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The Graduate Student Committee of the Medieval Academy of America is seeking speakers to fill out our panel at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in 2014 (May 8-11) examining Open Access policies, particularly dissertation filling policies, and their impact on graduate students. We would like to hear expressions of interest from those involved in either the publishing or policy making ends of this issue. Other faculty or graduate students who would like to contribute to this discussion are also welcome.






Increasingly, universities in North America, the UK, and EU require graduate students to make their research projects available online via Open Access as a condition of their degree. While there are many benefits to this, a recent MAA survey has shown that university policies vary widely and are not well known among graduate student communities, and the trend towards open access may present challenges to future publication. This roundtable session will bring together publishers, librarians, and academic policy makers to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of online Open Access for dissertations. In addition, we hope this session will raise awareness among graduate students and their advisors with regard to their publishing rights and how best to protect their interests.


The organizers intend this session to focus on the specifics of open access policies in relation to graduate students and their research projects in the United States and Canada. Another GSC session was held at IMC 2013 in Leeds dealing with the UK and European context. Similarly, other sessions at Kalamazoo have examined Open Access and electronic publishing more generally, and so this session will instead focus on graduate student needs and concerns, especially dissertations. Speakers will be asked to consider the following: the benefits for graduate students and junior scholars in making their work available through open access; the drawbacks of such policies; how to proceed in a way that best protects students' chances of an academic career, recognizing the increasingly competitive nature of the academic job market; and lastly, to speculate on the future of humanities research training with regard to dissertations and the major research project.




Please submit a brief expression of interest (approx. 250 words) on how you might contribute to this discussion, along with a short CV or resume, if possible, by September 25 to Christopher Riedel at riedelc@bc.edu.



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