and saved for electronic submission to the Graduate School. The student’s original research is produced, submitted and accessed in an electronic format. The components and structure of the document are basically the same as paper theses and dissertations. For example, it has figures, tables, footnotes, and references. In addition, ETDs offer students the added benefit of being able to include video images, art clips, and 3-D models. In the final stage, the documents are converted to and stored as a PDF file instead of printed and bound as books. A PDF is created in a universal format that allows data saved on one format to be converted into a format that can be read on any computer utilizing free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

East Carolina University, as other universities around the world are doing, will be accepting electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Electronic theses and dissertations offer numerous benefits to the student, the University, and society as a whole:

  • ETD’s provide increased visibility of research produced at the University. The immediate and widespread availability of ETD documents provides worldwide access to scholarship.
  • Sharing and collaboration among universities and students are facilitated.
  • The increased visibility and accessibility often results in increased readership and more citations
  • Multimedia objects data/files can be included allowing researchers to display raw research data, video, images, art clips, and simulations.
  • Electronic submission introduces students to electronic publishing and trains them in the technical skills needed for digital publishing.
  • Publication of theses and dissertations in electronic format is faster, cheaper, and requires less storage space.