Call for Papers

The US Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA) will hold their 8th annual conference, “USETDA 2018” at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Denver, Colorado from September 12-14, 2018, hosted by the Auraria Library and Brigham Young University. We invite graduate school, library and information technology professionals to submit proposals for presentations, panel sessions, workshops and posters.

Deadline: Proposals should be submitted on or before March 2, 2018 to be considered.


USETDA 2018 will provide excellent educational opportunities for professionals from graduate schools, libraries, academic computing and others who work with electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), institutional repositories, graduate students and scholarly communications. Our goal is to offer relevant, practice-oriented content to support ETD productivity improvement, ETD professionals, advance ETD operations and encourage the formation of regional ETD associations and networking communities as well as to provide useful and innovative resources, standards, and technology for the development and support of ETD programs. Proposals are welcome from library, graduate school and information technology professionals, graduate students and faculty as well as library and information systems / services representatives.


The conference theme “Climbing Ever Higher - Summit on Scholarly Communications in Graduate Education” will focus on the impact and implications of connecting scholars and research from across the country and around the world. We will examine the present use and availability of ETDs and related initiatives while also exploring new and emerging ETD practices, needs, and influences impacting administrative, graduate school and library professionals.

Presentation proposals should reflect one or more of the following three subtopics. Presenters are encouraged to use the examples under the subtopics as inspiration, but are not limited to these ideas and can expand upon them or generate new ones based on the subtopic themes.


I.        Research Practices

  1. Philosophical perspectives from graduate school professionals on copyright, fair use and creative works

  2. Data sharing – researchers sharing their data within their research groups and with other researchers (e.g.,

  3. Connecting research and researchers through ORCID or other persistent digital identifiers

  4. Nontraditional ETDs and scholars

  5. Collaborative efforts by students

  6. Intellectual property: copyright, patent, prior publication issues related to repository access policies, review processes and educational outreach programs

  7. Council of Graduate Schools discussion group / panel discussion

  8. The evolving definition of a doctorate and the future of dissertations

  9. Trends in scholarly communication

II.        Streamlining ETD Processing

  1. Best practices – graduate school and library workflows

  2. Collaborative initiatives between graduate schools and libraries

  3. Preparation of ETDs – providing students with skills they can use in their future professions

  4. Utilizing technology better to improve ETD programs

  5. Better ways to do ETD reviewing (graduate school and library processes)

  6. Format review

  7. Approval and submission

  8. Signature sheet methods and solutions (physical vs digital / checklist item vs Adobe e-signature, etc.)

  9. Technologies and systems

  10. Technical considerations and workflow models related to the examination and preservation of novel dissertation forms for non-pdf/digital dissertation deposit and preservation

  11. Institutional Repository / ETD systems, developments and innovations

  12. Data curation, management and long-term preservation – campus policies and programs

  13. Student support and training

  14. Cataloging and metadata conventions and innovations

  15. ETD user group meetings


III.        The Impact of ETDs

  1. Disseminating ETDs

  2. Creative writing and ETDs

  3. Tracking “citation” data for ETDs

  4. Promoting ETDs/research through Three Minute Thesis, social media, and similar initiatives

  5. Enriching the ETD final submission record (including summary video, data files, metadata, etc.)

  6. Collecting and using statistics about ETD use (e.g., from your IR, Altmetric, Impactstory, PlumX, etc.); benefits of promoting ETDs to the institution, academic program, student

  7. Case studies of graduate work completed in novel, digital formats, e.g., museum exhibit, sound recording, website, 3D modeling, mapping

  8. Promoting open access among graduate students and faculty

  9. “Life of ETD research beyond graduation” – Case studies on post ETD publications based on ETD research including practices in various fields and students’ plans to use their ETD for articles, books, or just as a platform for future research


The U.S. Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association welcomes the following types of submissions:


Poster sessions - peer reviewed

Posters introduce late-breaking results, work in progress, or research that is best communicated in an interactive or graphical format. Two types of posters are encouraged:

  • research posters presenting new and promising work or preliminary results of ongoing projects

  • "best practices" posters presenting the practical implementations of an organization's practices or innovations


The content of the poster should clearly point out how the research or best practice contributes to innovative thought or design within the field, and how it addresses key challenges, as well as the potential impact on the participant's organization and/or practices in the field.


Joint submissions from students, librarians, graduate school administrators and other professionals demonstrating different perspectives on a single issue are particularly encouraged. Posters are expected to foster discussion in a personal and less formal setting. Poster presenters should submit an abstract of 350 words or less for consideration.


Single-session presentations and panels - peer reviewed

Single session presentations and panels are invited on topics that focus on the themes of the conference.


For single-session presentations, please submit a proposal of up to 350 words, providing a summary of the presentation topic and the qualifications of the speaker.


Panels must have a cohesive theme and promote lively interaction between panelists and audience members. Please submit a panel proposal up to 350 words, providing an overview of the issues to be discussed by the panel and brief bios of each of the panelists. Proposals should only list panelists who have agreed to participate and shall indicate the qualifications and contribution that each panelist will offer.


Conference workshops - peer reviewed

Conference workshops are invited on important topics that focus on the themes of the conference that need to be addressed in-depth. Workshops should provide participants with opportunities to engage with study materials, the presenter(s) and workshop participants through discussions in order to broaden and deepen understanding in a particular area. Workshops range in length from 2 to 3 hours.


Please submit a proposal of up to 350 words, providing a summary of the workshop topic and the qualifications of the speaker.





Proposal Submission


Once you have prepared your proposal according to the above instructions, please use this online submission system to submit it for review.


Submission Steps

  • Click on the "STEP ONE OF THE SUBMISSION PROCESS" link below, login or create new account and follow the prompts.

Start here to submit a paper to this conference.
Step one of the submission process

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

This conference is organized by the United States Electronic Theses and Dissertations Association (USETDA). For additional information, please contact us