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Viewing Results for

2008-2009 VT ETD Author Survey

1. While preparing your ETD, where did you find answers to your questions?
Please select all that apply.

3.75%\% at an ETD workshop (80/2131 responses)
12.01%\% from my committee (256/2131 responses)
16.33%\% from friends (348/2131 responses)
0.42%\% from New Media Center staff (9/2131 responses)
3.28%\% by telephone (70/2131 responses)
4.18%\% through e-mail (89/2131 responses)
3.1%\% other Web site(s) (66/2131 responses)
49.18%\% VT ETD Web site (1048/2131 responses)
0.66%\% from ETD tech support (14/2131 responses)
7.09%\% Other/Comments (151/2131 responses)
95.81% of the people who took this survey
(1167 / 1218) answered this question.

Other Responses (151 for this question)
"attempted to get answers new media, not responsive"
"blackboard"( 5 ) responses
"blackboard course"( 2 ) responses
"Blackboard ETD "class""
"Blackboard group"
"Blackboard site"
"BMVS grad handbook"
"Class had presentation by an ETD person"
"conversion of pasted info from pdfs has errors sometimes"
"crystal ball"
"Dennie Munson"
"Department administration"
"Department advisor"
"Departmental Support"
"did not have questions"
"directions for formatting (margins, pagination) for a book ( hard copy ) do not exist. anywhere besides 2005 grad handbook. My editor spent half day locating an ETD contact , because the ETD e-mail link is dead. I ended up calling grad school and it took another morning just to communicate these rules with Gwen. She was very kind to help, but it took her sometime to find out what are VT requirements for that."
"ETD blackboard site"
"ETD presentation"( 2 ) responses
"ETD Wiki"( 4 ) responses
"examples of approved ETDs"
"figured it out with the help of my father and of Josh Wirt from Innovation Space (I don't know if this is the New Media Center but if yes, very helpful)."
"from past graduate students"
"GLC people"
"grad school personnel"( 3 ) responses
"graduate coordinator"( 3 ) responses
"Graduate School"( 3 ) responses
"Graduate school staff"
"Graduate school web site"
"I figured it out my self"( 3 ) responses
"i guessed"
"I was familiar with the process already from my Masters thesis experience."
"I was told by someone within the graduate school that the instructions on are "5 to 7 years old", and was sent to a link to a different ETD website which is not referenced within the graduate school or ETD website."( 3 ) responses
"Jenae, On the Telephone. What a sweet woman"
"my committee members"( 5 ) responses
"my department"
"No one"
"no questions!"
"other"( 75 ) responses
"other ETDs"
"professionals in the field"( 3 ) responses
"staff in the Graduate School"
"The ETD Blackboard site"( 3 ) responses
"the ETD help class on blackboard"
"the GREAT NCR Resource team"( 2 ) responses
"the NCR Resource team"
"too much bureaucratic nonsense"( 2 ) responses

2. If you consulted the VT ETD Web site, please indicate if the site was useful.

6.41%\% Not useful (72/1123 responses)
21.64%\% Useful (243/1123 responses)
34.64%\% Somewhat useful (389/1123 responses)
35.44%\% Very useful (398/1123 responses)
1.87%\% Did not consult VT ETD Web site. (21/1123 responses)
92.2% of the people who took this survey
(1123 / 1218) answered this question.

3. If you downloaded the ETD workshop Powerpoint presentation, please indicate if you found the workshop useful.

38.33%\% Did not attend ETD workshop. (248/647 responses)
17.77%\% Useful (115/647 responses)
8.19%\% Not useful (53/647 responses)
20.4%\% Somewhat useful (132/647 responses)
15.3%\% Very useful (99/647 responses)
53.12% of the people who took this survey
(647 / 1218) answered this question.

4. If you used the New Media Center, please indicate if the staff was helpful.

7.26%\% Very helpful (32/441 responses)
5.22%\% Somewhat helpful (23/441 responses)
3.17%\% Helpful (14/441 responses)
1.36%\% Not helpful (6/441 responses)
82.99%\% Did not use the New Media Center. (366/441 responses)
36.21% of the people who took this survey
(441 / 1218) answered this question.

5. How many ETDs did you consult while preparing your ETD?

2.73%\% more than 10 (18/659 responses)
13.81%\% Did not consult any ETDs. (91/659 responses)
39.45%\% 3-5 (260/659 responses)
37.03%\% 1-2 (244/659 responses)
6.98%\% 6-10 (46/659 responses)
54.11% of the people who took this survey
(659 / 1218) answered this question.

6. Compared to what you expected, how difficult was it to create a PDF file?

4.37%\% Much more difficult (29/663 responses)
11.31%\% Somewhat more difficult (75/663 responses)
18.4%\% Somewhat less difficult (122/663 responses)
36.05%\% Much less difficult (239/663 responses)
29.86%\% Neither more nor less difficult (198/663 responses)
54.43% of the people who took this survey
(663 / 1218) answered this question.

7. My computer is a

2.23%\% Other (15/674 responses)
0.59%\% Unix (4/674 responses)
85.61%\% PC (577/674 responses)
11.57%\% Mac (78/674 responses)
54.76% of the people who took this survey
(667 / 1218) answered this question.

Other Responses (15 for this question)
"but I am on a VT mac right now - no other option"
"Linux"( 4 ) responses
"other"( 7 ) responses
"TeXmaker on: WinXP, Debian and OSX"
"Ubuntu Linux"

8. Where were you when you submitted your ETD?

43.5%\% Off-campus residence (308/708 responses)
9.6%\% Off-campus workplace (68/708 responses)
1.13%\% Northern Virginia Center (8/708 responses)
29.38%\% Campus office (208/708 responses)
0.71%\% Campus residence hall (5/708 responses)
0.71%\% New Media Center (5/708 responses)
0.71%\% Newman Library (5/708 responses)
2.26%\% Another university (16/708 responses)
12.01%\% Other (85/708 responses)
54.76% of the people who took this survey
(667 / 1218) answered this question.

Other Responses (85 for this question)
"Art & Architecture library"
"Burchard Hall"
"Burchard Hall Lab, CAUS"
"campus laboratory"
"dirty hotel room"
"Durham Hall"
"Family Therapy Center at Virgina Tech"
"GLC computer lab"
"Hahn Hall"
"home"( 7 ) responses
"Home (New Jersey)"
"Home at a new job in Savannah"
"Latham lab"
"Math Emporium"
"My studio desk in Cowgill Hall"( 5 ) responses
"National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, VA"
"off-campus apartment"
"other"( 43 ) responses
"Peoria Airport"
"Place of employment"
"REsidence in another state"
"Saudi Arabia"
"South Korea"
"Tech Computer Lab"( 2 ) responses
"the beach"
"The Inn @ VT"
"University Mall computer lab"

9. Compared to what you expected, how difficult was it to submit your thesis/dissertation electronically?

20.69%\% Neither more nor less difficult. (138/667 responses)
4.2%\% Much more difficult (28/667 responses)
11.54%\% Somewhat more difficult (77/667 responses)
33.28%\% Somewhat less difficult (222/667 responses)
30.28%\% Much less difficult (202/667 responses)
54.76% of the people who took this survey
(667 / 1218) answered this question.

10. Throughout the development of your ETD, what formats (i.e.. paper, electronic, other) did you use to share your dissertation with your committee?

0.58%\% Other (8/1386 responses)
12.91%\% Mix of electronic and paper (179/1386 responses)
29.15%\% Electronic: Text document (404/1386 responses)
26.62%\% Electronic: PDF file(s) (369/1386 responses)
10.61%\% Paper: Printout (147/1386 responses)
95.73% of the people who took this survey
(1166 / 1218) answered this question.

Other Responses (279 for this question)
"Paper"( 279 ) responses

11. Within the next 1-2 years, what do you intend to publish from your ETD?
Please select all that may apply.

18.67%\% Don't know yet (168/900 responses)
3.56%\% Will not publish (32/900 responses)
19.22%\% Conference proceedings (173/900 responses)
51.67%\% Journal article (465/900 responses)
3.78%\% Book chapter (34/900 responses)
3.11%\% Book (28/900 responses)
54.68% of the people who took this survey
(666 / 1218) answered this question.

12. If you restricted access to your VT ETD, what did you base your decision on?
Select all that apply.

29.87%\% Personal choice (141/472 responses)
5.3%\% Patent pending (25/472 responses)
7.42%\% Advice of others (35/472 responses)
2.54%\% Advice of publisher (12/472 responses)
51.48%\% Advice of faculty (243/472 responses)
3.39%\% Sponsor(s) (16/472 responses)
31.44% of the people who took this survey
(383 / 1218) answered this question.

13. Please include any comments or questions that you have about ETDs.

Text Responses (138 for this question)
"Better access to Adobe PDF creator would be a big help"
"Can I make it worldwide available after 6 months from today?"
"Clearer instructions should be made regarding the requirements for titles. Also, I had to go to three computers in order to submit my thesis. Why won't the system work with proxy servers? The process itself is overexplained and undersupported. Why don't you include the phone numbers of support staff or allow people to submit from any computer? Overall, it was a very frustrating experience."
"Directions to submit ETD could have been little more easier to read. Design of the website is not that user-friendly."
"Do I need to acquire authorization from VT to publish part or all of the dissertation work in journal if I choose the third access choice? If I do, I need to change my choice on the hard copy ETD Approval form."
"Easier than expected"
"ETD is a better way than hard copy."
"ETD submission process is easy and user friendly."
"For dissertations it is very difficult to make changes from all 5 or 6 reviewers in the two week time frame. I think you may want to consider giving more time to PhD's."
"For question 10 you need to allow a person to choose more than 1 choice, I used PDF, Word Doc, and Paper Doc."
"For question 10, I submitted to committee using both email and hard copy, depending on the request of the individual committee member."
"How will I know when it is accepted?"
"I had help from the technology folks at my university. It was hard to create the pagination which included several electronic texts."
"I am very thankful that the ETD website is available--it saved me a lot of time and frustration! Thanks!!"
"I created a single document and would like assistance to create an indexed document by chapter. Please email me at Thanks, Tim"
"I found Janice Austin in the grad school to be immensely helpful. Likewise, Bruce Pencek at the library was very helpful. They should both be complemented."
"I found the style guide information and the VT ETD site in general to be extremely helpful in formatting my thesis. However, the page numbering is really very difficult on Microsoft Word 2004. Specifically, the real frustration comes in using Roman numerals in the front matter but not numbering the title page or abstract. I had to do a good bit of Google searching to find instructions on how to do this correctly, since the MW Help function is no help at all. I'd suggest publishing an FAQ or step-by-step help page just for page numbering in Microsoft Word, since this is surely one of the most popular word processing programs. I'm sure there are other students like myself who would be eternally grateful! Thanks again for your help and guidance throughout the process."
"I have found some out-of-date forms and information on the website. The out-of-date material should be removed for future ETD website surfers."
"I know it is hard to keep the website on all the time. However, before I submit my dissertation, I found it was really annoying when the website is down." - ( 2 responses)
"I shouldn't have to enter my committee members when they are already listed on my plan of study in Hokie Spa"
"I still don't know how to insert my IRB approval form that is in PDF form into my dissertation appendices so I submitted 2 separate files."
"I think that the process of uploading a thesis to this ETD site is pretty complicated. Or at least more complicated that it should have to be."
"I think you all have done a great job. The people in particular are especially helpful and nice, the website is not as descriptive of friendly user, however your staff is amazing. THANK YOU for making my life easier."
"I thought that the website was not useful because it was repetative. The links just brought you around to the same page and all the pages were similar looking, so, it was hard to know if you had read the page already."
"I thought the submission was going to be much more difficult. Thank you for making it user friendly."
"I will also publish extension publications from my ETD within the next 1-2 years"
"improve the etd website."
"In reference to #11, the majority of my ETD is already published."
"In the ETD tutorial, you should inform students that they need Adobe Acrobat and not just Adobe Reader. You should also give other options if they cannot make a PDF from Word."
"In the workshop, the 2 people running it were not sure of a few things. I think they should know everything before they start the workshop."
"In trying to find "Thesis formatting" online- the ETD website refers to Appendix 1 of an ancient grad student handbook. I found out from a friend where to find it, but you need to have a link on the actual website to this useful document. Also, I think having more workshops throughout the semester would be useful as well. I found them to be very informative."
"Information regarding formatting requirements of ETDs is difficult to find and poorly documented. A friend who graduated this fall warned me that the vita section was not permitted, but there was no statement of this on the ETD website. The ETD Powerpoint workshop refers the specifics of ETD formatting to "Appendix 1 of the Graduate Catalog" which does not exist. I inquired at length about this and other formatting issues within my department and at the Graduate School without ever finding definitive answers. WIth a 400 page dissertation I can only hope that I'm not in for unpleasant surprises when it is reviewed by the Graduate School. My fingers are crossed ..."
"It is convient to publish thesis"
"It is good and useful."
"It is good."
"It was difficult to find a way to create the PDF that was compatible with MS Vista."
"It was hard to find all the info about ETD specifications such as the font size and spacing. readily aavailable information was about only about front page and abstract page. It would help to have all the info on one page with links. I don't like the way info is laid out on the page"
"It was not clear to me if the PDF file had to be split up into multiple parts or not. I tried finding the info but only got what seemed like a suggestion, so I submitted it all in one file so the parts would not get out of order no matter what. Thanks"
"It was very clear that all of the files should be converted to pdfs first. The instructions were a bit vague."
"It will be very helpful to include a template TeX file for creating the ETD."
"It would be helpful it the ETD site contained guidance on the best way to insert graphics into the document to make sure they turn out well in a PDF (while minimizing the file size)."
"It's a bit of a long, drawn-out process that I find to be a little beyond what I'd consider necessary. I would prefer it be made simpler, without so many forms to file, formats to change, and the like."
"Many of the links on the website were no longer active. This made it difficult to find answer and requirements for certain portions of the ETD. I had to reference other ETDs to find the necessary answers. Additionally, I was surprised that VT did not provide a link to a program that created PDF's. I was slightly annoyed that I had to go buy this program (albeit $10) it still seemed a bit excessive for only needing it to create 1 PDF."
"N/A" - ( 12 responses)
"No comments"
"None" - ( 6 responses)
"None." - ( 5 responses)
"please update the presentation to remove the UMI proquest form, i spend many hours looking for it and finally learned through the ETD blackboard discussion it is no longer required. The ETD site is really helpful."
"provide guideline how to format ETD"
"Publication will be Other: a chapter should be published with the US Department of Agriculture as an official petition for non-regulated status of GM peanuts."
"question 10 asks about format's', but only allows the selection of one response."
"Question 10 of this survey would be better with check boxes, as I used multiple formats (electronic DOC, PDF, and paper)."
"Question 10 should be multiple answer. I wanted to answer both paper and PDF."
"remove the online help that refers to 20 meg file limitations, the system will allow you to upload larger files, it just takes some time"
"So far the ETD has been easy to follow and upload."
"Some of the information seemed out of date among the many places (Blackboard, ETD website, supporting documents on both) I looked to help in the preparation of my ETD, or at least they were not in total agreement. This led me to have to ask in person which guidelines to follow."
"some of the links in the etd workshop pdf do not work." - ( 2 responses)
"Somehow it would have been better if I knew in advance (when I was first doing my lit review) that I wouldn't be able to use pictures without copyright permission from the authors. How was I to know that? I also was unaware of the ETD workshops until they were over. I think the ETD process should be discussed during the ISE seminar."
"State specifically to remove original file in order to upload corrected file"
"Thank God for Gail McMillan. In the electronic-age, it is so wonderful to have a helpful human-being on the line."
"Thank you Gwen and Janae for your help. To make your work easier, I would suggest teh Grad School to update the on-line ETD materials ( the workshop file is embarrassingly outdated with dead links which of no help and are confusing); I would also suggest to include the VT formatting directions for a hard copy of a thesis in a 2008 handbook"
"The ETD process is sometimes confusing and contradictory. I knew that it was confusing but I didn't know it would be as confusing as it was. I wish there were a way to streamline the process."
"The ETD website guidelines were no guide at all! The only thing useful was the template for the title page and abstract. The guideline (as the name would imply) should have included how to format the rest of the document without the need of looking at other ETDs. This means details people! This process was unnecessarily frustrating and unnecessary if ample information was given." - ( 3 responses)
"The ETD website is poorly designed--it has broken links (ie to the appendix in the graduate school catalog with format requirements). The format requirements were nearly impossible to find. Also the free trial adobe pdf creator completely ruined page numbering and was absolutely useless to me. Fortunately, my new university has an actual copy of Adobe and I was able to make my PDF that way. The format requirements should be CLEARLY stated probably on the front page of the website. I didn't HAPPEN upon the format requirements until I was just about to submit, so that was another 2 hours of formatting. Whoever is in charge of the website should sit down and actually watch students attempt to do the ETD and see how problematic it is. I thought that creating a PDF and sending it in wouldn't be a big deal--and it shouldn't be, but the ETD website is just ...crazy. This was THE most stressful part of my entire thesis!!!"
"the etd website is very confusing and needs work." - ( 3 responses)
"The ETD website is very helpful."
"The ETD website would be easier to use with a summary page for all the "technical" aspects (font size, margins, etc.) of the formatting, presented as a table or bullet-style. The downloadable fill-in-the-blanks 1st page loses some of its usefulness if found in the later stage of the writing process. Thus having such a list would help to fix minor things (e.g. margins) without having to impact the entire document."
"The information offered was useful. Thanks."
"The information was very scattered around the VT ETD website and I found myself consulting many pages with differing information. It would be very helpful to have all of the necessary information in one easy place."
"The MFA Creative Writing Program Director (Ed Falco) said that I can restrict access for three years. Is that right-- and what do I do afterwards?"
"The power point presentation that can be downloaded is out of date and contains links that do not work. This was extremely frustrating when trying to determine the formatting requirements." - ( 2 responses)
"The process went easier than expected!"
"The question for restricted access is also on the dissertation submission form which the advisor has to sign. It is necessary to have that information onelectronic submission form also? What if there is a conflict signed document and the option marked on the electronic submission form. Otherwise, this site is great!"
"The requirements handed down from the Graduate School were a severe impediment to my education as a graduate student at Virginia Tech. I have been severely disappointed with the number of bureaucratic loops I had to jump through and bad policy that defies reason. The ETD is incongruous to my graduate work and feel it was a waste of time to produce one. Pedagogical requirements should be dictated by the professors of the individual schools, rather than your office."
"The requirements handed down from the Graduate School were a severe impediment to my education as a graduate student at Virginia Tech. I have been severely disappointed with the number of bureaucratic loops I had to jump through and bad policy that defies reason. The ETD is incongruous to my graduate work and feel it was a waste of time to produce one. Pedagogical requirements should be dictated by the professors of the individual schools, rather than your office." - ( 4 responses)
"The submission instructions are not very clear" - ( 2 responses)
"The submission was really easy. Thank you for your effort."
"The system needs drastic improvements, specifically dealing with the "style guide" section. My thesis was not a "cookie cutter" format, and the style guide was essentially useless. In addition to that, there is very little online information about IEEE style bibliographies and citation. The site should focus on using common word processors such as Word 2007 to prepare the document."
"The system seems antiquated and not very user friendly. The abstract in text format proved difficult as many characters were not transferred in and I could not find how to submit symbols. The whole process seems redundant and overly complicated. I am not sure what bearing the ETD had on my completing my degree or why it is required to graduate."
"The thesis and dissertation approval form options for access to the ETD do not match the options that you are confronted with in the submission of the ETD, and this makes it a little bit confusing."
"The workshops were very helpful"
"There are a lot of little files to consult over format, etc. Can you put it all on one page or one file so I don't have to keep opening stuff?"
"There are several versions of ETD forms and help on VT websites. Several of them are not current. I hope I followed the most recent and correct guidance."
"This resource is quite helpful"
"Using the LaTex style guide, the formatting was extremely easy."
"very useful"
"Very useful to retrieve work from previous students" - ( 4 responses)
"Website is slow. Also you may want to proof your wording throughout. There are some errors."
"Website needs cleaned up, organized, and checked for consistency, but all the info's there if you dig"
"When it comes time to select access, the website submission page and the "Thesis and Dissertation Approval Form" describe the access availability differently. This was a bit confusing. Make sure these match up. I was unsure when submitting online whether I was selecting the same as I had on my approval form."
"While I'm happy that Virginia Tech has moved to an electronic model of distribution for theses and dissertations, it is still only half-way there. For a truly electronic distribution, students would submit a semantically-marked up document such as LaTeX or DocBook or XHTML. The ETD web site would not simply provide access to a printable PDF, but instead to a fully cross-referenced, web-capable reading experience."
"You ask how I shared my document with my committee, but I could only flag one answer. I gave it as paper format, word doc. and as it got bigger as a PDF. PDF process was the hardest. I had to reload PDF to get it to work for this large document. This meant unloading the Adobe 6 program that would not work... That took me most of the afternoon. Once that was done loading wasn't difficult."
"Your information about bookmarks is out-of-date. I had to figure this out from trial and error" - ( 2 responses)

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